By Len Lazarick
It was an odd celebration, even for the honorees. In hindsight, the way Ryland Homes commemorated its long, 35-year partnership with the Rouse Co. in 2001 was ironic for both companies.
In the Ten Oaks ballroom in Clarksville — at the far western edge of the Rouse Co.’s “new town” — the homebuilder that got its start in Columbia and built thousands of its first homes was saluting its patron and the provider of its home sites. Rouse, the new town developer that the 1960s media idolized, had propelled the small, home construction startup to become one of the largest homebuilders in America.
The baseball caps handed out that day said “Ryland Celebrates Rouse,” and on the back there was the cryptic embroidery “5K/$125M.” It meant 5,000 homes, a quarter of Columbia’s single family and townhouses, and $125 million in land sales.
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