Launch Slideshow

Community Development

Rental apartment gets sustainable makeover.

Community Development

Rental apartment gets sustainable makeover.

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A nine-story rental apartment building originally developed by famed urban planner James Rouse recently received a $21 million sustainable makeover to provide affordable housing for families living in the high-cost outer suburbs of Washington, D.C.

Meeting Enterprise Green Communities criteria, Harper House in Columbia, Md., underwent a complete renovation, including a new roof, energy-efficient windows, Energy Star appliances, water-conserving plumbing fixtures, low-VOC paints, and Green Label carpeting. Bathroom, kitchens, flooring, lighting, and HVAC systems in all apartments were upgraded. Overall energy efficiency is projected to increase by approximately 21 percent.

The project also encompassed a nine-story addition that increased living space by approximately 9,000 square feet including eight new two-bedroom apartments, elevator upgrades, additional common areas, renovated corridors and lobby, and a new covered entry.

The complex’s 42 one-bedroom and 58 two-bedroom apartments serve households earning 60 percent of area median income or below, with the vast majority serving families earning less than 50 percent. Constructed in 1971, Harper House is one of the earliest examples of Rouse's vision to bolster the supply of housing for people from all walks of life, says Chickie Grayson, president and CEO of Enterprise Homes.

“It is indeed an honor to work on this project that Jim Rouse originally developed so many years ago,” she says. “It’s a fitting tribute to him and our community that we have completely modernized and expanded this historic property.”