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The Mansion Concept: A design that withstands the test of time

By James M. Riviello, AIA, LEED AP, CGP, The Martin Architectural Group, P.C.



The “Mansion Concept”, first designed by Chuck Harker and Ron Seiboth in the 1990s, has continued to be relevant to this day and will be into the future. So what is the mansion concept? It is a three or four-story wood-framed building of 18 to 30 units with individual garages and serviced by an elevator. The building exterior is designed to look like a large manor home or “Mansion”.

This design has been successfully built as for-sale condominiums, and as rental apartments. Sites have been planned with as few as two buildings per site and up to ten buildings per site.

The first mansion concept design was for a small homebuilder in Ohio. Although that initial design was never constructed, two national homebuilders Centex and Beazer started moving forward with the design a few years later.

While Centex was developing several projects in Maryland, the Maryland Division of Beazer used the concept in 7 communities in Maryland over the next 20 years. The concept also took hold with another Beazer division in Northern Virginia, which has two buildings currently under construction in 2023.

In addition, many other builders used the mansion concept including Sturbridge Homes in MD, Kopf Construction in OH, Deluca Homes in PA, Sage Management in MD, Khovnanian in NJ, Centex in NJ and VA, Beazer in FL, Caliber Builders in NY, Duffie Companies in MD, Reidman Development Group in NY, Toll Brothers in VA and NC, Centex in SC, and Maryland Management Co. in MD.

Based on Beazer’s success, we were asked to design a “second generation” of the Mansion concept which is now being used by many additional divisions throughout the Southeast and into Texas. Beazer has branded their active adult “Mansion” product as “The Gatherings.”

We have learned that the design of two-bedroom dual owners suites serves a wide range of buyers. Unlike the past, the traditional couple often makes up less than 50% of buyers. Based on demographics and the changing makeup of buyer groups, this “second generation” is very relevant today and in the foreseeable future. We see the Urbanization of the suburbs as a continuing trend, and we anticipate the mansion concept as an integral part of that growth.

Please give us a call if you would like to discuss how we can help you develop the desired communities of the future.

James M. Riviello, AIA, LEED AP, CGP is principal/managing partner at The Martin Architectural Group, P.C.

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