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All About Community

Team members flex to support community efforts

By Gary Garofalo
President and CEO

2018 is proving to be a record-breaking year for Harkins. Building off the momentum we created in 2017, we are making great progress towards our top corporate goals for improving our financial performance, expanding our geographical footprint, and diversifying our product type. Although these are all important initiatives, I want to focus on another area of our work and life that means just as much to all of us here.

Like my predecessors, I am fully committed to improving the lives of those among us that are most in need, and as a company we have made it our responsibility to reinvest a portion of our financial successes into many good causes. But, as important as this financial commitment is, I believe that what really defines us as an exceptional company is the willingness of our employees to give up their own personal time to help others that lack the basic comforts we take for granted. Rain or shine, our employees, spouses, and family members always come out to support those in need.

Already this year, more than 100 of our employees have been involved in several Rebuilding Together projects, including the She Builds event in Montgomery County, the Philadelphia Block Build, and Howard County. Additionally, many of our employees participated in Habitat for Humanity projects, including Home is the Key and the Women Build in Metro Maryland. We also fielded a team for the WEA Bowl to support the Women’s Education Alliance.

Most recently, over two dozen employees participated in the 29th Annual JDRF Real Estate Games. This all-day Olympic-style sporting event donates all the proceeds towards funding research for juvenile diabetes. We are preparing for a number of additional charitable events that include the Villa Maria Fair, Home Runs for the Homeless, and the Catholic Charities Dragon Boat Races. Established in 1998, our late CEO Blase Cooke was instrumental in launching the Dragon Boat Races. This bi-annual event has raised millions for the many Catholic Charities programs in and around the Baltimore area, and I was honored to have been asked to serve as chairman of this year’s event. It is free to attend and a great family outing with plenty of entertainment for all ages, so I invite you to join us on September 8th in the Inner Harbor to cheer our athletes on! The Harkins family and my own family look forward to seeing you there.

Our people, our progress, our growth – all of these things give me confidence that the best is yet to come for Harkins.

New Senior Living Community Tops Out

Harkins attending the start of the Pointe Aspen property
Silver Spring, MD

The Pointe View at Aspen Hill project hosted a topping out ceremony on Wednesday, September 26th in Silver Spring, MD. The milestone was marked with a catered lunch to thank the many tradesmen and women who are working on the project. The event also included speeches from Pennrose’s Regional Vice President Ivy Dench-Carter, Maryland DHCD Assistant Secretary Matthew Heckles, Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett, Montgomery County District 4 Councilmember Nancy Navarro, and HOC of Montgomery County Executive Director Stacy Spann.

Situated on approximately five acres, Pointe View at Aspen Hill will offer 120 mixed income apartments for seniors. Of the 120 apartments, 108 units will be allocated for residents at 30-60 percent of the Area Median Income (AMI). It is comprised or 61 one-bedroom and 59 two-bedroom apartments. Located behind an existing church on the property, the building has been designed as a four-story wood frame L-shaped structure. The exterior will incorporate brick and cementitious siding into the facades to be consistent with the surrounding multi-unit buildings and will feature decorative trim accented with large tapered columns.

Building amenities will include a computer room, a game room, a community room, a fitness center, and a salon. Along with the building amenities, there will also be an outdoor patio area with seating and a walking path around the complex. Residents will be within close proximity to retail, health care resources, and the county’s largest senior center.

Topping Out Photos


Jackson Ward Affordable Community Breaks Ground

Full Harkins and team members shot at groundbreaking ceremony for Jackson Ward
Richmond, VA

Ground was broken on Tuesday, September 25th for the Jackson Ward project in Richmond, VA. The Harkins team joined our client CPDC, our architect Grimm + Parker Architects, and many local officials to celebrate this monumental day.

Jackson Ward is the second phase of a three-phase mixed-income, mixed-use project in Richmond. Situated on the site of the former St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, this project redevelops a site that has been vacant for many years to bring together a portion of a historic neighborhood scarred by the construction of a highway. There will be 154 affordable housing units in three newly constructed buildings and in a former convent that still stands on the property. The three new buildings will be traditional wood frame construction, and the convent will go through an adaptive reuse for commercial space. The new buildings are meant to fit in with the height of the convent building and two-story buildings on the block’s southeast corner.

Jackson Ward Senior Homes will offer 72 units for low-income seniors who are moving from Fay Towers, an aging apartment building down the street. Jackson Ward Multifamily Homes will offer 82 units of mixed-income based housing and market-rate rentals. It will consist of studios and one-, and two-bedroom apartments. The 2.5 acre development will also include 6,000 sq. ft. of commercial space and 71 on-site parking spaces. This commercial space will be created through the adaptive reuse of the former convent, which was originally associated with Richmond’s first African American Catholic Church.

This project is the result of HUD’s Rental Assistance Demonstration Program (RAD). Established in 2011 and launched in January of 2013, RAD is designed to preserve and improve the country’s stock of affordable rental housing by allowing public housing agencies and owners of HUD-assisted properties to convert units to project-based Section 8 programs. CPDC’s work to move residents from Fay Towers is the first in Virginia to use RAD’s “transfer of assistance” provision, which enables public housing authorities to create better housing in new locations.

Groundbreaking Photos

Members of the Harkins team, Grimm + Parker Architects and Timmons Group pose for a photo as they break ground.

Harkins Wins Four Awards

Harkins team celebrating with new ABC of Excellence awards

by ABC Chesapeake Shores

Harkins was honored to receive four awards at the ABC Chesapeake Shores Excellence in Construction awards banquet. The awards program celebrates the best in merit shop construction in the Annapolis and Eastern Shore areas and was held on Thursday, September 20th at the Hotel at Arundel Preserve.

The three projects that won Awards of Excellence were Brightview Annapolis in the Healthcare $25 to $50M category, Greenwood Village in the Renovation $4 to $8M category, and Homes on Johnsons Pond in the Residential Multifamily category. Brightview Annapolis is a new 165-unit senior living community in Annapolis, MD, featuring 24 memory care units, 52 assisted living units, and 89 independent living units for Brightview Senior Living, with Hord Coplan Macht. Greenwood Village is the complete rehabilitation of 20 townhomes in Cambridge, MD for Green Street Housing, with Architecture by Design. Homes on Johnsons Pond is a new 63-unit affordable apartment project in Salisbury, MD for Homes for America and Osprey Property Companies, with Architecture by Design.

Harkins was also recognized with a Diamond STEP Award. Diamond is the highest level of recognition in ABC’s Safety Training and Evaluation Process, and recognizes companies for the outstanding quality of both their safety program and their safety record. Through ABC’s national Safety Training and Evaluation Process (STEP) program, participants are rated on 20 safety program components, including management commitment to safety, employee participation, use of personal protective equipment, and record keeping. Harkins has been participating in the STEP program for over 20 years, and this is the third year in a row that we’ve received the Diamond level award.

The Harkins team was joined at the banquet by our owner and architect reps from Brightview Senior Living, Hord Coplan Macht, Homes for America, Architecture by Design, and Green Street Housing.

The group with their awards at the ABC Chesapeake Shores Excellence in Construction banquet.

Deanwood Hills Celebrates Ribbon Cutting

Ribbon cutting in front of 5201 HAYES
Washington, DC

The Harkins team attended the ribbon cutting of Deanwood Hills on Tuesday, September 18th in Washington, DC.

Deanwood Hills transformed a blighted vacant property into 150-units of affordable housing. The site is a two-acre former trash-transfer facility located in the neighborhood northeast of Benning Road between Nannie Helen Burroughs Avenue and the Maryland line. The apartment building includes a mix of studios and one-, two-, and three-bedroom units. Fifty of these units replaced public housing at Lincoln Heights and Richardson Dwellings, while the remaining 100 were offered as affordable to DC residents making 60 percent of the area median income.

Amenities include a cyber cafe, a fitness room, a game room, and bike storage and racks. The building has reflective roofing and paving that is lightly colored. In addition, 60% of the roof is covered with a green roofing system and the other 40% is occupied with roof mounted HVAC condenser units.

This project has greatly improved the public space around the area with new sidewalks, tree plantings, street lights, a playground space, and widening of an existing paper alley.

Ribbon Cutting Photos

Members of the Harkins team (from left to right): John Adams, Tom Whitehouse, Jeff See, John Kim, Mike Ebrahimi, Sam Hashemi, Gary Garofalo, Greg Pearson, and Mike Mallow.

Paca House Renovation Project Breaks Ground

Side by side with shovels in hand for Paca House Renovation project groundbreaking
Baltimore, MD

The Harkins team attended the groundbreaking of the Paca House Renovation and Addition on Tuesday, September 18th in Baltimore, MD.

Under the redevelopment plans, the Paca House project will include a mix of rehabilitation and new construction that will double the affordable square footage of the building. The current five-story building, which was an adaptive reuse of an old firehouse and an adjoining building, will be expanding into an L-shape in the alleyway next door. A large podium addition will also be added in the rear of the building. The units will be converting from 106 units to 92 units of housing for homeless veterans, homeless city residents, seniors, and persons with disabilities. Nineteen of the units will be reserved for homeless veterans and veterans will be given preference in 63 more units in the building. Of the 92 units, there will be 41 efficiencies, 41 one-bedroom apartments, and 10 market-rate apartments. Although the number of available units will be decreasing, the new apartments will be larger, have more modern amenities, and will eliminate the out-of-date Single Room Occupancy units.

Amenity spaces in the building will include an outdoor courtyard, two community rooms, two resource rooms for on-site resident services, laundry facilities, free Wi-Fi, and a large lobby. The on-site resident services will include case management, counseling, and referrals to the nearby Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

The building will meet Enterprise Green Community Standards for energy efficiency and incorporate a photovoltaic system on the roof.

Groundbreaking Photos

St. James Plaza Wins Excellence in Construction Award

Ceremony for Excellence in Construction Award for St James Plaza

by ABC Metro Washington

We are pleased to announce that Harkins was awarded an Excellence in Construction award at the ABC Metro Washington Awards Ceremony on September 13th. St. James Plaza received the judges’ top scores in the Mixed Use under $50 million category. Joined by our client AHC Inc., our architect Cunningham|Quill, and several members of the Harkins project team, we attended the awards ceremony held at The Ritz-Carlton in Tysons Corner.

St. James Plaza transformed property previously owned by the St. James United Methodist Church and the Bi-District Office of the Northern Virginia Methodist Church into 93 new affordable apartments. The affordable rental apartments are a mix of efficiencies, one-, two- and three-bedroom units at rents ranging from 40% to 60% of the Area Median Income. The church moved its place of worship to an adjacent property, and the office building moved to a new location in the area as well.

The structure is comprised of five stories of wood frame construction above two levels of underground cast-in-place concrete construction. It includes underground parking, a fitness center, and a community room for residents. Additional amenities include a space for providing early childhood services to children living in both the affordable building and the surrounding community.

St. James was also recently awarded EarthCraft Platinum certification for its green design and energy efficiency characteristics. The platinum certification is the highest rating level awarded by the EarthCraft Multifamily New Construction Program. To qualify, multifamily buildings must demonstrate green building design and construction methods, with proper site planning, resource-efficient building materials and systems to enhance indoor air quality and water conservation. Certified properties have energy-efficient appliances and lighting, and provide basic educational programming on green living for residents. Certified projects are typically more durable, energy efficient and less costly to operate.

Mt. Jezreel Celebrates Grand Opening and Ribbon Cutting

Harkins team members in front of Mt. Jezreel project celebrating grand opening
Silver Spring, MD

The Harkins team attended the ribbon cutting of The Sanctuary, a Mt. Jezreel Senior Housing project on Saturday, September 8, 2018 in Silver Spring, MD.

Located behind the fully operational Mt. Jezreel Baptist Church, The Sanctuary offers 75-unit mixed income senior living units with 12 units set aside for veterans. The three-story wood frame building features brick veneer and Hardie cementitious lap siding, an asphalt shingle roof with red standing seam metal details, scored concrete patios and sidewalks, landscaping, and planters.

The apartment mix is made up of 56 one-bedroom and 19 two-bedroom units at rents ranging from 40% to 60% of the Area Median Income. The units include Energy Star-certified kitchen appliances, high-efficiency lighting, individually controlled HVAC systems, carpeted floors, vinyl flooring, vinyl windows, metal clad two-panel doors, chrome finishes, shaker style cabinets, laminate countertops in the kitchens, and cultured marble vanity tops in the bathrooms.

Amenity spaces for residents include a cyber café, a library, a grandchildren’s room, a fitness room, a wellness suite, a community room, and laundry rooms on each floor.

This is Harkins’ first project with the owner, Mission First.

Click here for local news coverage and to hear Harkins VP Dave Miller speak at the event

Fire Safety Plan on Multi-Story Wood Frame Buildings

Aerial shot of wood framed project promoting fire safety

By Bob Walsh
Safety Director

A building is in its most vulnerable state during the construction phase, and with wood frame construction, fire safety is something every business must face head on.

Due to this rising concern, Harkins has implemented a comprehensive fire safety plan that is specifically tailored for each of our projects based on project type, occupancy, sequencing, building materials, and site location. It also follows OSHA and OSHA-approved state requirements. An onsite Harkins employee is designated as the fire safety marshal, and the plan is communicated with the local fire department and all subcontractors working on the site.

Items in the plan include preventative measures and a notification and evacuation plan in the event of an emergency. We require that our subcontractors clean up trash and debris as it is generated. Removing trash from the building and putting it in the proper trash receptacles limits the potential for a flare-up.

Additionally, clear egress pathways throughout corridors and stairs are maintained and clearly marked. An emergency evacuation plan is posted publicly, and escape routes are identified. Fire extinguishers are installed in common areas of travel and marked for easy location. All flammable liquids and fuels are labeled and stored outside, away from the building and from possible ignition sources. When temporary heat is used during colder months, heaters must have specific safety features and be kept in a clear area with no combustible materials within a specified radius of the heater. In the event that hot work such as welding, torch cutting, or grinding needs to take place, a strict hot work permit plan is used to monitor the work area during and after the work.

We continue to pro-actively engage our employees and subcontractors to maintain the safest work environment possible and look for ways to include fire protection as we build.

Help USA Celebrates Ribbon Cutting of Perry Point Village

Group shot at Perry Point project
Perryville, MD

The Harkins team attended the ribbon cutting of the HELP Veterans Village at the Perry Point VA Medical Center campus on Thursday, August 23. Among the attendees were Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development Secretary Kenneth C. Holt, officials from the Veterans Affairs (VA) Maryland Health Care System and HELP USA, as well as veterans and community stakeholders.

Located in Perryville, MD, the facility features 75 renovated and newly constructed units of energy-efficient housing for at-risk and formerly homeless veterans. The scope of revitalization on the 30-acre site included the complete demolition and rebuilding of 33 buildings, new construction of 33 buildings, substantial renovations to an additional nine single family homes, and associated sitework. There is also a new two-story, 2,400 sf management and support building for residents to enjoy a large community room and a game room. It also includes several offices, storage facilities, laundry facilities, and an entrance lobby.

Building renovations included the complete gutting of units down to the studs and the installation of new sheathing, MEP systems, finishes, siding, and roofing. The units received new flooring, carpet, tile bathrooms, self-contained split system HVAC units, Energy Star appliances and light fixtures, low flow plumbing, low VOC paint, cabinets, and countertops.

As an added feature, there is a four-acre, 420Kw solar-array field installed for the village. The solar received from the panels will back-feed the grid. Upgraded energy efficiency design of the new buildings coupled with the solar addition, should yield a net-zero energy consumption status for the project.

Ribbon Cutting Photos