Md. OKs $1.5 million for center in Owings Mills Pharmaceutical company will be first building at Rosewood business park

November 30, 1995|By Liz Atwood | Liz Atwood,SUN STAFF

State officials yesterday approved a grant paving the way for a pharmaceutical company's $15 million headquarters -- the first building in a 60-acre business park at Rosewood Center in Owings Mills.

The $1.46 million grant approved yesterday by the State Board of Public Works will pay for building demolition, asbestos removal and utility connections.

Demolition will begin Monday on two derelict buildings on the property, once part of the state hospital grounds. Construction of the headquarters for Atlantic Pharmaceutical Services Inc. should begin early in January, said Hans Mayer, executive director of the Maryland Economic Development Corp.

The state hopes to finish construction of the 28,000-square-foot Atlantic Pharmaceutical building by next November, Mr. Mayer said.

"We're going to push like heck," he said.

The company, a subsidiary of Columbia-based NIRO Inc., expects to begin producing small amounts of pills and capsules by spring 1997, said Alex Duvan, senior project manager of Atlantic Pharmaceutical. It expects to employ about 26 people initially, and to increase the work force to 60 within three years.

MEDCO, the nonprofit development arm of the state, will own and develop the building and a three-acre parcel, which will be leased to the drug maker. While the state will concentrate on developing the building for Atlantic Pharmaceutical, money also has been set aside to create a plan for the 60-acre site.

The Reisterstown-Owings Mills-Glyndon Chamber of Commerce has urged development of the surplus parcels at Rosewood for years, suggesting that the land along Crondall Lane be used for small businesses. A few years ago, the land was rezoned for light manufacturing.

Atlantic Pharmaceutical was to have been the first tenant of a research park proposed for the University of Maryland Baltimore County campus in Catonsville.

When community opposition and zoning problems delayed that project, Atlantic Pharmaceutical threatened to build its headquarters elsewhere. The state then proposed the long-idle properties at Rosewood, formerly a hospital for the mentally retarded.

Residents in Owings Mills have been more amenable to the project than the residents of Catonsville-Arbutus were. "I think the community looked upon [us] in positive terms," Mr. Duvan said.

Construction of the Atlantic Pharmaceutical building will be financed with a $5.5 million state bond that the company will repay through rent. Baltimore County has reserved $450,000 as part of a credit guarantee on the project. The company will spend $5.5 million to buy equipment and $4 million to test it.

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