The 11-acre site of a long-planned residential development in Laurel sold Friday for $8.5 million, the new Rockville-based owner said.

The new owner, Cohen Siegel Investors, LLC, plans to start work on the first phase of the Hawthorne Place project in “early fall,” using designs approved under the previous ownership, said company owner Alan Cohen. The first phase involves 296 multi-family units and "ancillary" commercial space, according to a news release from Cushman & Wakefield of Maryland, Inc., which arranged the sale. 

The estimated cost of the first phase is $60 million, Cohen said.

Hawthorne Place, located at 9007 Marshall Ave. close to the Laurel MARC station, received approval in 2007 from the City of Laurel for a multi-phase development with more than 1,200 apartments in six buildings, as well as office and commercial space.

The $337.8 million project was expected to start in 2009 and finish in 2011, but the previous owner, Patriot Realty, lost financing during the recession and put plans on hold, according to the city’s annual reports. The site, previously a Roadway Express Trucking terminal, sold for $10.8 million in 2007.

Patriot Realty sold its 140-unit Ashbury Courts Apartments in the Howard County section of Laurel in November.

The Hawthorne Place deal closed in just seven days, Cohen said, adding that he anticipates about 500 residential units in a second phase, below the maximum allowed.

Building more densely would increase the price of construction, and ultimately the units, he said.

"I don't think the market is quite there yet," he said.