Sales begin at Owings Mills New Town Plans call for 5,000 homes, shopping center, boating

October 19, 1990|By Liz Atwood | Liz Atwood,Evening Sun Staff

Home sales have at last begun at Owings Mills New Town, the former Lakeside development that nearly was sold at auction two years ago.

The 430-acre Baltimore County development is to be built over the next 10 years. It is expected to consist of 5,000 homes, a shopping center, 68,000 square feet of office space and recreational facilities. A large lake for boating also is being proposed, but has not been approved.

Yesterday, the project's developers, California-based Ahmanson Developments Inc. and Baltimore-based New Town Development Corp., opened a visitor center and kicked off a marketing campaign.

The first residents in the New Town are scheduled to move into townhouses at the beginning of the year. Currently, 10 townhouses being built by Five Oaks Development Corp. have been sold, according to Sol Bank, head of the development company.

The Five Oaks community is to contain 109 townhouses ranging in price from $109,000 to $139,000, Bank said.

Bank said he is pleased with the progress of sales given that models are still being constructed. "People are coming from all over: Towson, Columbia, Randallstown," he said.

Bozzuto & Associates will begin construction of 136 garden condominiums later this year in the neighborhood of Silverbrook Farm. CB&A Homes of Annandale, Va., will build the first single-family homes in a section called The Meadows. The condominiums, which are to start at $80,000, and single-family homes, which are to cost about $200,000, will be available in 1991.

New Town is the former Lakeside project, which was owned by James and Terry Rubenstein, a husband-and-wife team who head New Town Development Corp.

When the Rubensteins faced a heavy debt load a couple of years ago, Signet Bank foreclosed on their McDonogh Township project and was on the verge of auctioning Lakeside. Ahmanson stepped in and formed a joint venture with New Town Development Corp., and the project was renamed.

Ahmanson is a division of Home Savings of America, a large savings and loan.

The project is located southwest of Owings Mills Mall. Terry Rubenstein said that, despite economic uncertainties, she believes the project will succeed. "We think there is a lot of pent-up demand in the Owings Mills area," she said.

Richard Werner, executive vice president of Ahmanson, said that Owings Mills has defied most development trends by starting as an area for offices and retail. With the mall, Metro service and businesses now in place, a residential development should do well, he said.

Owings Mills, an area targeted for growth by Baltimore County, is expected to have more than 24,000 residents by 1994, according to Lipman, Frizzell & Mitchell, real estate appraisers.

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