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Baltimore County Development Brings Urban Convenience to Suburban Life

When it’s finished, residents of Greenleigh at Crossroads in Baltimore County, Maryland, will be living in a development that combines many city-living conveniences with the best parts of the suburbs. In fact, they'll have few reasons to ever leave.

Greenleigh has all the traditional suburban attractions like green space, affordability, and access to larger homes. But, this community is urbanizing the suburbs with in-demand amenities like restaurants, shops, pedestrian friendly streets, and a planned grocery store.

Plus, the development offers easy city access. If Greenleigh residents choose to wander, they're just 15 miles from Baltimore by car, or three miles to a Maryland Rail Commuter train station.

The lifestyle offered by Greenleigh is attracting a range of buyers and is well-timed to cater to a shift in living preferences. In 2016 and 2017, more than 2.6 million people moved from principal cities in metropolitan areas to the suburbs, according to a report from the Urban Land Institute. The decline of cities coupled with higher suburban growth suggests the "back to the city" trend is over, according to the Brookings Institute.

Interest in Greenleigh has been broad, from young couples and families to active adults and empty nesters, according to Dave Murphy, a Vice President at Elm Street Communities, the developer responsible for Greenleigh’s residential component. All share a desire for convenience and a low-maintenance lifestyle.

Those two benefits are embedded into the fabric of Greenleigh, which is designed to maximize enjoyment of the community by lowering the amount of effort required from homeowners.

“People want to live in a walkable community that reflects their active lifestyle and offers amenities that they'll be able to enjoy every day, such as biking and walking trails, pocket parks, playgrounds, a dog park, and nearby restaurants and retail," said Murphy. "Residents here can take a stroll down to a restaurant, have a drink or some food, and then walk home."

One of the ways Elm Street accomplished a low-maintenance lifestyle was by specifying fiber cement siding for the development's single-family homes. Builders in the development have adopted James Hardie® siding and trim as their to-go choice.

"The homes look gorgeous and you can feel the quality," said Tim Morris, vice president and co-owner of Williamsburg Homes LLC, which is building approximately 60 single-family homes in Greenleigh. "We tell home buyers to go over, touch the siding, and feel the quality. You're not getting vinyl or aluminum. You can feel the difference and it looks great."

Morris said his company has used James Hardie products on several of their projects. He even has it on his own home and can vouch for its durability.

"It has performed really well," Morris said. "It looks just as beautiful as the day I moved in."

Greenleigh’s developers are confident that demand for this kind of living will have lasting power. They anticipate the community’s phased construction will take another 10 years to finish. The project’s extended schedule is another reason fiber cement siding was specified for Greenleigh's single-family homes.

"We wanted to make sure that we chose materials that maintained their beauty and performance over the long term," Murphy said. "We want the recently finished homes to look as good as the homes that will be built years from now."
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