A few banks have opened a few more doors in Howard County.

Citizens National Bank launched what it describes as the first business to open in the office park portion of the Maple Lawn development, a residential and commercial project underway on part of a turkey and dairy farm of the same name near Fulton.

The ribbon-cutting for the 115-year-old bank's 24th branch was Tuesday.

The new location will offer traditional banking services as well as Internet banking, insurance, mortgage and wealth management products for the Maple Lawn, Scaggsville, Fulton and southern Howard County communities.

Meanwhile, Columbia Bank unveiled plans to open its 25th branch in November. The full-service bank and drive-through will be in Gateway Plaza, a retail center at the heart of the Columbia Gateway office park near Route 175 and Interstate 95. It will be adjacent to Columbia Bank's headquarters.

The opening is the first announced since Columbia Bank, Howard County's largest locally owned bank, said it planned to sell itself to Fulton Financial Corp. for $313 million in cash and stock.

Under the deal, expected to close later this year, Columbia Bank would continue to operate as a separate subsidiary that would keep its name, employees and management team while continuing to expand.

Jessup Buildings Sold

Kenwood Management Co., a real estate investment and operating company in Bethesda, sank $8.09 million into Howard County's real estate market with its recent purchase of three buildings in Jessup.

The buildings, which take up about 180,000 square feet in Preston Court, were 75 percent leased when Kenwood acquired them from the Rowe Co. of Jessup.

Since then, Kenwood has leased an additional 10,000 square feet to DeLeon Access Floors, which provides raised floors for computer rooms. DeLeon's customers include the National Security Agency in neighboring Anne Arundel County.

Bill Singer, a partner at Kenwood, said the office warehouse park's proximity to Fort George G. Meade, where the NSA is located, played into Kenwood's decision to purchase the space. Business is booming around the military base as defense contractors eager to do business with the NSA continue to set up shop outside its gates.

Now the base might be getting more jobs. A federal commission working to consolidate military bases across the country might shift 5,300 positions to Fort Meade.

Alcohol Distributor Arrives

National Distributing Co., one of the country's largest distributors of alcoholic beverages, opened its doors in Jessup this summer.

The Atlanta-based company already distributes wine, beer and spirits in Maryland. With Monument Fine Wines on Stayton Drive, its goal is to get wines from family-owned estates into the Washington region's gourmet food stores and high-end restaurants.

To Submit an Item

E-mail: elboghdadyd@washpost.com

Fax: 410-772-2330

Mail: Howard Extra, 10490 Little Patuxent Pkwy., Suite 650, Columbia, Md. 21044