In Upper Marlboro, Md., Stanley Martin Homes is building single-family houses with modern floor plans and energy-efficient features. But the old graying barn down the road is part of the appeal.

“You’d swear you were out in the country,” Michael Scarpignato, director of sales for the Reston-based builder, says. “That’s part of the beauty of Prince George’s County.”

The rural feel of the Marlboro Riding neighborhood charms — and surprises — many, especially because it’s only five miles from the Capital Beltway, Scarpignato says.

“We’ve even had to stop for someone on a horse,” says new resident Nicole Perry, a health-insurance specialist and mother of two. “It’s not every day, but it happens.”

Perry, who moved into the four-bedroom, four-bathroom Rockwell model in August, likes the open layout. “It was important to me to be able to cook dinner and see the kids playing in the family room.”

Well, that — and her walk-in closet, Perry says with a laugh.

When complete, 254 houses will be built in Marlboro Riding. Construction began about nine months ago. The community club house, with a planned conference room, grills and a tot lot, is set to open early next year.

At the Marlboro Riding development, seven floor plans are available, ranging from 2,776 to 4,056 square feet with options to expand to more than 7,500 square feet. (Benjamin C Tankersley/For The Washington Post)

Accessibility and coziness: The neighborhood, which straddles Ritchie Marlboro Road near Old Marlboro Pike, is popular among federal government workers and with personnel at Joint Base Andrews, about 10 miles away.

“All the work centers are within easy reach,” Scarpignato says.

Cassandra Bannister, a personal security specialist for the federal government, moved from Charles County to be closer to her D.C. office. It’s also convenient for her husband, who works in the District and Beltsville.

“It has great access,” says Bannister, who moved into her four-bedroom, five-bathroom in August.

“We love the sunken sunroom off of the family room,” she says. “It’s cozy.”

The house, in the Chatham style, also has plenty of space for her two sons. The basement is finished with a full bath, and the couple plan to create a game room and a theater room in the space, Bannister says.

The Chatham is one of two models open. The other, the Crosby, features an owners suite with a separate sitting room, master bath and two walk-in closets.

In all, seven floor plans are available, ranging from 2,776 to 4,056 square feet with options to expand to more than 7,500 square feet, Beverly Stewart, the neighborhood sales manager, says.

All have two- or three-car garages and multiple facade designs with brick fronts. Many upgraded features, such as granite countertops and high-efficiency windows, are standard.

Perry, who moved from another house in Upper Marlboro, found the ideal layout for her family. “It’s not too big,” she says. “It’s the perfect fit.”

In the Crosby model, the sitting area is just off the foyer. (Benjamin C Tankersley/For The Washington Post)

In the Crosby model, the kitchen opens to the sunroom. (Benjamin C Tankersley/For The Washington Post)

What’s nearby: In addition to the surrounding meadows and woods, there are several large parks in the area, including the Rosaryville State Park in Upper Marlboro (about five miles) and Jug Bay Wetlands Sanctuary in Lothian (about eight miles).

The area will also get a boost in conveniences with the planned Westphalia Town Center, a 480-acre mixed-use development that includes plans for a supermarket, stores, restaurants and more houses.

The Boulevard at Capital Centre, which has a movie theater, shops and restaurants, and Woodmore Towne Centre, anchored by a Wegmans, are less than 10 miles away.

The court buildings and offices in Upper Marlboro, the Prince George’s County seat, are less than three miles away.

Schools: Barack Obama Elementary, James Madison Middle and Dr. Henry A. Wise Jr. High.

Transit: Commuter buses run from the Show Place Arena and the Prince George’s Equestrian Center, which is less than three miles from the community.

The nearest Metro station is at Largo Town Center, about eight miles from Marlboro Riding.

Laura Barnhardt Cech is a freelance writer.

The deck on the Crosby model is shown. (Benjamin C Tankersley/For The Washington Post)
Marlboro Riding

5000 Kennington Ct., Upper Marlboro, Md.

The starting prices of the single-family houses are $434,990 to $509,990.

Builder: Stanley Martin

Features: The houses are clad with brick fronts and come with two- or three-car garages. Granite countertops and high-efficiency windows come standard. The owners suite in some of the models include a sitting area, a spacious bathroom and two walk-in closets.

Bedrooms/bathrooms: 4 to 6/ 3 to 7

Square footage: 2,776 to 7,507

Homeowners association fee: $55 per month

View models: Mondays 1 to 6 p.m., Tuesdays to Sundays 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Contact: Beverly Stewart at 301-627-7519 or