Posted on: May 1, 2024

A joint venture partnership between Baltimore-based MCB Real Estate and Calvert County-based Generation Properties has initiated construction on The Shops at Fairway Village, a $115 million mixed-use development positioned in the Waldorf section of Charles County, Maryland comprising 120,000 square feet of grocery, restaurant, and retail space and 186 residential units. Upon completion of leasing activities and the move-in of residents, the multi-faceted project is expected to support more than 300 jobs, contribute approximately $1.2 million to the local real estate tax base annually, and provide housing for nearly 450 residents.

Construction is underway on the retail component of The Shops at Fairway Village and leases have been signed with Weis Markets, sit-down restaurant Eggspectation, as well as Hair Cuttery, KinderCare Learning Centers, McDonald’s, Heartland Dental and Saleya Nail & Spa totaling just over 90,000 square feet of space. This activity represents approximately 76 percent of the total square footage of the project. The first phase of the retail section is expected to be delivered in fall 2025 and the schedule MCB Real Estate is working with a national builder for the residential portion of the development and construction of the project is anticipated to start in 2025.

“This area of Charles County remains under-retailed and, with Weis Markets’ first full-size prototypical store in the area, we have attracted a regional supermarket brand known for its wide selection of products, value-pricing and customer-first philosophy that is also active in the community,” said Drew Gorman, MCB Principal. “Supermarkets are typically the recognized face and the highest traffic generator for shopping centers, and Weis Markets is the perfect fit as the anchor for The Shops at Fairway Village. The additional restaurants and service providers are predominantly a combination of national, regional, and local companies that demonstrate the strength of the regional shopping landscape, and we believe this first wave of tenant signings will draw other retailers and restaurants to join and complement the current shopping mix.”

The Shops at Fairway Village is positioned at the signalized intersection of St. Charles Parkway and Billingsley Road, with two free-standings buildings fronting Billingsley Road. The site, located less than 30 miles from Washington, D.C., serves a quickly growing and captive trade area of over 50,000 residents, including nearly 20,000 households with an average household income approaching $132,000. Nearly 40,000 cars pass the site daily.

“Residential housing remains an upmost priority across the nation and Charles County is no exception,” added Gorman. “We were attracted to Charles County based on its position as the fourth fastest growing county in Maryland, and its ranking as the country’s top 40th wealthiest county. Charles County has experienced an 11.4 percent population growth over the past 14 years, so providing much needed housing for this growing population is critical to the continued economic growth of the county. The 186 new residences will expand the housing stock, providing housing for workers in the education, finance and technology industries while also increasing the annual real estate taxes by more than $1 million.”

History and background of the property

The Shops at Fairway Village, the last major commercial offering within the St. Charles planned development, was originally designed as a 300,000 square foot commercial development to serve the surrounding residential neighborhoods of Fairway, Heritage, Wooded Glen, Southern Villages, Piney Reach, and Homefield. Due to market conditions in the retail and residential housing industries, the site was subsequently downsized and reconfigured to support complementary commercial and residential uses. MCB Real Estate and Generation Properties assumed control of the property in 2020 and acquired the site in October 2023.

According to Charles County’s Department of Economic Development, more than 1.5 million people reside within a 45-minute drive of Waldorf and the median age of all residents is under 48. Charles County sustains a regular labor force of over 90,000 workers and features an unemployment rate of approximately 4.6 percent.

Addressing the local housing shortage

Charles County officials continue to examine solutions to combat the regional housing shortage, with a focus on adding programs that provide rental and homeownership assistance. The Southern Maryland Association of REALTORS® recently released a report indicating that year-over-year home prices in the area rose nearly 9 percent last quarter, with the median sold price for a home exceeding $425,000.

“The Shops at Fairway Village is a well-conceived plan that has the support of local officials and the community. The inclusion of a robust residential component as infill development is a proven strategy to activate the retail center and create elongated dwell times when residences are within walking distance,” added Gorman. “Our company is committed to utilizing every viable tool to tackle and help solve the housing challenge.”

“Leasing activity is off to a tremendous start, and based on current interest and activity, we anticipate achieving full lease occupancy soon. Our team is approaching and fielding interest from a variety of end-users to fill the remaining spaces including, healthcare and medical, financial services, quick-serve and sit-down restaurants, health and fitness, and personal services categories. Our goal is to bring compelling new uses into the Waldorf area.”