The company building the 3,500-unit Russett Center in Maryland City has bowed out of a three-way partnership, selling its interest to thetwo companies it started the project with five years ago.
Curtis F. Peterson Inc. sold its share of the residential planned unit development March 1 for an undisclosed amount of money to Coscan/Adler Limited Partnership and Lovell Land Inc. The two have taken over the project as equal partners.
Coscan/Adler is a partnership of the Columbia-based Adler Corp. and a subsidiary of the Coscan Development Corp., an international real estate company based in Toronto. Lovell Land Inc. is a subsidiary of Lovell America Inc., also based in Columbia, and is a division of Lovell Holdings, a British corporation based in London and founded in 1786.
The new owners stressed that the buyout was amicable and in no way marks a setback for the 613-acre, $600 million community at the intersection of Route 198 and the Baltimore-Washington Parkway. Thedevelopers plan to open a sales office next month.
The development, the third large-scale planned unit development in West County, is scheduled for completion in 1998 and will include town houses, apartments and single-family homes. Two other residential projects now under construction in the area, Piney Orchard and Seven Oaks, will create10,000 homes in the next decade.
"Curtis was the guiding light onthe project in its original concept and original approval with the county," said David Adler, president of the Adler Corp. "He did a great job in setting the standards and tone of the development. Now it has gotten to that point where it is a build-out type of project. That is not what Curtis is into at the moment."
Bob Woodward, presidentof Lovell, agreed. "We reached a point where our interests were going in a different direction," he said.
Woodward acknowledged that Curtis F. Peterson Inc. was experiencing financial troubles but said that did not play any part in the buyout. It did play a part, however, in the partnership's near three-month wait before announcing the restructuring.
"Initially, we wanted to play it low key," Woodward said. "Obviously, we were well aware that Curtis appeared to have financial difficulties. We felt it was important to say who the ownershipofRussett was."
Officials from Peterson could not be reached for comment yesterday. A secretary said CEO Curtis F. Peterson was playing golf and Joel Mostrom, the company's president, was at a meeting inVirginia. The Peterson company, however, will continue as project manager of the Russett development.
Adler said the project was on schedule. The roads and sewer lines have been built and the community center -- which will be used initially as a sales center -- is nearly completed.
He said some models could be finished by this fall but that spring would be the heaviest selling season.