The Southern Land Co. Inc., co-owned by Ronald O. Schaftel and David E. Altfeld, broke ground last month for Sunset Ridge, a residential subdivision at Winands and Offutt roads in Baltimore County.
Sunset Ridge is a 64-unit development of detached homes. Southern Land owns the property and is preparing it for Ryland Homes, which will construct individual residences starting at around $120,000. Mercantile Mortgage Corp. is the lender on the project.
Sunset Ridge is the third residential subdivision on Winands Road to be developed by Southern Land, along with Cedar Mills and Falcon Ridge.
Mr. Schaftel said he believes the market for new homes is strong when prices are below $175,000 for detached homes and below $130,000 for town houses. Active for the past 10 years in the Baltimore, Annapolis and Bel Air markets, his company plans to finish more than 350 residential lots throughout Baltimore County within the next two years.
"Our market research identified the most active segment of the homebuilding market, and our company is small enough to maneuver itself to quickly focus where the action is," he said. "Our strategy has allowed us to gain a greater market share of the land development business while other land developers and local homebuilders have suffered."
Owings Mills auction
More than half of the 330 condominiums at The Gardens at Owings Mills will be sold at auction on the premises Aug. 4 at 1 p.m.
Michael Fox Auctioneers is handling the sale of 187 residential condominiums in the complex, which was built about 20 years ago as the Tiffany Square Apartments and converted to condominiums in 1987 and 1988.
The auction is a foreclosure sale on behalf of the New York office of Daiwa Bank of Japan. The bank initiated foreclosure proceedings earlier this year against the developer, Northwest Properties Co.
Located on Tarragon Road near Franklin Boulevard, the 187 residences will be offered as an entity only, according to Steven Fox, project manager for the auctioneers. The sale involves only the units that have not been sold by Northwest Properties since the condo conversion began. About half of the unsold units are occupied by renters, he added.
Mr. Fox added that the seller "is seriously motivated to sell this property to a third party" and realizes it may not recoup its full loan amount. He said the auction could be a good opportunity for an investor who may want to buy the units and lease them or market them as condominiums.
The Ashley Group broke ground Wednesday for a new model for Delight Meadows, an Owings Mills community planned to contain 54 custom homes on 85 acres off Delight Meadows Road, near Franklin Boulevard.
Ashley has sold out its first phase of 25 home sites and is beginning work on the second phase of 29 homes, ranging in size from one to 3.5 acres. The homes will have 3,000 square feet of living space and are priced from $270,000 to $350,000.
Ashley also recently opened a sales center for the community at 325 Delight Meadows Road. Summer hours are 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. or by appointment. Hannah Tabor Inc. is handling sales.
Award to Donkervoet
Richard C. Donkervoet, a partner in the architectural firm of Cochran, Stephenson & Donkervoet, has received the first annual Chairman's Award of the Board of Trustees of the Baltimore Museum of Art.
A museum trustee for 20 years, he serves as chairman of the museum's Building and Grounds Committee and has been involved in planning for a variety of projects, including the new west wing for modern art now under construction. The award will be presented each year to a trustee "in recognition of exceptional dedication, commitment and service" to the museum.