Gilbert Highliands renovation used stimulus funding to make the property more energy efficient.

Renovation Complete, Stimulus-funded Development Reopens in Maryland

Gilbert Highlands development, the first in Maryland to open after using funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), integrates many of Enterprise’s Green Communities Criteria into the renovation.

The property now includes energy-efficient appliances, lighting, windows and doors, low-flow toilets and plumbing fixtures, environmentally friendly paints and floor coverings, and landscaping with native plants.

Montgomery Housing Partnership (MHP), a private nonprofit housing developer, recently completed the $5.34 million renovation, which began last November. The project created 28 jobs. According to Lesia R. Bullock of MHP, Gilbert Highlands received $1,175,255 from ARRA through the Tax Credit Exchange Program (Section 1602), which is administered by the Maryland State Department of Housing & Community Development in coordination with the Treasury Department. The facility also received an additional $52,500 from the new Maryland Multifamily Energy Efficiency and Housing Affordability Program, which is partially funded through ARRA and other state sources.

Gilbert Highlands is a 21-unit affordable rental community located at 8508-8510 Flower Avenue in Takoma Park, Md. It was built in 1953 and is within walking distance to stores, schools, county services, and the future Purple Line Metro. The property has an onsite rental office, and a new community room that will house a bilingual preschool and computer lab.

MHP purchased the formerly distressed building from private investors in 2007 with the help of Montgomery County and other partners.

"The preservation of Gilbert Highlands is a model of a successful public-private partnership that included federal, state and county financing focused on a community that desperately needs to remain affordable," said Robert Goldman, president of MHP. "We could not have acquired this development without the support of Montgomery County, and I'm very proud of the end result."

Gilbert Highlands was the first development in the state to receive funding from the Maryland Multifamily Energy Efficiency and Housing Affordability (MEEHA) Program, and also received $1.17 million from the federal stimulus through the tax credit exchange program. MHP's partners on the Gilbert Highlands project include: Montgomery County Department of Housing and Community Affairs; State of Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development; Citi Community Capital; City of Takoma Park; Community Housing Capital; NeighborWorks America; EDG Architects; RKR Construction; Building Consultants, Inc.; and Charles Tini & Associates.