Developers hope to expand Coldspring Plan envisions 102 new homes

November 20, 1992|By Ellen James Martin | Ellen James Martin,Staff Writer

A Baltimore development company said yesterday that it would spend more than $10 million to build 102 single-family homes in the city community of Coldspring if its plans are approved.

Cylburn Hills, as the project would be known, would be one of only a few developments in the city to include newly built single-family homes.

In comments to reporters following a review of the plan before the city's Design Advisory Panel, an executive of Struever Bros., Eccles and Rouse Inc. said he is "absolutely titillated" by the notion that his firm could provide a relatively low-priced town house at Cylburn Hills.

"I'm very excited about the prospect of putting a great town house on the market under $100,000," said Daniel Henson, senior development director of the firm.

Under the plan, the development would include 55 town houses, starting at $99,000, and 47 single-family detached homes, starting at $120,000. The single-family homes would be constructed by Columbia-based Mark Builders and the town houses by Struever Bros.

As proposed by the developer, the project would augment the original 414-unit Coldspring development, built in the 1970s. The Cylburn Hills community would be constructed on an 18-acre site bordered by the Cylburn Park Arboretum on the north, Spring Garden Drive on the south, Tamarind Road on the east, and Greenspring Avenue on the west.

As originally envisioned, Coldspring was to have become a 4,000-unit town within the city. But Mr. Henson said yesterday that he believes such a density will never be achieved. The developer is proposing that Cylburn Hills would be only a quarter dense as would be permitted by city zoning laws.

Construction at Cylburn Hills would begin as early as the spring of 1993, with the first units completed by summer and the whole subdivision built by mid-1995.

The 18-acre development parcel now belongs to the city and would be sold to Struever Bros. at its appraised value, said David Elam, director of development for Baltimore's housing department. But Mr. Henson said his firm is still negotiating with the city over the price.

"The price of the land will be a subsidy," Mr. Henson said, adding that his firm anticipates purchasing the parcel for Cylburn Hills at below market cost. The city plans to provide $1.4 million in improvements to the site, including streets, curbs, gutters and utility lines, he said.

Comments by architects on the city's Design Advisory Panel, which reviews projects and developments for the Department of Housing and Community Development, touched yesterday on the security of residents at both the proposed and established Coldspring communities.

John W. Hill, who teaches architecture at the University of Maryland and formerly lived at Coldspring, said he hoped the new development would incorporate security features to increase residents' feeling of well-being in the community.

"I'm not oblivious to what's going on in the world," Mr. Henson said in response to Mr. Hill's comments on crime. He said his firm would like to incorporate a gatehouse as one security measure, but he doubted the city government would agree to putting one on a public roadway.

Final designs for the homes at Cylburn Hills have yet to be completed, Mr. Henson said. The developer's plan would require approval from the City Council.

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