Common that mention of Howard County's Columbia...


January 15, 1993

IT'S NOT common that mention of Howard County's Columbia shows up in dispatches by the New York Times out of the former Soviet Union. But it happened the other day.

"The United States has been exporting chunks of its culture for decades, through books, television shows, compact discs or films, to name a few. But it is fair to say that planned communities, like Columbia, Md., or Rancho Santa Maria, Calif. -- or even the concept -- have not been big items of foreign exchange. But that is changing.

"Inspired by a slumping market in the United States and a perceived need to provide Western-style comfort and security for foreigners seeking gold in the former Soviet Union, American developers, with the blessing of the Russian government, have packed up their blueprints and headed for Moscow."

The article went on to say how an $88 million, 478-townhouse development called Rosinka is being built around a recently constructed 40-acre lake -- how would one translate "Kittamaqundi" into Russian? -- about 15 miles from Red Square. Monthly rents start at $3,750 for two bedrooms and go to $6,833 for a five-bedroom deluxe unit. At that price, foreigners working in the country are most likely to occupy most of the units.

Can "Broken Union Parkway" or perhaps a mall with "no smoking, comrades" signs be far behind?

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