Several condos already sold in unfinished complex for seniors

December 23, 1993|By Angela Winter Ney | Angela Winter Ney,Staff Writer

Nearly 20 percent of a new adult housing center in Severna Park has been sold, nine months before the project is scheduled to open.

Realtors marketing McKinsey Park, an adult living center planned for the south side of McKinsey Road, aren't surprised, saying the project was designed in direct response to community need. So far, 18 of 89 available slots have been reserved.

"We held . . . meetings with the community in the late 1980s to find out what people were looking for," said Chris Coile, sales manager for Champion Realty. "There were a number of people, many coming out of the Chartwell community, reaching retirement age. They wanted a convenient empty nest-type apartment, low-maintenance but designed for active adults."

The need for senior housing is acute in Anne Arundel County, where the number of people aged between 55 and 74 is expected to increase by 18 percent from 1990 to 2000, county planners say.

In the 18 census tracts surrounding the McKinsey Park site, the 55-to-74 age group will increase from 9,026 to almost 13,820 in 1995 and more than 15,000 by 2000, according to the county Office of Planning and Zoning.

The McKinsey project, originally designed as a twin tower with 104 units, was redesigned in 1991 into three 30-unit buildings on 13.2 acres across from the Severna Park Mall. About 10.4 acres will be left as woods and grass.

To tailor the condominiums to community requests, the units were designed with five different floor plans, Mr. Coile said.

During the meetings, prospective residents said they were looking for good-sized, informal living areas, not closed-in, small spaces, Mr. Coile said. They suggested having as many windows as possible and asked for balconies.

"Nobody seemed interested in glitz or marble. They wanted spaces that work, such as really big pantries," Mr. Coile said.

The condominiums reflect these concerns, with 24-by-20-foot combined living/dining areas and good-sized kitchens. One of the floor plans includes two balconies.

The condominiums are expected to open in September; prices range from $140,000 to $190,000.

One resident of each unit must be at least 55 years old, and no permanent residents under 18 years of age are allowed.

The Greater Severna Park Council has expressed concern about the probable increase in traffic from the project, particularly on already crowded McKinsey Road. But Mr. Coile said research indicates that the project should add no more than 15 morning and 30 evening trips to area traffic.

The developer, Tom Baldwin, will be building a third lane on the south side of McKinsey Road in front of the complex.

To help traffic movement, the entrance will be located between the feeder road in the back of the Severna Park Mall and the entrance at the front of the mall.

The project also will include a 5-foot sidewalk along McKinsey Road in front of the complex.

"The sidewalk is important to make sure people living there have safe access to the community," said Jean Andrews, a spokeswoman for Champion Realty. "The big benefit [of] McKinsey Park is its accessibility to the area by walking. The sidewalk permits residents to walk to Ritchie Highway and use the pedestrian button to cross to other shopping malls."

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