Builder-developer Herman I. Porten, 46, who founded the Page Corp. in 1963, is beginning a new phase of his residential building career.

And the firm that he sold five years ago to U.S. Home, Inc., while retaining the presidency on contract, now has plans for to continue building houses in this area - and to develop a new adult community on an 860-acre water front tract near Annapolis.

Meanwhile, Porten Corp., newly opened in One Central Plaza Building in North Bethesda, will develop some residential land owned by Porten. One is a site for 49 town houses at the northeast corner of Rockville Pike and Strathmore Lane, opposite a metro station and Georgetown Prepartory School. Porten said the traditional, brick town houses, which will be started next year, will have detached garages and courtyards and be priced in the $125,000 range.

As to the activities of U.S. Home/Page Corp., with which he now has a consultant role, Porten said he will help that group do the planning for a community of detached and semi-detached houses on a tract launched and then dropped several years ago by Croyder-Irvin of Ervin-Atlantic Corp.

A native of the Glen Burnie area of Maryland, Porten had been a Washington resident since he was four. After serving in the Navy and graduating from the University of Maryland, Porten was in the chemical specialities business until he founded the Page Corp. in 1963.

To get into home building 14 years ago, Porten built two houses in Layhill Village, where "I worked on the job while studying at night. I was really on-the-job training and experience that is necessary in this business."

In the past 14 years that firm had delivered nearly 2,000 residential units in this area.

Porten merged the firm into U.S. Home Corp., now the nation's largest residential builder with operations in varied areas, in 1971. The area firm is still located in a building built by Porten on Blueridge Avenue in Wheaton.

Richard Sullivan, formerly comptroller and recently executive vice president of U.S. Home/Page, has succeeded Porten as president.