The Bank of Glen Burnie has become the first commercial tenant to sign up with the Piney Orchard development in Odenton, starting what builders hope will be a successful village center.
"This breaks the ice to get people in here," said Larry Lichtenauer, assistant vice president of corporate communications for the KMS Group, a Columbia-based company building the 4,000-home development.
The bank will be in a free-standing building in the parking lot of a planned 130,000-square-foot strip mall near the visitors center at the intersection of Piney Orchard Parkway and Piney Junction Boulevard.
Construction is scheduled to begin this summer. The bank -- which will be 3,000 square feet and between one and two stories high -- could open in 1993.
Henry Hein, chairman of the bank's board of directors, said the branch will be the sixth in the county. A nearby branch on Route 175 in Odenton will remain open.
"We chose the site because we are very noticed in the area of Odenton," Hein said. "It's a new subdivision with both business and residential customers. Itseemed like a very good opportunity for an old bank to get into a new community."
Lichtenauer said it is impossible to know when the retail village will be completed. He would not be specific on discussions with other stores, but said there are negotiations with several groceries, "major chains that you would recognize."
"We are talkingwith a lot of people," he said. "We just haven't signed on the dotted line yet."
Lichtenauer said some retail outlets want more homes to be built before they commit. Developers plan on including a multitheater cinema, a restaurant and a gas station.
So far, 280 homes have been sold. About 200 have been built, including 40 single-family dwellings and 20 condominium units. The rest are town houses. The development is scheduled to be completed by 2000.
A brick-paved plaza, lighting and "elaborate water features" are complete and eventuallywill connect the retail shops with Piney Orchard Lake and the community center, the company said.