The Wormald Companies unveiled Thursday the first of the 59 single-family homes the developer is constructing in the ever-growing Crown development in Gaithersburg.
The model home sits on a corner lot and, at four stories tall, towers over the adjacent empty lots. However, it eventually will be surrounded by similar houses.
Those houses, priced at $1.1 million to $1.4 million, will be the most expensive real estate in the developing community off of Sam Eig Highway, which will eventually include 2,250 residences within walking distance to the Downtown Crown retail center. Already builders have constructed or are planning residences including the Cadence apartment community, industrial-style condos being built by Michael Harris Homes and townhouses being constructed by Ryland Homes, Pulte Homes, M/I Homes and KB Home.
In Crown West, the residential community where townhouses and the Wormald homes are being constructed, about 60 percent of the 400 lots have already been sold, according to Robert Zeiller, executive vice president of Westbrook Properties, which is developing Crown. Builders have already built and sold about 140 homes in the neighborhood, Zeiller said.
In Crown West, the Wormald houses will stand out for their size. They’re being built on small lots, with homes separated by 8 to 12 feet. The houses range from 3,900 to 5,400 square feet; the “city home” model, the first one to be completed, has nearly 600 square feet of terrace space, including a large fourth-floor penthouse with an outdoor fireplace, dining and lounge areas. The model home features an open second-floor kitchen and gathering space, with a huge pantry, dining area and fireplace. The master bedroom has a walk-in closet large enough to double as another bedroom and an “owner’s retreat” with a wet bar and sitting area.
The finished homes will include from three to five bedrooms and from 2½ to 4½ bathrooms. The city home collection differs from the builder’s “estate” collection in that the city homes’ three-car garages are only accessible from a private street. The estate collection homes are built with two-car garages and driveways.
Ken Wormald, a Wormald Cos. partner, said the company is hoping to attract buyers who are looking for houses about the same size of their current suburban homes, but who are no longer interested in maintaining a property and want to be able to walk to stores and other amenities.
Downtown Crown, which is about a two-minute walk from the Wormald homes, features several restaurants including Ted’s Bulletin, Coastal Flats and Old Town Pour House, as well as other businesses such as Harris Teeter, LA Fitness and a wine and beer store.
“The community is starting to mature,” Zeiller said. He has watched over the past few years as Crown has grown from undeveloped farm land to a bustling retail center. Now he hopes buyers will be attracted to the variety of homes that builders are constructing next to the retail center. “I think there’s going to be a lot of new energy this year.”
The plan, Zeiller says, is to build a diverse range of homes that attracts everyone from millennials purchasing their first home to empty nesters looking to leave traditionally suburban communities.
Wormald notes that the development’s mix of retail combined with manageable traffic, close proximity to biotech and government jobs, and lower real estate prices than those in Potomac and Bethesda should attract buyers.
“Hopefully we’re creating a better place than Bethesda,” Wormald said.
Ken Wormald inside the kitchen of Wormald’s new model home at Crown.
The fourth floor lounge and wet bar inside the model home.
The fourth floor terrace area.
The master bathroom and bedroom
First floor study
Currently three Wormald homes are under construction at Crown (pictured left), but eventually the lots to the right will also be built-out.
The Downtown Crown development already features the Cadence apartments as well as several restaurants and shops. All photos above credit Andrew Metcalf.
The current layout of Crown. Downtown Crown, the retail center, is located to the left. Crown West is the residential buildings to the right. The Wormald homes, are located along Steinbeck Ave. and Salk Circle.