TAKING THE LEAD
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|Johnson Development Associates' Ben Graves tells us his firm's 252-unit, garden-style Haven at Odenton Gateway is the first in Maryland to get NAHB's National Green Building Standard silver cert. He says the standards emphasize energy efficiency more than LEED's apartment benchmarks do, so the money Johnson spends on green recognition also alleviates residents' bills. (That's what gets you a lot of freshly baked brownies from the neighborhood.) The firm's bread and butter is simple construction (five stories or fewer, which allows woodframe construction, plus surface parking) with the kind of supply/demand imbalance an Econ 101 student could understand. Bypassing the relatively expensive LEED cert also leaves more money for amenities that these submarkets don't yet have.|
|Johnson Development bought the Odenton land from Elm Street in December 2010, winning the bid because of its ability to close quickly without outside capital (it manages capital for Spartanburg entrepreneur George Dean Johnson, above, who has ties to BMW's SC presence, as well as Blockbuster and Extended Stay America). Ben tells us Elm Street held on to an outpad for a 24-hour pharmacy, and Anne Arundel Health System and Johns Hopkins are building an MOB next door, a property type that has proven to be the best demand driver across most of Johnson's markets.|