Grey Rock community will feature villas, flats


After four years of planning, a development team headed by John Dorment, Richard Carter and George McCleary has opened a sales center for Village of Grey Rock, a $50 million, 247-unit community on a 52-acre parcel once part of the estate where Revolutionary War hero John Eager Howard was born.

Groundbreaking ceremonies for the initial residences will be held June 17 for the development, which also will include 30,000 square feet of commercial space.

The property, off the 8900 block of Reisterstown Road, is one of the largest parcels still available for development in the Pikesville area. The houses will be next to the historic Grey Rock mansion, which dates from about 1700, was restored around 1890, and now is leased by Valley Caterers.

Designed by Columbia Design Collective, the gatehouse community will feature a relatively new design concept for Baltimore County, a mixture of housing units called villas and European flats.

For the 87 villas, the traditional design of the town house was modified to produce a grouping of residences that suggests the appearance of a manor house. For the 160 flats, CDC created a series of connected buildings intended to evoke a European town while reflecting the mansion's scale.

CDC incorporated elements of the Grey Rock mansion in the design of the community, including the use of bow and bay windows, balcony railings, and a stucco-like exterior. Rose-colored brick was used to lend a sense of quality and tradition to the residences.

"We came up with what we felt was the ultimate plan," said Mr. Carter. "Every home, the European flats as well as the villas, will have its own garage with direct access to the house. Every home will have a private entrance. All entrances will front on courtyards to enhance the feeling of privacy. Every flat is designed with a . . . floor plan which is totally unique in this market."

Prices for the villas range from $250,000 to $300,000. Prices for flats will start below $150,000. All three models of the villas will have two-car garages and 3,600 to 4,600 square feet of space. The flats will range in size from 1,300 to 1,750 square feet, not counting their garages. The first residences will be ready for occupancy by the end of the year, and the entire community is expected to take two to three years to construct.

Grey Rock Inc. is the name of the development team, which acquired the land for $5.6 million in 1989. Doug Magill of Long and Foster is the broker for Village of Grey Rock. The Bank of Baltimore is the construction lender. Steve Clark & Associates Inc. has been hired as an urban forestry consultant. The sales center is open daily from noon to 6 p.m.

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