AT FIRST GLANCE THE SALES FIGURES for Park Place III in Frederick, Md., seem good, but they're downright fantastic once you hear the back story. The first units in this third of five condominium buildings planned at Worman's Mill, a 307-acre, master planned community in the far suburbs of Washington, went on sale back in December 2002. That was right in the middle of an almost three-year, drought-related building moratorium imposed by county officials.
“Imagine this,” says Daryl Andrews, sales manager at Park Place, a Wormald Cos. development, “people walk into the sales center, and we can't answer the following questions: ‘When will our unit be started? When will it be completed? What will be the final cost?'” Even with all those hurdles, the building was 90 percent sold before the builder finally received a building permit last spring. “I attribute much of that success to a builder who just wouldn't quit,” he says.
This is the same builder who decided early on to place the five condominium buildings—often the neglected stepchildren in many master planned communities—in a prime location, with views of a lush, mature stream valley and the Catoctin Mountains. Wormald also modified the exterior elevations and floor plans with each successive building to give buyers what they wanted: a distinctive French/English country look and plenty of room.
In fact, each of the successive identically sized buildings has offered fewer—but larger—units with each building's release. “We've tweaked the floor plans based on feedback, and storage is one of the keys,” says Andrews. That's what cash-ready empty-nesters demand along with one-level, lock-up-and-go living.
Throw in double outdoor terraces, extra-large closets, a separate storage building adjacent to the main structure, and up to 2,900 square feet of living space, and you've got a winner.
PROJECT: Park Place at Worman's Mill, Frederick, Md.; SIZE: 23.2 acres; TOTAL UNITS: 70 (Park Place I), 58 (Park Place II), 52 (Park Place III); SALES STARTED: August 1997 (PPI), October 1999 (PP II), December 2002 (PP III); SALES THROUGH JUNE 2004: 70 (PP I), 58 (PP II), 46 (PP III);PRICE: $99,900 to $274,900 (PP I), $115,900 to $345,900 (PP II), $254,900 to $474,900 (PP III); UNIT SIZE: 863 to 2,451 square feet (PP I), 863 to 2,900 square feet (PP II), 1,387 to 2,900 square feet (PP III); BUILDER/DEVELOPER: The Wormald Cos., Frederick; ARCHITECTS: The Wormald Cos., Frederick; and Rodney A. Wray, Reseda, Calif.; LAND PLANNER: Smith & Williams, Los Angeles; LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT: Arbor Landscapers, Spencerville, Md.; INTERIOR DESIGNERS: Merchandising East, Ellicott City, Md., and Mary Weaver, Vienna, Va.
Learn more about markets featured in this article: Washington, DC.