Miramar Landing development builds interest in Middle River

Lines form as sales begin for new residential area

July 20, 2005|By Joe Nawrozki | Joe Nawrozki,SUN STAFF

Later this year, new townhouses and single-family homes will sprout on a site in Middle River where apartments built 60 years ago for defense workers once stood.

As part of the continuing revitalization of eastern Baltimore County's waterfront region, the first spades of dirt will be tossed today by officials to start the Miramar Landing development, which will also feature a senior community with 100 apartments.

A spokeswoman for Ryland Homes said sales have started for townhouses that will sell for about $260,000 and up.

"On Wednesday night, we had a line form overnight at our sales center at what will be Miramar Landing," said Cindy Plackmeyer. She said most of those expressing early interest want to purchase townhouses.

She said 584 townhouses and 156 single-family homes are planned for the development. The starting prices on the individual homes have not been set. Situated on 101 acres off Middle River and Bird River roads, Miramar Landing will replace Villa Gardens, a complex that was built in the 1940s for defense plant workers at Glenn L. Martin, where 50,000 people were employed during wartime. Last year, county officials assisted the approximately 400, mostly elderly residents there to relocate in other rental properties or new homes.

The four-story senior residence that will be called Park View at Miramar Landing is being developed by Baltimore-based Shelter Group at a cost of more than $9 million.

All of the relocated senior residents from Villa Gardens will be contacted and encouraged to return to their neighborhood, said Bruce Innes, a vice president at Shelter Group. Federal housing law prevents Shelter Group from putting the displaced tenants from Villa Gardens on a preferential list, Innes said.

Rent for a one-bedroom apartment will range from $345 to $590, depending on the renter's income. The two-bedroom units will cost $680 when leasing starts next year.

"We will be contacting the former residents with help from the county, which has a list of all the folks who moved away and might want to return," Innes said.

The new Miramar Landing development is the latest in a series of revitalization projects completed, under way or planned on the county's east side.

From future bayfront mansions to new waterfront villages and retail clusters, the revitalization began in the mid-1990s to replace rundown rental housing, businesses and infrastructure.

County Executive James T. Smith Jr. described Villa Gardens as "tiny apartments [that] helped house workers at Glenn L. Martin during World War II."

"The new development will allow both new residents and those already settled in eastern Baltimore County to appreciate the beauty and character of the changing region," Smith added.

Smith will be joined at the groundbreaking by Victor L. Hoskins, secretary of the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development.

Less than a mile from Miramar Landing, a Target store will open Friday in Martin Plaza on Martin Boulevard. The store will anchor the $25 million renovation of the plaza.

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