Fort Howard, MD – (April 12, 2011) – In collaboration with the Federal Government, the State of Maryland, Baltimore County and the community, Fort Howard Development, LLC announces plans for building a community to honor and serve our veterans at the Fort Howard Veterans Affairs campus along the PatapscoRiver and Chesapeake Bay in Baltimore County. This LEED certified green community will be a national model for serving the needs of America’s aging veteran population and will allow for those who served our country to age gracefully in place while enjoying high quality services and amenities. The community will offer housing at various price points for a diverse senior veteran population as well as housing for single veteran mothers and specialized medical services for those just returning from the current theatres of Afghanistan and Iraq.
The 95 acre campus will include active adult living, assisted living, skilled nursing, major healthcare facilities, clinical rehabilitation centers, a town center with restaurants and service related retail, educational facilities, museum space, community meeting space, a wellness center, professional office buildings and open spaces with walking trails along the shoreline.
The Fort Howard campus will be LEED Silver certified with a target of LEED Gold certification and will feature design elements such as solar, geothermal and other sustainable energy components. It will be the first self sustainable community in the region with on site renewable energy generation.
“Fort Howard will be a transformative project for our area,” said John Olszewski, Sr., Baltimore County Councilman. “It will not only create a projected 3,900 jobs, but will be a sustainable community providing for our veterans for years to come.FortHoward will bring well deserved national attention to our wonderful area, and hopefully attract similar Green businesses furthering economic development in the area.”
“When we first set our eyes on Fort Howard and its beautiful landscape, realizing its rich history, we were inspired to restore it to its previous splendor,” said Tim Munshell, managing partner, Fort Howard Development, LLC. “Both my business partner and I come from military families and understand the importance of this type of community, a beautiful piece of land with a vast array of services and amenities for our returning and retired veterans. It is the type of place we wish existed for our parents to have settled down when they retired. We believe it is our duty to revitalize and enhance this land for the men and women who serve our country.”
The community will be developed over a seven to ten year period, beginning early this fall. The development of the Fort Howard campus, along with the facilities and amenities on site, will create approximately 3,900 permanent and temporary jobs in Baltimore County. This will be a veterans preferred community, but the public will have access to the grounds, including certain healthcare options, the town center and the beautiful open areas with walking trails and natural surroundings.
Fort Howard Development intends to rehabilitate numerous historic structures on site.Fort Howard is the location of the largest foreign invasion of the U.S.in the country’s history, which took place during the War of 1812. In the late 1890’s, the United States Government acquired the property and commissioned it as a Fort. It then became the headquarters for the coastal defense of Baltimore, and was nicknamed “Bulldog at Baltimore’s Gate.” The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) acquired the title to the property in 1940, after the last troops leftFortHoward, and transformed the land into a hospital and training area. The hospital closed in 2002, and the only current use on this historic campus of 95 acres is a 7,500 square foot VA outpatient clinic. The other existing buildings, which once housed Maj. Gen. Douglas MacArthur and nursed many of our soldiers back to health, have deteriorated over time and are in desperate need of attention and restoration.
“This land has great historic significance because it is associated with a dramatic turning point of the War of 1812,” said Bill Pencek, executive director of the Maryland War of 1812 Bicentennial Commission. “Fort Howard Development has demonstrated they recognize this importance as we are about to launch the bicentennial of the War of 1812. The bicentennial of the Star Spangled Banner and the War of 1812 is a one time opportunity to elevate Maryland globally as a premier location to live, work, visit and increase economic opportunities for the people of our state. The new community at Fort Howard, once part of the defenses of our nation, will again be contributing toMaryland’s legacy.”
“This community will serve as a model throughout the country for better serving the needs of America’s aging veteran population, along with single veteran mothers and those returning from overseas,” said Dennis H. Smith, director of the VA Maryland Health Care System. “By featuring a variety of price points, and offering such a wide array of services, the historical landmark ofFortHoward will once again become a true destination for veterans.”
“The variety of services Fort Howard will offer veterans, whether it be seniors or those who served recently, shows a true commitment to myself and all the other brave men and women who served our country,” said Fred Shinbur, chairman of the Maryland Veterans Commission, who was recently given Veteran of the Year honors by the Joint Veterans Committee of Maryland. “In my conversations with veteran service organizations throughout Maryland, there is tremendous interest and excitement surrounding the Fort Howard community. With an eye to the area’s rich history, this community will be very much welcomed among the veteran population of our region.”
Fort Howard Development, LLC was selected in November, 2010, by the Department of Veterans Affairs to develop a community to serve veterans under an enhanced use lease project. The organization will break ground early this fall. A larger state of the art VA outpatient clinic will be constructed in the initial phase to replace the current facility.
“There is a great need among our generation of veterans for a community such as the one being created on FortHoward,” added Milton “Spike” Schnitzker, Baltimore County veteran. “This sacred land, with such historic significance, had once helped so many as a medical campus and I am glad to see an organization has stepped up to bring it back to life. It will allow those of us who served our country for so many years to belong to a vibrant community that embraces and assists veterans.”