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Five minutes with Cross Street’s Larry Rosenberg

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Five minutes with Cross Street’s Larry Rosenberg

When developer Larry Rosenberg started building houses in Howard County in the 1980s, homeownership was slumping, amid a depressing stew of rising land values, high interest rates and economic recession.

To bring down costs, Rosenberg designed a house that was narrow and deep, and didn’t need as big a lot. He sold his first five homes within a day.

The conditions Rosenberg faces now, as a project executive in Cross Street Partners’ construction division in Baltimore, are nearly the opposite. Interest rates are low, land in Baltimore City is relatively cheap and the economy is growing, albeit slowly. But amid declines in homeownership, he said he’s looking for similar solutions.

“The concept of affordability is still what’s the driving force,” he said. “It’s taking that same creative thinking of saying, ‘OK. How can I reduce the cost of producing this house?'”