Leon J. Panitz, the Baltimore builder who developed Harford County's Joppatowne, died July 6 from Alzheimer's disease at River Garden Nursing Home in Jacksonville, Fla. The Baltimore native was 89.
Mr. Panitz attended Park School and graduated from Baltimore City College in the 1930s. He went on to get a bachelor's degree from the business school at New York University and worked for his grandfather, Joseph Berman, learning building design, construction and real estate management before World War II. During the war, Mr. Panitz served in the Pacific as an ensign in the U.S. Navy.
Returning to Baltimore, Mr. Panitz became president of Panitz Bros. Co., which he started with his brother Stanley. They built more than 1,400 houses in the Baltimore area during the post-war era. In the 1960s, his company developed Joppatowne, an early planned community, with retail, recreation, schools and a mix of housing, some on the waterfront.