- Written by: Molly Shaw
- Produced by: Ian Nichols
- Estimated reading time: 5 mins
In Baltimore, Greenebaum Enterprises has developed a diverse real estate portfolio, encompassing more than $2 billion in real estate investments including downtown and suburban office buildings, retail, large-scale mixed use, residential communities and more. Stewart Greenebaum started the company when he decided to leave his family’s clothing business and get his feet wet in the real estate market.
“My father is the patriarch of the company; he got involved in the real estate business in the late ‘60s,” recounts Michael Greenebaum, second-generation president of Greenebaum Enterprises. “He was managing my grandfather’s men’s clothing store chain, but was unhappy with this work.” His decision led to a company that oversees all stages of development, leasing and management, and rehabilitation of residential and commercial properties.
From the ground up, muddy shoes and all
One day on a train to New York, Stewart encountered a man who asked him if he liked what he was doing. Unsure how to respond to this, Stewart paused and the man said, “Land, young man.”
“The next day my father got a phone call from the investment club he was involved in and they were looking to buy a piece of land,” recounts Michael. “He borrowed $500 from my grandmother and took the leap. He put his phone number on the ‘for sale’ sign and he started getting all kinds of calls.”
In an effort to find answers for potential buyers — and learn more about the market he knew relatively little about — Stewart began to learn the business from the ground up, delving into field work and development. “I remember his shoes always covered in mud and him asking me to polish them,” says Michael. “In a way, that’s how I was first involved in the business.”
Stewart partnered with Samuel Rose in 1979 and the pair has had an amazingly successful partnership developing both residential and commercial real estate. Michael joined the family business shortly after college in 1987. “Now almost 30 years later we have come a long way,” he says. “We’ve developed close to 15,000 residential lots to date. Throughout our history we’ve also completed major office buildings in Washington, D.C., including government buildings and major tenants such as CNN.”
Today Michael is president of Greenebaum Enterprises, joined by Mark Bennett, vice president of land development and construction, and Susan Bollinger, chief financial officer.
Mixed-use strengths meet in Maple Lawn
The award-winning 605-acre Maple Lawn planned community project was constructed based on the principles of traditional neighborhood development inspired by small, turn-of-the-century American towns. The concept is centered on smart growth, which places residents within walking distance of shopping, work and recreation.
“Maple Lawn is one of the largest planned communities in the state,” notes Michael. “It’s also one of the few projects of this magnitude where the original owner-developer has carried it through and is finishing it.”
Michael says this aspect stands out and speaks to Greenebaum Enterprises’ capabilities and financial strength as a company. “Usually these projects take so long to complete and that the interest cost forces people to do things they normally wouldn’t do,” he explains. “Our ability to take this project from concept to completion, even through one of the worst recessions our industry has seen, is to my father’s credit. He believed in putting money back into his projects and the proof is in Maple Lawn.”
Work and play in one
Centrally located between Baltimore and Washington, D.C., Maple Lawn offers an ideal location and is situated only 3 miles from the main highway, Route 95. The development includes 1,340 residential units and more than 1.8 million square feet of office and retail space.
Voted as a Best in American Living Awards (BALA) development by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), Maple Lawn combines the best of both work and play. “We broke ground on Maple Lawn in the fall of 2003 and the first residential unit was sold and occupied by February 2005. The first office building was occupied in July 2005. Maple Lawn is still evolving and will not be fully complete for another three years” says Michael.
Maple Lawn already has 1,200 residential units occupied out of the total 1,340. To say the development has been a huge hit would be an understatement. “Professionals from all over the country have come to observe the design and layout of Maple Lawn,” says Michael. The community includes a $7 million club house and community center, complete with a fitness center. The community is also served by medical facilities, schools, parks and retail shops.
As the developer, Greenebaum Enterprises has six award-winning, high-quality homebuilders working on the Maple Lawn community. The distinguished builders are: Bozzuto Homes, Michael Harris Homes, Miller & Smith, Mitchell and Best Homebuilders, NV Homes, and Williamsburg Homes.
A long history of philanthropy
No matter the size or shape of development, Greenebaum Enterprises continues a tradition of upholding the highest standards. “We’re known as the developer that does everything a bit bigger and better,” says Michael Greenebaum, president of Greenebaum Enterprises. “It’s our philosophy to reach above and beyond and it pays off to put in the highest-caliber work and not cut corners. This is why in all of our projects we’ve been able to drive high occupancy rates and record-setting lot prices. When you look at recent demographics the housing economy has demanded more mixed-use properties and we see the market continuing to grow with the right types of products.”
As a member of the Maryland Building Industry Association (MBIA) since 1979, Greenebaum Enterprises takes an active approach to ensuring the health of the industry. Greenebaum Enterprises donated a site in Maple Lawn for a 10,000-square-foot office building for MBIA and the Carefirst Foundation. The foundation works with the underprivileged and shelters refurbishing homes.
In recent years Greenebaum Enterprises has become increasingly involved in venture capital, leveraging company assets to fund health care and biotechnology startups. Ongoing philanthropy is also essential to the company’s mission. Greenebaum Enterprises actively supports The Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Cancer Center at the University of Maryland, The Stewart J. Greenebaum Professorship in Stroke Neurology, and the annual Maryland Half-Marathon and 5K — all of which the company has personal ties to.
With the demand for mixed-use properties, accessible amenities and value-added living on the rise, the team at Greenebaum Enterprises is building for the better, creating viable community developments and a lasting legacy.
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