In Glen Burnie, Maryland, Craftsmen Developers has made its mission to create timeless communities with a sustainable, environmentally sensitive approach over the last eight years. With roots in homebuilding, Craftsmen Developers now serves national builders, specializing in commercial land development and residential subdivisions in and around the greater Baltimore marketplace.
“Our approach is different because we look at land development from a twofold view,” explains Dennis Gilligan, president of Craftsmen Developers. “Our background is in homebuilding, so we look at development from that perspective and in terms of how it will impact the environment and surrounding community. We realize that what we’re doing is disturbing a significant amount of real estate and we see it as our responsibility to deliver a project in the most sustainable way possible – whether that’s through reducing runoff and facilitating stormwater management systems or preserving wildlife habitats.”
A tenured team
The company currently has six active subdivisions throughout the greater Baltimore area and into nearby parts of Delaware. With four decades of experience in this real estate market, the executive leadership at Craftsmen Developers brings knowledge and insight as homebuilders and land developers to the table.
“I’m a second-generation homebuilder,” says Dennis, who started Gilligan Homes and Development in the late ‘70s. “We were a regional developer-builder, doing business throughout Virginia, Maryland, Delaware and Pennsylvania,” recounts Dennis. “We sold the company to a larger Florida-based firm and in 2007 we started Craftsmen Developers with four partners.”
Joining Dennis in the executive leadership team is his son, Conor O. Gilligan, vice president of land management, Bob Schultz, vice president of finance and Kristian L. Thompson, vice president of construction. “All of us are active in the industry and the local community,” says Dennis. “We pride ourselves in being environmental and community stewards.”
Craftsmen Developers is also an active member of the Maryland Building Industry Association (MBIA), a not-for-profit trade organization representing more than 1,300 member firms throughout the mid-Atlantic. “We have been a MBIA member since 1990,” adds Dennis. These long-established relationships within the real estate industry have helped create unique opportunities for Craftsmen Developers.
Craftsmen Developers’ conscious, thoughtful approach to development has been recognized by customers, national homebuilders and major industry organizations such as the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). “Several of our projects have been certified by NAHB’s research division as four-star and three-star green projects,” says Conor O. Gilligan. “Most green certification programs such as LEED focus on a single home or building — the NAHB program takes into account the whole project and the development process.”
One of the company’s award-winning, four-star green developments is Wharton’s Bluff, a waterfront townhome community consisting of 130 homes. Located on the banks of the Indian River in Millsboro, Delaware, the Craftsmen Developers team had unique environmental challenges to meet in this development.
“One major aspect was our ability to capture a majority of water runoff and recharge it back into the ground,” says Conor. “We also partnered with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to create a permanent bald eagle habitat. This included a 50-foot buffer around the development site perimeter and a 6-acre habitat that will forever serve as an eagle preserve.” Working for the betterment of the environment and the community, Craftsmen Developers also incorporated walking pathways, a community swimming pool, direct access to the water by a kayak and fishing pier, and gazebo.
Another standout infill development Craftsmen Developers is currently working on is Admiral’s Landing in North Point, Maryland. “This is a redevelopment of an old drive-in movie theater site that sat vacant for about 40 years,” shares Conor. “What’s nice about this planned unit development is it’s adjacent to an existing elementary school and public park.”
“As part of this project we needed to deliver a significant benefit to the community,” continues Conor. “Part of the plan includes a fishing and crabbing pier for new and existing community.
There’s also an active recreation area and sports park. At the park we built a men’s and women’s bathroom and concession stand by request of the community. This facility will serve the young athletes in the neighborhood.”
On the environmental side, Craftsmen Developers remediated several acres of existing impervious pavement surfaces at Admiral’s Landing. “We returned over 2 acres of pervious surface and we also provided a stormwater management system for more than 14 acres,” says Conor. “The site also has the latest environmental site design of micro retention ponds throughout the property.”
Conor and the rest of the company’s team understand there are many factors in creating a successful project that reaches beyond the bottom line. Achieving healthy communities with close proximity to public transportation and safe public spaces, as well as protecting existing habitats and creating an environmentally sensitive plan are all parts of the puzzle Craftsmen Developers works to make fit perfectly.
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