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More than 20 developers own 1,600 acres around a 5,000-acre military base that hosts 98 government agencies. Welcome to the coming metropolis of Odenton Town Center. It's home to the four northeastern Fort Meade gates, which serve—well—everything that's not NSA or Cyber Command (accessed by a single gate on the western side).
Shaun Wilson and Kevin Wilson at Seven Oaks, Odenton Town Center, Odenton, MD, on Sept. 28, 2011
Capitol CREAG?s Shaun and Kevin Wilson showed us around. Their firm reps Halle Cos, which owns the largest parcel of Odenton Town Center: 128 acres. Halle bought 850 acres called Seven Oaks 30 years ago and has developed the rest, including those residences behind the brothers, among 3,500 units that Halle has sold off. Unlike the Bridge to Nowhere, the road behind them is heading places. For now, it stops at that overpass in the distance, but thanks to $13M from the Halle Cos, Town Center Boulevard, a key piece of public infrastructure that?ll link Seven Oaks with the rest of OTC, will move forward. A paved jogging path will run alongside it.

Seven Oaks Office Building, Seven Oaks Shopping Center, Odenton Town Center, MD, on Sept. 28, 2011
Why bother getting out of the car to take pictures when the windows are automatic? This is a twist on the highest and best use principle: A brand-new office in the middle of a strip mall. The original plan was a grocery store to anchor Seven Oaks Shopping Center, but there's so much demand for high-tech, secure office space for defense contractors that this just happened. (Try explaining that to all the neglected bananas waiting for a home.) The three-story, 69k SF building delivered in June with the added perk of high ceilings to align from the outside with the retail. Kevin tells us Halle?s 3.5M SF mixed-use Independence Park at OTC is shovel ready, too. Oh, and fyi: the Seven Oaks Office Building will host the 2011 Tour of West County Exhibit and Developer Showcase tomorrow from 10:30am to 3pm, including an NSA guest speaker at noon.

Odenton Commons, MD, on Sept. 28, 2011
Town Center Blvd will pass Ryan Commercial's Town Center Commons townhomes at Route 170 just down the street from Route 32.
Odenton Commons, MD, on Sept. 28, 2011
Plenty of room in the back for more townhomes. There?ll be 104 in all, and AJ Properties is building a hotel off to the left, too.
Trish Palumbo at Village at Odenton Station, MD, on Sept. 28, 2011
The boulevard will continue to Dolben Co's 400k SF Village at Odenton Station, just across the street from the MARC and Amtrak stop (3,000 passengers a day), where we snapped Metropolitan Management's Trish Palumbo, the project's retail broker. She says the 57k SF of retail will be done by April and the 235 apartmentswill be fully occupied (or darn close) by the end of 2012. The corner behind her will be a restaurant that'll also operate a coffee shop next door, and she has another LOI for another restaurant. A dry cleaner and pharmacy are among other retail offerings coming along. Most beneficial for the restaurants is that the train station?s 2,000 parking spaces are free, and they empty out after rush hour.
Claire Louder and Jeff Kayce at West County Chamber of Commerce, Odenton, MD, on Sept. 28, 2011
Bozzuto?s Jeff Kayce, with West County Chamber of Commerce chief Claire Louder, tells us his firm and StonebridgeCarras began demolition on 18 acres at the former Nevamar Formica plant this month and will start building 369 upscale apartments, Flats 170 at Academy Yard, by year?s end. Phase 2 of StonebridgeCarras? 55-acre Academy Yard (the site was originally a railyard for Naval Academy-bound trains) likely will be retail and additional housing.
Odenton Gateway, MD, on Sept. 28, 2011
There's plenty more development on the way, including Elm Street Development's Odenton Gateway, a 60k SF Anne Arundel Health Systems/Johns Hopkins medical office building that'll deliver next fall, plus 254 apartments and two retail pad sites. Most of the developers involved in the larger OTC joined with the Chamber to form the Odenton-Now Coalition to present a unified voice for branding and to work with government to move infrastructure forward and achieve the Odentown Town Center zoning code, which trumps Anne Arundel County zoning and allows density (nothing?s over two stories now) and transit-oriented development.
Fort Meade groundhog on Sept. 28, 2011
Whatever happened to … the Caddyshack gopher? He retired to Fort Meade?s golf course but has since missed the memo that the course is being razed to make way for Cyber Command. Claire drove us through the base, and while the Department of Defense may frown upon journalists photographing the new 1.1M SF DISA HQ, we guessed this guy (we think he's actually a groundhog) wasn't carrying any state secrets.
Fort Meade Community Covenant playground on Sept. 28, 2011
We figured the DoD was OK with us snapping this geography lesson on base, too. Claire chaired the Fort Meade Community Covenant Council committee that spent Sept. 10 building this playground for families living on base. Northrop Grumman was a contributing partner. Sec. of Defense Leon Panetta put in some labor hours, and Veterans Affairs Sec. Eric Shinseki's wife Pattyworked there all day.