Aberdeen may get seniors village

Presbyterian Home tells of plan for $110 million retirement facility in area

August 29, 2004|By Sarah Merkey | Sarah Merkey,SUN STAFF

Confident about continued growth in the Aberdeen area, Presbyterian Home of Maryland has outlined plans for what would be Harford County's first large continuing-care retirement community, a $110 million project that could be built within the next five years if market trends continue.

The nonprofit corporation, which accepts residents of all faiths and backgrounds, has identified a site for The Village at Carsins Run: 136 acres on two parcels the organization has acquired at Technology Drive and Route 22, across from Ripken Stadium.

A market study has concluded that the Aberdeen area does not have the senior population necessary to support the retirement community at this time, but Presbyterian Home plans to revisit the market in three years and, if it is favorable, start construction within two years of that, said Executive Director Susan Shea.

"We want this facility to happen in Harford County," Shea said.

The Presbyterian Home of Maryland has a continuing care community in Towson, and the new development would be an expansion, not a replacement for that facility. The home was established in 1884 as The Presbyterian Home of Baltimore. In 1929, after a name change, it moved from Calvert Street in Baltimore to Towson, on the former Offutt Estate.

The Aberdeen project, when complete, would include 255 cottages, 250 apartments, 120 assisted-living units and 50 comprehensive care units. It would be built in stages, over about 15 years, Shea said, as its target population expands. The Village at Carsins Run would offer casual and formal dining for its residents, a wellness center, several walking paths, a putting green, libraries, several community rooms for card games and socializing, and possibly a pool.

Shea said the units would be priced competitively and offer "a real value for active seniors."

Shea mentioned the proximity to Interstate 95 and recent development in Aberdeen as reasons the area was selected for the project.

Among the signs that Aberdeen is set to experience further growth, she said, are the 2-year-old Ripken Stadium and the retail, entertainment and condominium project being planned nearby by Nottingham Properties Inc., a company with developments in the White Marsh area.

"It's really exciting," Shea said. "The whole area is just ready to boom -- it's just phenomenal what they're doing in that area."

The long lead time for development does not mean that interest is not present in Aberdeen now, said Peter Dacey, Aberdeen's city manager. Public meetings about the project have had good turnout, and Dacey said he does not know of any opposition to the village.

"It's something that we've needed for well over 15 years; it's going to keep our community intact so that seniors stay in our community," Dacey said.

Local officials say the relationship between the village and Aberdeen may be mutually beneficial, since the retirement community would provide jobs during construction and after it opens.

"The whole city is ... behind The Village at Carsins Run," said Dacey. "We're trying to do everything we can to make this happen."

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