Screenshot 2024 02 15 10.48.15 AM
Preliminary plan for Corridor Center.
Courtesy of Pulte Home Company

An Atlanta-based home builder submitted a subdivision plan to the city of Laurel on Jan. 29 to build 302 homes east of Interstate 95 and south of Route 198. 

Pulte Home Company, which describes itself as the nation’s third-largest home construction company, said its Corridor Center development will include 141 townhouses, 148 condominiums and 13 one-story villa homes on 28 acres of currently forested land. The city council gave preliminary approval for the development in January 2023.

Pulte is the developer of another Laurel-area project: the Watershed townhouse development off Route 198 in Anne Arundel County. Prices for the 484 townhouses there have ranged from  $435,000 to more than $600,000. 

Edward Gibbs Jr., an attorney representing Pulte, said prices for most of the Corridor Center homes would be set closer to the time of construction, probably more than a year from now. He added that Pulte has included in its plans 22 homes with lower-than-market prices: 11 two-story condos from as low as $145,000, and 11 three-story townhouses from as low as $246,000.

Mayor Keith Sydnor said he supports the development. “I believe the project is going to be a benefit for the city. … It’s going to help people afford housing on a certain income.” 

Sydnor cited Gov. Wes Moore’s 2024 Housing Plan, which calls for local governments to help alleviate a statewide housing crisis resulting from an estimated shortage of 96,000 homes. “Home ownership is legacy,” Sydnor said, enabling buyers to build generational wealth.

Laurel for the Patuxent, a conservation group, opposes the development. In a Jan. 3 message to its email list, the organization said, “We are writing you today with an urgent request to help save one of the last remaining tracts of forests in Laurel.” The email said the development would result in “increased traffic, noise and pollution from an estimated 300 to 600 more cars per day; reduced public safety on nearby roads; no homes for songbirds, pollinators and other animals; increased pollution for our creeks from stormwater runoff” and “unaffordable housing for most Laurel residents.”

The organization’s website states that, “According to the city’s master plan, Ward 2 is supposed to have 225 acres of parkland, yet there are fewer than 100 acres. Instead of cutting down the forest, the city could purchase the land with grant money, protecting it from future development, as other communities have done.”

Sydnor said the master plan, which was adopted in 2016, “needs to be updated.” He added, “We have a large amount of park space,” especially when parks in three counties surrounding the city are included.

Robert Love, director of the City of Laurel Department of Economic and Community Development, said that the city’s staff and planning commission will review Pulte’s subdivision plan and also a forest conservation plan submitted by the company. The planning commission will then hold a public hearing, he said.  

The public also will be able to speak at a later planning commission meeting after Pulte submits a detailed site plan, Love said.

Sydnor said the planning commission will thoroughly review Pulte’s plans and may require changes. “The planning commission might come back and say, ‘You can’t have 302 homes, you can only have 250.’ “

Love said the planning commission’s first public hearing will be scheduled no earlier than March 12.