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Monarch Mills

Columbia, MD

transforming a community

A phased redevelopment of the former Guilford Gardens, Monarch Mills is an award-winning revitalization of a 1970s community in Columbia, Maryland. Transforming this community while residents were living there offered Harkins a special opportunity to showcase our people first approach.

Shelter Development, LLC
Grimm + Parker Architects
269 units
336,151 gsf
Wood Frame
HUD 221(d)(4)

We were thrilled to work with long-time client Shelter Development and Howard Country on this mixed-income project, which included 269 1-, 2-, and 3-bedroom apartments, a 45-unit senior building, and multiple amenities, including clubhouse with swimming pool. Despite the large scale and scope of the Monarch Mills redevelopment, we’re most proud of the impact that this quality affordable living project has had on the residents’ quality of life.

How Harkins Made a Difference:
  • The demolition and construction operations were accomplished in two phases so that residents of the old Guilford Gardens could stay on the premises and move directly into Monarch Mills Phase I upon completion.
  • Harkins achieved substantial completion on time, despite impacts to the project from a hurricane and an earthquake.
  • Monarch Mills earned the Howard County Housing Authority’s 2010 Nan McKay Pioneer in Housing Award for not only providing exceptional, green housing for its residents, but by offering services to improve their quality of life.
  • The residential buildings meet Green Communities design standards, and the clubhouse with swimming pool is certified with a LEED Gold rating.
These apartments – a mixed-income, multi-generational project with awesome amenities – will stand for a long time as a tribute to the vision of Howard County Housing; without Harkins Builders on the team it would have been so much less.

Donna Creedon

Creedon Associates
Awards & Certifications

Governor’s Housing Conference
Commitment to Excellence – Rental Housing


HAND – Housing Association of Nonprofit Developers
Best Large Affordable Housing Project – Housing Achievement Awards


Green Communities
Enterprise Green Communities – (Certified)

let's build something exceptional.