Apartments planned for Odenton


A Boston-based firm intends to construct a $19 million apartment complex in Odenton, the second major rental housing complex planned for Anne Arundel County in the past year.

The Dolben Co.'s planned 258-unit Groves at Piney Orchard, containing one-, two- and three-bedroom units renting for an average of $750 per month, is expected to be ready for residents in February 1996.

But more than supplying additional housing, the first multi-family project to occur in the Piney Orchard planned community is intended to introduce prospective buyers to the 2,500-acre, mixed-use development.

"We believe the apartments will provide a built-in market for future sales of condominiums, townhomes and single-family homes," said Roger A. Waesche Jr., a senior vice president of the Constellation Real Estate Group Inc., the Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. subsidiary and master developer of the community.

Constellation, which purchased the land for Piney Orchard in March 1988 for $8.8 million, has completed roughly 20 percent of the community. More than 2,000 residents now live in Piney Orchard.

Dolben's 11-building project represents the second apartment complex under construction in Anne Arundel County, following Summit Properties Inc.'s decision last November to proceed with a $22 million, 314-unit complex in the planned community of Russett Center, in Laurel.

Andrew K. Dolben, a senior vice president of the family-owned firm, said the Groves project won't compete with the Summit offering because the two communities are on opposite sides of the Fort Meade military complex.

"We've been targeting planned unit developments for new apartment projects," Mr. Dolben said. "And particularly in Piney Orchard, since there are no other multi-family projects planned, this will address a housing need in the community."

Dolben, which in December 1993 completed the $22 million, 304-unit Red Run Apartments in Owings Mills, manages and owns a total of 6,000 units in New England, Michigan, Ohio and in the Baltimore/Washington area. The company acquired the land for the Groves project from Constellation on June 23, for $2.6 million.

Funding for the Groves is being provided by tax-exempt bonds issued through the state's Community Development Agency, in exchange for 20 percent of the units being priced as affordable housing.

Mr. Dolben said the 12-acre complex, adjacent to the Piney Orchard visitors center, will contain various amenities, including a pool, clubhouse and exercise room. Access to Constellation's visitors center will also be provided.

Constellation is hoping the influx of new residents will generate a critical mass of people required to begin a planned 150,000-square-foot retail center in Piney Orchard. Mr. Waesche estimates retail development will begin when the community has 5,000 residents.

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