Industry Notes

INDUSTRY NOTES

June 26, 2005

Beazer Homes ready for new round of sales at Pikesville site

Beazer Homes plans to start selling its next batch of new single-family homes in a Pikesville development next month.

Beazer, the nation's sixth-largest homebuilder, is building 343 homes in two phases at The Parke at Mount Washington on the former site of the Bonnie View Country Club, just east of Old Pimlico Road.

The homes are selling in the upper $400,000 range, said David Meacham, regional sales manager for the Maryland East division of Beazer. The builder has sold 11 homes so far, ranging in size from 2,600 square feet to 2,900 square feet and is nearing completion on those. Meacham said the builder hasn't yet determined how many homes will be offered for sale next month.

Beazer has a waiting list of several hundred prospective buyers, Meacham said.

"It's been a long time since anything has been offered in this general area," he said.

Beazer is also building nearly 600 homes, mostly condominiums, in a nearby mixed-use development, Quarry Lake at Greenspring, on the site of the former Greenspring Quarry, also in Baltimore County.

That community will include 83 single-family homes with price tags in the upper $600,000 range and more than 500 condominium units in 15 buildings offering lake views.

Waterfront community planned in Salisbury

A new community will be built along Salisbury's waterfront, with the first units likely opening by next summer, an Easton developer announced.

Rivers Edge will be built on the Wicomico River adjacent to the Salisbury Marina off Fitzwater Street, three blocks from downtown Salisbury, Crosby Real Estate Associates said.

The development will include 78 condos, 10 townhouses and nine lofts, which will be built above commercial space. Developers plan to offer amenities such as a 700-foot-long riverwalk between the homes and the river, a pool and a natural pond. The project was designed by the architectural firm Becker Morgan Group Inc. of Salisbury.

Groundbreaking is expected around Jan. 1, said Mike Crosby, head of Crosby Real Estate. Some units should be ready by the summer of 2006, and others shortly thereafter. Units will start at $350,000.

Crosby and Becker Morgan co-director Tom Becker hope the community will draw more people to downtown Salisbury. The town has a population of about 25,000, according to the 2003 U.S. Census, while about 88,000 people live in Wicomico County.

Coldwell Banker unveils cell phone response system

Real estate agents with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage are now able to answer consumers' Web-based inquiries about homes via cell phones, thanks to a new software system the agency unveiled last week.

Coldwell Banker's new LeadRouter system turns Internet inquiries into voice messages that are sent to agents' cell phones in seconds, enabling agents to quickly respond to an online request. The system will be used for all Web-based inquiries on Coldwell Banker home listings or profile pages.

The agency launched the new system after finding that more than half of online inquiries from buyers and sellers get no response within 24 hours, and nearly half get no response at all, according to a National Association of Realtors report.

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