The Rouse Co. is preparing to break ground for the Ryland Group's headquarters in Columbia and is seeking bids to construct the nine-story building at Town Center.
The 165,000-square-foot building on seven acres at Little Patuxent and Broken Land parkways will consolidate the national headquarters for the homebuilding giant, whose offices are now divided among four Town Center buildings.
The Rouse Co. began soliciting bids for a general contractor this month, and groundbreaking should take place after Jan. 1, said company officials.
The building should take about 15 months to complete, they said.
"It's going to be one of the nicest ones down there," said Kevin McAndrews, vice president of the Harlan Co., of the new addition to Town Center's crop of office buildings.
McAndrews' company, a real estate development and advisory firm, helped Ryland negotiate the deal with the Rouse Co.
McAndrews said the building, which will cost between $20 million and $25 million, will be set apart from its Town Center counterparts by the "quality of the materials and design. Its going to be more than just a typical (speculative) office building."
Motorists will enter Town Center from the south once the new leg of Broken Land Parkway and its interchange with U.S. 29 are completed.
Occupancy is expected in the first quarter of 1992, before the road into Town Center is completed. The road is scheduled to replace South Entrance Road in December 1992.
Ryland Group executives chose cast stone, granite and glass for the building's exterior. They are waiting for a final artists' rendering.
"Most buildings down there are just glass or brick," McAndrews said, while the Ryland's headquarters will use granite. Inside, the lobby and elevators will be finished with wood and stone, he said.
Ryland will rent 110,000 square feet of the building. Rouse Co. will seek tenants for the remaining space.
Ryland leases about 90,000 square feet from Rouse in the Ryland Group Building on Lake Kittamaqundi, its home since 1969, and the nearby Ridgely and Sterrett buildings.
The company also leases space from the McCuan Development Group in the Clark Building next door to the Ridgely Building.
The Ryland Group, which is made up of Ryland Building Co. and the Ryland Mortgage Co., has outgrown its current office space.
Its headquarters staff has grown from 325 employees in 1986 to 550 in August, said company spokeswoman Vaike Talts.
Ryland Group officers decided to commission their own building last December, after considering other states and Maryland counties as a new home, said Ryland vice president Nancy L. Smith.
The Ryland project will also see the beginning of Broken Land Parkway's extension across "the loop" bordered by Little Patuxent and Governor Warfield parkways, to connect with Twin Rivers Road.
The road will dead-end just past where the Ryland building property ends until the interior of the loop area is developed, said Joseph H. Necker Jr., Rouse Co. vice president and engineering director.
"In today's market it's hard to say" when that development will take place, Necker added.