Site will serve as professional building

ODENTON CENTER GETS NEW LIFE

June 29, 1993|By Peter Hermann | Peter Hermann,Staff Writer

A two-story office building that has stood nearly empty alongside Maryland Route 175 for three years soon will be bustling with doctors trying to meet the growing medical needs of Odenton.

In its first venture of this kind, North Arundel Hospital has bought the Odenton Center for $1.1 million and plans to convert it into a professional building for primary care physicians.

"The Odenton and Severn areas are experiencing a very rapid growth," said James R. Walker, president of North Arundel Hospital. "Our intent is to serve all the people of the area who need a physician."

The first doctors could move into the 32,000-square-foot building in the 1200 block of Annapolis Road in October. The hospital also has plans for a small laboratory, an X-ray facility and a pharmacy.

"This is the first time we've branched out like this," Mr. Walker said. "We have been looking specifically at this area for three to four months."

North Arundel isn't the only hospital bringing doctors to Odenton. The Johns Hopkins Health System has leased 11,000 square feet in a new office building that is under construction.

Jay Winer, president of A. J. Properties, said his company's new 40,000-square-foot Winmark Center II is nearing completion across from the shopping center on Odenton Road.

He said Hopkins plans to move in this fall with doctors providing general medicine as well as specialized heath care, such as optometry and pediatrics. A pharmacy and other labs also are planned.

Mr. Winer said Hopkins officials have indicated they may lease up to 22,000 square feet in the future. "We are excited to have someone of this quality and importance come to Odenton," he said.

Norman G. Myers, the president of the Greater Odenton Improvement Association, said these moves are "good news" for the community, which feels crowded by development, landfills and a proposal to move the state-run boot camp from Jessup to Fort Meade.

"If we can keep the boot camp out and the doctors in, it will help us with our image," Mr. Myers said, adding that residents frequently travel out of the community to see a doctor.

Mr. Myers said his two elderly parents live with him. "It seems like we're always going to Glen Burnie to get medical attention," he said.

North Arundel's new building is located in downtown Odenton, between Route 170 and the Odenton Shopping Center. It has been 80 percent unoccupied since it was built in 1990.

There are some tenants still remaining, and Mr. Walker said he will honor their leases.

Between 18 and 20 doctors, most in private practice who have hospital privileges at North Arundel, will move into the new building, Mr. Walker said, adding that already 15 doctors have expressed an interest in moving.

They include primary care physicians, internists, pediatricians and gynecologists.

Mr. Walker said North Arundel is exploring other communities for the same type of professional building, including Severna Park.

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