Friends House Breaks Ground on Multimillion-Dollar Expansion and Redevelopment

SANDY SPRING, MDFriends House Retirement Community has announced plans for a major redevelopment and expansion project that will best position the community to serve the growing and dynamic population of older adults.

On Tuesday, September 25, at 3:30 p.m., Friends House will hold a groundbreaking ceremony with community leaders, residents and future residents to celebrate the $30+-million project. It includes construction of 47 new residential living apartments and cottage homes, and new amenities including additional dining venues, a fitness center and interior courtyard.

Separate from this project, Friends House also plans to construct mixed-income housing options through a partnership with Homes for America (HFA), a nonprofit housing development organization. The mixed-income housing is expected to break ground by the end of the year.  This unique two-part expansion is designed to appeal to a wide range of area seniors.

“Our new expansion embraces the Quaker traditions environment stewardship, community, simplicity, equality and self-determination,” said Kevin Harrington, executive director of Friends House. “Friends House is building on its outstanding leadership in creating an economically diverse community and with the assistance of wisdom and ingenuity of our residents, we are finding creative solutions for us to thrive as we age.”

Three new lodges will feature 33 residential living apartment homes and seven new duplexes will add 14 residences. In addition to new dining areas and a fitness center, amenities include a new library, activity areas and meeting spaces. The new apartments and cottages are designed to meet LEED Gold certification standards. Many current residents are avid outdoor gardeners, so the community is adding additional gardening areas and green space.

“The Friends House expansion has been thoughtfully designed to promote wellness in the broadest sense,” said Harrington. “By expanding our green spaces, our new redevelopment also allows our growing number of residents to share in the restorative beauty of the campus.”

In Montgomery County, 15 percent of the population is age 65 or older. Recent Census Bureau reports show that population is over 18 percent in the immediate Sandy Spring area, and that number is expected to grow substantially over the next 10 years with the aging Baby Boomers. This redevelopment project will enhance dignified housing and wellness services for the senior population, as well as provide quality jobs in the Sandy Spring area.

The mixed-income building for older adults will attach to the main community building and will include flexible meeting and activity space.

A nonprofit organization founded in the 1960s on the Quaker values of equality, integrity and simplicity, Friends House is a multicultural and economically inclusive community. Friends House is distinguished by its engaging activities and full spectrum of health care services on site.

The expansion is projected to be complete by mid-2020. The general contractors selected for the project are Warfel out of Lancaster, PAm and Williamsburg Homes from Columbia, MD. Lenhardt Rodgers of Montgomery County is the architect and design team.