Hilton hotel is planned for Owings Mills area Nearby businesses greet project enthusiastically

August 21, 1996|By Jay Apperson | Jay Apperson,SUN STAFF

A family-run development company wants to build a hotel near the Owings Mills town center -- a significant boost to the fast-growing community and welcome news to corporate leaders who have complained about a lack of accommodations for business travelers.

The company controlled by the Mangione family, developers of a Howard County country club and other area projects, has agreed to purchase a 3.3-acre parcel for a Hilton hotel with about 150 rooms, business leaders familiar with the plan said yesterday.

Baltimore County officials and company executives are scheduled to announce the project at a news conference this morning.

Business leaders in Owings Mills heralded news of the hotel project as a key ingredient for a thriving corporate center that includes several large office buildings and is the site of a $50 million expansion by mutual fund company T. Rowe Price Associates Inc.

Those businesses now must send visitors to hotels in Pikesville, Towson or Baltimore.

"We're thrilled," said Brenda Crabbs, executive director of the Owings Mills Corporate Round Table, a consortium of area businesses.

"The hotel is one of the service needs our organization identified as major. They're sending their people elsewhere, and time is money."

Crabbs said her organization believes Owings Mills-area businesses can account for nearly 1,000 room-nights a month for a new hotel.

Douglas W. Hamilton Jr., president of Hamilton Associates Inc., an elevator components manufacturer, said the hotel would help attract and retain businesses in northwest Baltimore County.

"It's one of those amenities that are important," he said.

An official in the Mangione family business could not be reached for comment yesterday.

A county government spokesman would not discuss the proposal.

But Kendra Walker, a spokeswoman for California-based Hilton Hotels Corp., said the Owings Mills hotel will be a Hilton Garden Inn, a newly designed, mid-priced hotel that features a glass-enclosed pavilion-lobby.

The Garden Inn model was designed for suburban communities near corporate parks, she said, adding that Hilton operates four such hotels in the United States.

The hotel would be built at the intersection of Painters Mill Road and Red Run Boulevard -- directly across the road from the Owings Mills Corporate Campus.

The campus, site of the T. Rowe Price project, was developed by the private McDonogh School; tenants include Baltimore Life Insurance Co., the Greater Baltimore Medical Center Physicians Pavilion and Integrated Health Services Inc.

The school also is part-owner of the parcel that would be developed for the hotel.

D. Terrence MacHamer, director of McDonogh Land Resources, said settlement on the transaction is not expected to take place until next year.

The parcel is zoned to allow high-rise apartments, but McDonogh has asked the Baltimore County Council for a reclassification that would allow a hotel to be built on the site.

The Mangione family, developers of the Turf Valley Country Club in Ellicott City, also is pressing forward with a controversial proposal to build 39 homes, a country club and golf course at the historic Hayfields farm in Hunt Valley.

That proposal moved ahead last week, when Baltimore County's Board of Appeals upheld a special exception that would allow the major elements of the project.

However, the board rejected proposals including a public banquet facility, overnight accommodations and lights for a golf practice range.

Mary Jo McCulloch, executive director of the Maryland Hotel and Motel Association, said the planned Owings Mills hotel would be part of a rebounding Baltimore-area hotel industry.

She also said the hotel would likely seek tourism business to augment a core clientele of business travelers.

"I'm sure the Mangiones, who have several successful properties, have done the marketing studies to show the project will be successful," McCulloch said.

The announcement of the Owings Mills hotel comes as construction continues on the first major hotel in White Marsh, the county's other designated growth area.

When that project was announced in November, business leaders in White Marsh, like their counterparts in Owings Mills, said the hotel would help lure and retain businesses in the area.

Construction of the 127-room Hampton Inn in White Marsh is about 30 percent complete, and the hotel is scheduled to open in December, said Bill Bello, the hotel's general manager.

Pub Date: 8/21/96

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