At a time when officials of Anne Arundel County are becoming concerned that overdevelopment in the Annapolis area will lead to heavy traffic congestion, a new office building is under construction next to Annapolis Mall.

Although the area around the building is one of the most popular commercial centers in Annapolis, Lissa Brown, director of marketing for the Anne Arundel County Office of Economic Development, said it poses little threat of contributing to congestion because of its proximity to Rte. 50 and because of the smooth traffic flow in the area.

To help things along even further, county plans call for the construction of new access roads near the building, Annapolis Office Plaza One, the first of two 63,000-square-foot buildings at 170 Jennifer Rd. The project is being developed by William Beatson Development Co.

Brown says the key for the county, which now has $900 million in road improvement projects under way, is to avoid congestion by simply staying ahead of development with road work.

"We're not looking to become another Montgomery or Fairfax County," Brown said.

Brown called the area within two to three miles of the Beatson project one of the county's "hottest."

Annual lease rate for the project range from $18 to $21 per square foot, a figure considered high by Annapolis standards. The building is 48 percent leased.

The steel and masonry building with blue tinted glass, was designed by Hellmuth, Obata & Kassabaum architects. Total cost of the project will be $9 million.

In other developments in commercial realty:

Commonwealth Copy Products Inc., a copying machine and typewriter retailer, leased 35,306 square feet of space at Loudoun Tech Center, Ridge Top Circle, Sterling, from Continental-Ridge Top Associates. Shannon & Luchs was the leasing agent.