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Committee Gives Nod to Apartments Near Fire Hall

Novus Residences has proposed 239 units at Nevada Avenue and Hale Street and could get final approval from the county later this year.

A major developer on Tuesday night moved one step closer to building 239 new apartment units at the corner of Nevada Avenue and Hale Street.

The Odenton Town Center Plan Oversight Committee recommended approval of the project by Novus Residences, calling it a potential linchpin to development in central Odenton.

The project will now go before the county Office of Planning and Zoning, which is charged with granting final approval.

Committee members noted the project is one of the few new projects that far west in the Odenton Town Center and could help spur additional development in the area.

“This end is a key piece,” said Mike Fox, a long-range planner with the county who oversees the Odenton Town Center plan.

The Novus project features a modern architectural look from the front and backs up to wetlands. Developers said they intend to build a walking trail and park, and would build a viewing area to allow residents to view the natural surroundings.

“If you want an urban experience, you can have that,” said Rob Seldon, a member of the development team. “If you want a rural experience, you can have that, too.”

To satisfy requirements for retail on the site, the project will have five live-work units at the street level and will open the community’s fitness center to the public. This proposal renewed an such as shops and restaurants.

Seldon said the location of the project—in a relatively isolated section of Odenton—would not support traditional retail right away.

“If you say to someone, ‘Now, I need to put a store at the end of a dead-end road,' who’s going to say yes to that?” Seldon said.

Committee member Claire Louder, president and CEO of the West Anne Arundel County Chamber of Commerce, agreed.

“We can’t expect people to come in and bet their life that their business is going to succeed on a prairie,” she said. “There’s nothing down there right now.”

Plans for apartments at the Nevada and Hale parcel have gone through several iterations. Previous proposals fell through for a variety of reasons, ranging from a lack of support from the town center committee to confusion over zoning.

The proposal from Novus, however, is further along in the approval process than any previous project. Company officials said they hope to present a final plan to county planners by the end of the year.

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Tim Lemke (Editor) June 27, 2012 at 01:32 PM
By my count, this brings us to about 1,000 apartment units under development, planned or in the pipeline. Is that too many?
Calique June 27, 2012 at 03:03 PM
Tim, it sure is!! Goodness, why is this happening? Who is going to rent all these apartments (some of which are overpriced)? This will place thousands more vehicles on local roads and there isn't even a grocery store in the immediate area? Again, I just don't get it...
Tim Lemke (Editor) June 27, 2012 at 03:11 PM
Calique - there have been thousands of high-paying jobs added to Fort Meade due to the base realignment, and thousands more are expected as a result of the new U.S. Cyber Command Headquarters and expansion of the National Security Agency. Whether those workers will want to live in these apartments or even right here in Odenton remains to be seen, but these developers are betting on it.
Thea Warner June 27, 2012 at 03:28 PM
All these new residents will have everything but a grocery store within walking distance. This doesn't make any sense.
Denise June 28, 2012 at 12:14 AM
This is becoming ridiculous! I seriously don't believe Odenton needs that many apartments! Where are all the kids going to go to school?
Ronald June 28, 2012 at 02:47 AM
As long as they are not owned by the same developers that control Piney Orchard. Where is the infrastructure? How many are subsidized housing units. I think this is a prime location for me to open up a halfway house for inner city sex offenders (they deserve housing as well).
Bob June 28, 2012 at 10:56 AM
And what does this mean to those who currently live in that neighborhood?
Brian C. June 28, 2012 at 11:57 AM
You get new neighbors...and possible friends. B+
Denise June 28, 2012 at 10:35 PM
Ronald, I hope you are joking, but it's not funny.
Edward Charles June 29, 2012 at 07:01 PM
Attending the committee meeting this week was an experience in bad theater. A committee member named Don wasted an hour of everyone's by life grand-standing and attacking the board of ed, planning and zoning, the presenters and his fellow committee members. Many times his ramblings were about matters beyond the control or expertise of the committee.

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