Catonsville retirement community in midst of $28 million renovation

The Charlestown retirement community on Maiden Choice Lane, the second largest retirement community in the United States, continues to grow.

Citing demand from aging baby boomers and the high percentage of people 65 years of age or older in southwestern Baltimore County, Charlestown spokesman Jeff Getek said a $28 million renovation to the 29-year-old senior campus will increase capacity and add amenities.

The renovations, which began in January, will add 55 more apartments, four elevators and recreation features, such as an expanded pool and workout facility, Getek said.

"It's been in the works for a while," Getek said. "A lot of planning now is taking fruition with construction on campus."

Charlestown will have all three phases of the project completed by spring 2013, Getek said.

Garret Falcone, Charlestown's executive director, said the retirement community's changes are in response to the desires of the Baby boomer population.

"They want more room," Falcone said of baby boomers. "They want to have relaxation areas, pub areas and pool tables. They don't want things to close down."

Of the 55 new apartments to be added to the Edgewood Building on the 110-acre campus, 17 are one-bedroom and 38 are two-bedroom units, Getek said.

Of the 17 one-bedroom units, 12 will have a den, Getek said.

The refundable entrance deposit for the homes ranges from $79,000 to $475,000, based on size and floor plan, Getek said.

Falcone said the renovation to the Edgewood building will double its width.

"We expect it to be open and people moving in next January," he said.

Renovations to Charlestown Square will include nearly triple the size of the fitness center to 4,300-square feet, expand the 20- by 48-foot pool to 30- by 75-feet and add 20,000 square feet to the 35,000-square-foot clubhouse, Getek said.

Half of the third phase of the renovation is completed as two of the four new elevators were recently installed and the remaining two should be operational by the end of March, Falcone said.

Falcone estimated that three new residents move into Charlestown each week, which can tie up the elevators.

According to the website of the United States Census Bureau, 17.2 percent of Catonsville's population is over age 65.

That number exceeds the county average of 14.6 percent, the website stated.

"There's definitely a demand for active senior living residences in the area," Getek said.

The renovations are the most recent since a strategic planning committee was established in 2006 as a means of catering to the baby boomers, Falcone said.

In those six years, 600 of its 1,500 apartments have been renovated with updated showers, new doors, washers and dryers, Falcone said.

The design architects for the project are Marks, Thomas Architects in Baltimore.

The general contractor is Harkins Builders in Marriottsville, Getek said.

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