Apartment Living

Residents Praise Unusual Floor Plans, Free Garage

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By Sara Gebhardt
Special to The Washington Post
Saturday, December 15, 2007

Wes Rhodes's experience at the Park Station in Old Towne Gaithersburg includes three major reasons the complex attracts residents: floor-plan variety, parking and location.

In the late 1990s, as part of an attempt to revitalize the neighborhood, Magruder Cos., a Gaithersburg developer, and Dolben Co., a Massachusetts real estate firm, partnered to develop the 386-unit Park Station on less than seven acres of land. The two companies manage the property, which was completed in 2000.

The design challenge was to fit so many units and parking onto a site that previously held 126 apartments. The result was some uncommon layouts, with more than 20 one-, two- and three-bedroom designs. The garden-style complex's eight low-rise buildings surround a multilevel parking garage.

"Our apartments are not just square. We have angled walls, nine-foot ceilings in some and lofts with much higher vaulted ceilings. There was original design involved -- residents have a choice of bookcases, fireplaces and lofts, depending on the floor plan," property manager Debbie Stitely said.

"Everybody's tastes are different, and we have the ability to offer something for everyone."

Rhodes, 30, and his two roommates share a three-bedroom apartment, often a difficult-to-find apartment size. The three roommates and their dog enjoy sitting on the balcony in warm weather and in front of the gas fireplace in the winter.

All units have full-size washers and dryers, most come with balconies or patios, many have walk-in closets, and some have gas fireplaces. Each is equipped with wall-to-wall carpeting, kitchens that open into the living area, white-on-white cabinetry and appliances, vertical or mini-blinds, and central air and gas heat.

Rhodes moved into the building a year ago; he used to live nearby with his parents. He said the location is perfect. He can walk to his job with the Gaithersburg city government or to get a beer at a pub in Old Towne.

Also within walking distance are other restaurants and boutiques in Old Towne, Lakeforest Mall and a MARC train station. Within a short drive are other shopping centers, including Gaithersburg's Rio Entertainment Center, as well as Interstate 270 and Route 355. The Shady Grove Metro station is about three miles away.

Rhodes is especially happy with his home in the snowy months. "You have garage parking here, which is huge," he said. "When I was living with my parents, I had to go out and shovel snow."

Stitely said one of the biggest reasons people choose Park Station over nearby complexes with similar amenities is the parking.

"You can find apartments of different luxury levels, designs and styles, but there are only a handful that offer covered parking, and ours is included in the rent," she said. There's one free garage space per apartment, on the same level as the unit. Additional spots are available, often on other levels, for an extra charge.


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© 2007 The Washington Post Company

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