For all intents and purposes, the story of the Plaza Residences was finished a long time ago, but the state's highest court has written a disappointing epilogue.
The Plaza was to be a 22-story condo building in Columbia's Town Center. Supporters of the project hailed its potential for energizing the local economy and broadening the county's tax base. Opponents argued it would overwhelm roads, schools and the sewers and would constitute a lakefront eyesore.
The economic nosedive of three years ago and the troubles of the developer, WCI Communities, effectively ended the debate. WCI scrapped the project and put the land up for sale. Meanwhile, the County Council passed comprehensive legislation governing the redevelopment of Town Center, including a provision capping the height of buildings at nine stories. That provision would apply to any future development on the erstwhile Plaza site.