Target store to break ground in March Discount outlet expected to open in October on Snowden River Parkway

February 16, 1996|By Shanon D. Murray | Shanon D. Murray,SUN STAFF

Construction of a Target discount department store -- the largest tenant in the planned 73-acre Columbia Crossing retail development on Snowden River Parkway -- will begin next month, Rouse Co. officials told the Howard County Planning Board yesterday.

Target is expected to open its 125,000-square-foot store in October, said George H. Hayne, a spokesman for Rouse, the project's developer.

Meanwhile, Dick's Clothing & Sporting Goods, the complex's only other confirmed tenant, will begin construction on its 60,000-square-foot store during the summer and will open it next spring, Mr. Hayne said.

The proposed $45 million retail hub will be Columbia's second giant complex of warehouse-style stores. It will join Snowden Square, less than a mile southwest on Snowden River Parkway, which opened in 1993.

Rouse confirmed the construction dates after the planning board gave final approval to the project's site development plans at a hearing in which Columbia Crossing received support from area residents who had clashed with Rouse during the project's earlier stages.

Residents of Columbia's Long Reach village were concerned that the retail complex would harm their neighborhood's quality of life, bringing more pedestrian traffic, busy parking lots and tall buildings.

But after viewing plans yesterday, Kathryn Mann, assistant administrator for Long Reach Community Association, said she didn't "see anything that doesn't conform to the village board's wishes."

Ms. Mann said she was especially pleased with proposed landscaping plans.

The project's 20 acres of open space will have plenty of trees to "buffer the surrounding residential area," Mr. Hayne said. "We listened to the residents in earlier meetings, and we responded to their concerns."

Expecting an early 1997 opening for Columbia Crossing, Rouse is negotiating with four retailers in addition to Target and Dick's, said Mr. Hayne.

The complex will include at least three restaurants, a gas station and a bank. It will have 658 parking spaces.

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