New construction is expected to take off this summer at two of Anne Arundel County's largest developments -- Piney Orchard and Russett.
Work is to begin on townhouses and condominiums on an 80-acre tract at Piney Orchard in Odenton. On the other side of Fort Meade in Laurel, builders will add townhouses and condominiums to a 16-acre parcel off Russett Green in Russett.
The county Department of Planning and Code Enforcement has issued grading permits for part of the Piney Orchard project and the Russett project.
While the additions have been planned for years, County Councilman Bert L. Rice said he would like to see more commercial development in the area to provide tax revenue to help pay for the added police patrols and schools that will be necessary.
"What's most helpful to the county is commercial development," the Odenton Republican said. "We need some of that to support the residential development."
The area slated for development on the western edge of Piney Orchard received attention in September as the site for Dream Homes, a builders showcase. The six luxury homes built for the showcase marked the first construction in Phase V -- a section expected to comprise 475 homes by the year 2000.
"Dream Homes certainly was a catalyst" for the project, said Robert R. Strott, senior vice president of Constellation Real Estate Inc., developer of Piney Orchard.
The next section will include about 180 combination condominiums and townhouses built by Porten Companies Inc. of Montgomery County, and 84 townhouses built by Gables Development Corp.
The one-story condominiums topped by multilevel townhouses, which are expected to sell for about $115,000, are new to Piney Orchard, according to Constellation officials. The Gables townhouses should range from $100,000 to $115,000.
In addition, Ryan Homes is to build a section of townhouses, and Ryan and Mark Home Building Inc. and Dream Homes '95 builders are to construct two sections of single-family homes to complete Phase V.
The community will be anchored by a rotary road encircling a wooded area of open space, with a community pool and recreation center.
"Everybody who enters Phase V will have the visual open-space impact of this rotary," said Steven Koren, development manager for Piney Orchard. Developers will save many of the trees inside the circle and build paths there, he said.
Other parts of Piney Orchard that have been in the works for months -- The Wildlife Refuge, a 45-acre wooded wetland area at the southern edge of the development, and Groves at Piney Orchard, a 258-unit apartment complex being built by Dolben Co., are expected to open in April, Mr. Strott said.
Russett is moving closer to completing its 3,520-unit master plan.
The Bozzuto Group, based in Greenbelt, will add 226 homes to Russett when it builds townhouses and condominiums on about 16 acres off Russett Green in this summer.
In a departure from standard townhouse development, the Bozzuto houses will face each other over yards and walkways, with two-car garages in the rear.
"It's a different product," said Marshall Zinn, Russett project manager. "Whereas in your typical type townhouses, you are looking out to a bunch of cars, they have put all the clutter in back."
About 1,200 of the homes planned for Russett are occupied, Mr. Zinn said.
And a 314-unit apartment complex with pool, clubhouse and exercise room should be open to the first residents this summer, said Thomas Baum, development manager with Summit Properties, Inc., developer of the complex.