Condemned by the City of Annapolis in 1994 and scheduled to be razed and vacated, this 198-unit, federally-insured property was failing both physically and financially. Concomitant with the physical and financial conditions were social problems that were the locus of crime in the community. Given the excellent location of this property – close to transportation, schools, shopping, and employment centers – it was critical the community be restored so that low and moderate income households could have access to quality housing.
In 1995, Landex’s goal was to rescue the property from its pending demise by acquiring and renovating the complex. To do this, Landex had to obtain seven sources of public and private financing, including the Low Income Housing Tax Credits. Furthermore, Landex created an advisory council that enabled the Bay Ridge Resident Association to participate in the plans for the renovations and management of the property.
In 2010, Landex refinanced the property to improve its energy efficiency and implement “green” building upgrades to preserve the housing and reduce housing costs to residents. Renovations to the building and apartments included improved insulation, duct sealing, “smart” thermostats, new kitchens and baths, new roofs, new energy-efficient HVAC systems, new Energy Star appliances, a new freestanding, handicap-accessible community center, a new free-standing laundry center, and on-site recreational amenities, including playgrounds and a basketball court.
To minimize the disruption to the residents during construction, the 2010 renovations were performed with “Residents-in-Place.” This unique approach to renovation included residents in the planning and implementation stages; by involving residents in the planning and implementation the relocation proceeded smoothly and according to plan.
Among the many changes that took place at Bay Ridge Gardens, Landex, in partnership with the State of Maryland’s Housing and Energy Departments, created a Model Energy Program to improve the energy efficiency of the property so that it would meet or exceed 120% of the ASHRAE standards. Furthermore, this program was to set the standards for other similar multi-family communities in Maryland. To meet these goals, Landex, in partnership with the State Housing and Energy Departments, implemented building technologies to eliminate air-infiltration, installed high-efficiency Energy Star products, and added new technologies such as solar photovoltaic panels. As a result, both the utility consumption for the property and the consumption of energy by individual residents were reduced by more than 50%. Thus, this pilot project served as a model for energy efficiency consumption, establishing guidelines for improving energy efficiency at other multi-family communities in the State. As part of the refinancing, Landex repaid the original State of Maryland loan, allowing the State to invest in more affordable housing.
For its work on this project, Landex was named Maryland’s Green Developer of the Year in 2012.