Urban and Land Planning

Our land planners, landscape architects, engineers, and architects work hand-in-hand to create innovative and functional solutions for residential, commercial, industrial, and institutional projects.

The principles of sound planning are the same regardless of the properties location – urban, suburban, or rural. A thorough understanding of the site, surrounding context, regulatory environment and development program are essential in creating lasting memorable places. At MRA, our planners understand these principles and apply them to every assignment. But, we also understand the engineering realities of land development, which differentiates our plans from our competition. This engineering “reality check” means our plans are not only sound and memorable, but they are cost-effective and implementable.

The Residences at Bulle Rock, Harford County, MD

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Project of the Year – Home Builders Association of MD, LDC
Community Center: Best in America Living Award; Regional Award for Best Landscape Design for a Detached Community – National Association of Homebuilders
Community Center: Award of Excellence, Project Amenity – NAIOP, MD Chapter

MRA prepared an overall master plan, detailed site plans for each residential/ business neighborhood, and the community-wide amenity package for this award-winning residential community. MRA also assisted the development team in annexing the property into the City of Havre de Grace, prepared all of the detailed engineering and subdivision plans for submission to the City, and continues to assist in the implementation of each part of this award-winning community containing 927 single-family detached homes, 789 single-family attached homes, and 402 condominium units on 977 acres.

Richwood, Harrison Township, NJ

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Madison Marquette and Canuso Communities have teamed up to develop Richwood, a 370+/- acre community that includes over 1,200 homes and up to 1.2 million SF of retail and office space. MRA is working hand in hand with the Madison/Canuso partnership in developing the overall master plan and securing the necessary regulatory entitlements.

Several innovative ideas have been incorporated into the master plan that will help consumers maximize livability, while minimizing costs. These include creating a partnership with the local school district, focusing on sustainability for both the development and buildings, and providing amenities that all can enjoy for little to no cost. Collectively these elements will provide Richwood with a strategic market advantage to attract buyers and tenants.

Richwood has incorporated several green and sustainable development principles from the outset of the planning process. Beginning with the density of the development, with 1,200 homes and over 1 million square feet of non-residential space on +/- 370 acres, the property is being effectively utilized for the growing populace of the Country, the greater Philadelphia region, and the Harrison Township market place. Next, the master plan is based on traditional neighborhood planning principles with an interconnected street network that ties all of the uses together in a walkable community. Finally, both LEED New Construction and the new Homebuilders ANSI standards are being considered for all new vertical (building) construction.

Princeton Redevelopment, Princeton, NJ

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Winner of New Jersey Future’s Smart Growth Award

Working with both the Borough of Princeton and Nassau/HKT Associates, MRA played a key role in the implementation of the Princeton Redevelopment Project. MRA services included site planning, public facilitation, and design and engineering coordination.

The two-acre redevelopment site is strategically located in the heart of Princeton on Wither-spoon Street, one block north of the Princeton University campus. Formerly a public parking lot, the Borough had the vision to designate the site “in need of redevelopment” and solicit bids from private development firms to join with them in creating a new public town center.

The development program includes 77 residential apartments, over 16,000 SF of commercial retail space, a 500-car public parking garage, and a 15,000-SF public plaza. The site plan, architecture, and landscape architecture had to be planned in coordination with a new public library, which anchors one of the three sides of the public plaza. In addition, the collective redevelopment project had to reflect the eclectic nature of Princeton’s urban fabric.

This redevelopment project serves as an excellent example of public/private partnership in redeveloping an under-utilized real estate resource.

Plantation Lakes, Millsboro, DE

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MRA is currently providing multi-phase planning support, civil engineering, landscape architecture, and surveying for a 2,531-unit Residential Planned Community (RPC), 18-hole Championship Golf Course, and 460,170-SF Town Center Commercial district centered around Betts Pond. The design for the 664-acre site implemented innovative LID elements into the design, transforming stormwater management facilities into amenities / focal points for the project, thereby enhancing water quality and improving the aesthetics of the design. The project includes planning and design of six monumental entrances, four separate community centers, a golf clubhouse facility, miles of sidewalks and multi-modal paths, and included extensive areas of pavers and architectural concrete. In many respects, the project is like “designing an entire small Town or Municipality” with all of the associated infrastructure.

Ripken Center, Aberdeen, MD

Ripken Center Illustrative 1000pxMRA provided master planning, site and civil engineering, landscape architecture, and surveying services for the 44-acre Ripken Center, which is adjacent to the Ripken Minor League Stadium. The complex includes Cal Ripken Senior’s Yard and Stadium, a 60-foot baseball diamond and 3,500-­seat stadium; a 90-foot baseball diamond (Yankee Field); a Courtyard & Residence Inn by Marriott (a brick replica of the Warehouse at Camden Yard); Ripken Youth Academy; and access drive and parking lot. The Youth Academy is a baseball camp comprised of several youth baseball ?elds including three that are constructed as scale replicas of existing major league ?elds. Camp amenities also include a multi-purpose ?eld, open play areas, tot lot, picnic area, concession stands, and restrooms.

MRA also provided master planning, structural, site, and civil engineering, landscape architecture, and surveying services for the 7-story, 155,000-SF Courtyard & Residence Inn by Marriott (a brick replica of the Warehouse at Camden Yard).

Representative Projects

The Residences at Bulle Rock, Harford County, MD
Richwood, Harrison Township, NJ
Princeton Redevelopment, Princeton, NJ
Plantation Lakes, Millsboro, DE
Ripken Center, Aberdeen, MD