- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 19, 2006

The first settlers arrived in Anne Arundel County in 1649, finding an area of lush land, easy transportation and a scenic waterscape. Today, a vibrant housing market attests to the attraction of the county’s central location and natural beauty for a growing number of new residents and businesses.

Anne Arundel County borders the Chesapeake Bay with hundreds of miles of shoreline.

Located within easy commuting distance of Washington and Baltimore, the county includes Annapolis, the state capital.

New home developments in Anne Arundel range from affordable housing for first-time buyers to some of the most expensive condominiums in the region.

Annapolis is one of the sought-after areas. By the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries, the city has preserved its history while embracing modern conveniences.

Near the historic section of Annapolis and the immediate surrounding area, new and converted condominiums are a major real estate development.

“We feel the real estate market is strong, with good traffic, and we are pleased with how it’s holding up in Anne Arundel County,” says Diana Van Stone, marketing vice president for Beazer Homes Corp.

Models are open at Creekside Cove, where Beazer is building 48 town-home-style condominiums five minutes from downtown Annapolis, starting from the low $300,000s.

The two-level, two- and three-bedroom homes range from 1,100 square feet to 1,700 square feet.

To contact Creekside Cove, call 410/573-2014 or visit www.beazerhomes.com.

At the Vineyards of Annapolis, Caruso Homes Inc. is building 49 town homes priced from the mid-$600,000s. The Vineyards is a gated community minutes from downtown Annapolis, U.S. 50 and Interstate 97.

The all-brick town houses have three levels with the option of a fourth-level loft. They start at 2,300 square feet. The optional loft increases the size to about 2,700 square feet.

Other standard features are a two-car garage, three-level sunroom, finished recreation room, and vaulted ceilings in the master bedroom.

Contact the Vineyards at 410/263-0505, or visit www.carusohomes.com.

Landing at Spa Creek is a large-scale condominium conversion development in Eastport, about three miles from downtown Annapolis. The updated one-, two- and three-bedroom condominiums, all with designer kitchens, range from 807 square feet to 1,735 square feet.

Prices range from $244,900 to $464,900.

The 303 condos are in low-rise buildings set on 22 acres with water views, a clubhouse, pool and facilities for canoe and kayak storage.

A grassy area at the water’s edge provides space for picnicking and recreation, and there is also a pier and some boat slips available.

Call 410/295-6552.

Lake Heron Condominiums is another conversion in Eastport. The renovated two-bedroom, two-bath condos include some with lofts. All have wood-burning fireplaces.

The five buildings, built in 1989, have 108 condominium homes. Some have views of the water. Most of the condos are 1,150 square feet; those with lofts have 1,450 square feet.

Prices are $312,900 and, for lofts, $369,900.

Call Linda Harrison, sales manager, at 410/268-7134 or send e-mail (Linda@lakeheroncondos.com).

Sarah Woodworth, senior vice president at ZHA Inc., a real estate advisory services company, says Annapolis has lacked condominiums in the past.

Today, new and converted condominiums meet a need at a time when households are getting smaller. Of course, when considering the purchase of a condominium, it is important to ask about additional condo association fees.

“Couples who no longer have children at home, wealthy singles and couples, and younger single households want lifestyles,” says Ms. Woodworth. “There is a back-to-downtown movement nationally, and we are seeing a lot of people coming from D.C. Downtown will preserve value because of lifestyle. And it’s Annapolis.”

The Residences at Park Place, now under construction on West Street in Annapolis, will have 208 condominiums in a secured, seven-story building.

Each one-, two- and three-bedroom unit will have a designer layout with prices starting in the $400,000s to more than $1,000,000.

The homes will have wiring for high-speed Internet and cable TV. Also included is a private exercise facility, an outdoor swimming pool, underground garage facilities, a fenced-in dog park and concierge service.

Occupancy is expected to begin in December.

Situated on 12 acres close to the historic district, Park Place will include several office buildings with retail shops, cafes and restaurants on the first floor, an upscale full-service Westin Annapolis Hotel, and a planned theater for live performances.

For information, call Kathy Miller at 410/216-9267, or visit www.parkplace-annapolis.com.

Rising in another section of West Street in Annapolis, 1901 West offers one-, two- and three-bedroom condominiums and lofts starting from mid-$200,000 to $500,000.

The 300 flats and lofts will feature stainless steel appliances, maple wood kitchen cabinets and granite countertops in the kitchen and baths.

Wood Partners Inc. and Union Realty Partners Inc. are constructing a village of three four-story elevator buildings with new condominiums and retail shops.

There will also be 36 moderately priced homes starting at $133,000.

The development will have a 5,000-square-foot club facility and fitness center, cyber cafe and a business center.

Dean Wilson, Wood Partners director, says, “This is part of the revitalization of the West Street corridor, and we are seeing a lot of first-time homeowners.”

Located at West Street and Chinquapin Round Road where a lumber yard once existed, the capital dome can be seen from the upper floors.

For information, call 410/280-0363.

Odenton, about 15 miles from Annapolis and 16 miles from Washington, is another area of the county seeing a burst of new and affordable homes.

At Piney Orchard in Odenton, Grayson Homes LLC is building 88 three-level town homes priced from low $400,000s in Pinedale Courts. Seven are still available.

The town homes have all-brick facades, rear decks and open floor plans. Grayson town homes, priced in the low $500,000s at Summit Chase, are nearly all sold.

“Anne Arundel County is a wonderful place to build homes. There is a lot of demand,” says Cindy McAuliffe, president of Grayson Homes.

The community has three outdoor pools, tennis courts and an indoor lap pool along with a state-of-the-art fitness center. It also includes a Kiddie Academy International Inc. child care center and a 45-acre nature preserve with walking trails and bike paths.

Contact Victor Wazen by e-mail (vwazen@graysonhomes.com) or call 410/695-1152.

Large planned community developments are underway in Hanover, near the Howard County line in northwestern Anne Arundel.

The Villages of Dorchester has lots for 750 homes in Hanover, half a mile from the Baltimore-Washington Parkway, midway between Washington and Baltimore, and 10 minutes from Columbia.

Arundel Mills Mall and outlets are nearby. Amenities within the community include a clubhouse, pool, recreation fields, hiking and biking trails.

Ryan Homes is building single-family homes in the community priced from the mid-$400,000s to the low $600,000s. Town homes are priced from the $390,000s.

The town homes have three finished levels with three bedrooms, up to 31/2 baths and a rear-entry garage.

Selling quickly are villas with first-floor master suites, starting from $410,000.

A clubhouse and pool are opening in May.

For information, visit the Web site at www.ryanhomes.com.

Sixty-two single-family homes by NVHomes in the Villages of Dorchester are priced in the upper $600,000s. Town homes start in the mid-$400,000s.

For information on NVHomes single-family homes call 410/370-8652 and for town homes call 410/379-2245 or visit www.nvhomes.com.

Late April is the anticipated sales opening for the Enclave at Arundel Preserve, a Toll Bros. Inc.community adjacent to Arundel Mills Mall in Hanover.

The community will have 397 town homes and 47 single-family homes.

Prices will start in the mid-$400,000s for the town homes and in the mid-$600,000s for the single family homes.

Amenities will include a clubhouse with pool, basketball and tennis courts, tot lots and a walking path.

For information, visit the Web site at www.tollbrothers.com.

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