Putting the Urban in Suburban

The sign on a set of new houses for sale in White Marsh reads “urban-inspired.” To the developer, it’s one way to entice buyers with a bit of city life in the middle of what once was barren hinterlands in eastern Baltimore County.

But look closer. Homes in Greenleigh at Crossroads are even nicknamed after Baltimore landmarks: There’s the Lexington, the Federal Hill and the Mount Vernon models.

“It’s suburban living re-imagined,” said Dave Murphy, vice president of Elm Street Development, a residential builder at the 200-acre Greenleigh development.

It’s also part of a growing trend.

In Greater Baltimore, the urban-suburban vibe is evident on a map, appearing like spokes of a wheel: Greenleigh in White Marsh, Metro Centre in Owings Mills, Downtown Columbia, Maple Lawn in Howard County, and Annapolis Towne Centre in Anne Arundel County to name a few. The projects are marked by dense residential, office, retail and social hamlets and have taken on their own distinct personalities with block parties, holiday fireworks, farmer’s markets and sporting events.

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