The man who developed Pointfield Landing, Pointfield West, Bluff Point, Kilmarnock, Cape McKinsey, Cool Pond and "a few other odds and ends" says he may have found the "last great building site in Severna Park."
W. Calvin Gray Jr., through his Cornfield Landing Inc. corporation, has begun selling 36 1-1 1/2-acre lots on the 48-acre Sonneborne Tract.
Gray is calling the heavily wooded tract Swan Point. He has already received approval to subdivide and build 36 homes along two cul desacs on the property west of the Ann Arrundell Historical Society's Jones Station Antique shop and the B & A Trail.
"There looks like there's still land to build on in this area, but when you get the taxmap out there's just not a whole lot of large parcels like this where you're allowed to develop," Gray said.
"What we know of as Severna Park is almost completely developed now."
The original property, owned by the Sonnebornes of Baltimore, stretched from Ritchie Highway to the Severn River.
Gray says he began maneuvering to developthe property since "he was a kid" back in 1965 when he first went into business for himself.
"The property is full of magnificent trees. I don't know of anyplace in Severna Park with trees like that. It's as close to a virgin standing forest as I've seen. That's what attracted us to the property," Gray said, explaining that he was in closecontact with the Sonneborne family for 18 years before they finally agreed to sell him the property.
He said because of the large lots, he will be able to save "the bulk of these trees as possible." In the end he said the property willlook most like section one of Kilmarnock, with its large square lots and big houses.
Gray already has developed three homes on the 60 acres in the critical area bordering the Severn River.
The subdivision was approved without serious opposition after it was down-zoned from R-5 to R-2 in 1987, Gray said.
Nobody from the Severn River Association, the Greater Severna Park Council, Jones Station or Round Bay communities took a position on thedevelopment plan.
"I'm sorry to see it go because it was one of the last areas around here that was left undeveloped. It kind of snuckup on us. Suddenly, there's this big sign saying lots are for sale. Hopefully he'll do it tastefully," said Scott Mentean, president of the Round Bay Community Association.
SRA president Stuart Morris and GSPC zoning chairman James E. Gutman said they were not aware of the development.
After he finishes Swan Point and the Brittingham development along Jumpers Hole Road, Gray sees a market for "condominium-style single-family homes" on smaller parcels in the Benfield area.