Frederick W. Glassberg, a one-time Rouse Co. executive who became a prominent real estate and community developer in Howard County, died Sept. 15 at Gilchrist Hospice Care in Columbia of complications from Parkinson's disease. He was 77.

A native of New York City who was raised in nearby New Rochelle, Mr. Glassberg earned three degrees: a bachelor's in government and politics from Wesleyan University (1955), a law degree from New York University (1958) and an MBA from Loyola College (now Loyola University Maryland) in 1979.


Mr. Glassberg's interest in community development began while he was at NYU, when he helped draft a provision on housing and urban renewal for the New York state constitution. After working for a Manhattan law firm, he moved his family to Washington, where he served first as supervising general attorney of the General War Claims Division at the U.S. Foreign Claims Settlement Commission and later worked for the associate general counsel of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

He returned to New York in 1969 to work for the state's Urban Development Corp. Four years later, he turned his attention full-time to community development, accepting concurrent positions as a vice president of the Rouse Co. and of the Howard Research and Development Corp. He oversaw expansion of The Mall at Columbia, Columbia Inn and Merriweather Post Pavilion.

For a time, Mr. Glassberg was known as the "landlord of Columbia," recalled his daughter, Abby Glassberg of Clarksville.

In 1983, Mr. Glassberg founded Crystal Hill Investments Inc., a commercial real estate company. He also founded Dornbush Enterprises and served as director of development for the Columbia Foundation. He was named Businessperson of the Year by the Howard County Chamber of Commerce in 1987.

Mr. Glassberg was a past president of the Maryland chapter of NAIOP, a national trade organization for developers, owners, and investors in commercial real estate. In 1998, his daughter, Abby, became the first female president of the organization.

Mr. Glassberg served as a board member of Curtis F. Peterson Inc. and Diversified Homes, a trustee of the Columbia Foundation, a team leader for United Way and financial officer of the U.S. Dream Academy Inc.

An avid runner, Mr. Glassberg participated in the Le Grizz 50-mile Ultramarathon in Montana.

In addition to his daughter, Mr. Glassberg is survived by his wife of 56 years, the former Leslie Kaplan; another daughter, Jennifer Singer, of Sarasota, Fla., and a son, Richy Glassberg, of Rye, N.Y. He is also survived by six grandchildren.

Services for Mr. Glassberg were held Sunday.