Advertisement
HomeCollectionsDowntown Columbia
IN THE NEWS

Downtown Columbia

FEATURED ARTICLES
NEWS
April 7, 2005
AT THE center of Columbia, almost 40 years after the planned community began to rise from Howard County farmland, there's an exciting opportunity: to create a real downtown for a suburban town of almost 100,000 residents. On the face of it, the notion of a low-rise town having a downtown may seem contradictory. But Columbia has one, a hodgepodge of offices and housing around the shopping mall that anchors the unincorporated city. And remarkably, various interests now are talking about much the same bold vision for this increasingly valuable real estate, a vision of a lively, walkable and interconnected downtown offering a 24-hour mix of places to work, live, shop and have fun -- a place perhaps even with an actual Main Street.
ARTICLES BY DATE
NEWS
July 2, 2014
The Downtown Columbia Partnership has named Gregory A. Fitchitt as president and chair of the board and appointed Barbara A. Nicklas executive director. Established in 2013, the Downtown Columbia Partnership is an independent nonprofit dedicated to marketing and promoting downtown Columbia. The partnership's seven-member board elected Fitchitt and confirmed Nicklas in June. Fitchitt, who also serves as vice president of development for The Howard Hughes Corp., said, "This is an exciting time for Downtown Columbia as it evolves with the welcome addition of new retailers and restaurant options, and later this year, some new places to live.
Advertisement
NEWS
May 23, 1995
Since the plan for Columbia was first put to paper, its creator, the Rouse Co., has promised a downtown enlivened by the arts, entertainment and commerce. Part of what was to make it happen was the construction of a mix of housing that would supply many of the patrons who would support these enterprises. But the plans have borne fruit slowly. Nearly 30 years after the first stone was turned there, downtown Columbia -- better known as Town Center -- is too often a sleepy hub that virtually shuts down when offices close for the evening.
NEWS
By Luke Lavoie, llavoie@tribune.com | May 19, 2014
The Downtown Columbia Partnership, a nonprofit created to be a marketing entity for the new downtown, unveiled a new branding and marketing campaign aimed at generating interest in the redevelopment.  “It's time for Downtown Columbia to bring the energy and vitality of a city to Columbia, a community that is rich with history and opportunity,” said John DeWolf, chairman of Downtown Columbia Partnership and senior vice president with Howard Hughes...
NEWS
By June Arney and June Arney,Sun reporter | April 29, 2008
General Growth Properties Inc. unveiled its plan for downtown Columbia last night, with redevelopment ideas that include a skating rink, new office, retail and hotel space and walking routes from The Mall in Columbia to the lakefront and Merriweather Post Pavilion. "What we're trying to do here is lay out what we think is a 30-year plan," said Gregory F. Hamm, GGP's regional vice president and Columbia general manager. "During all this time, we hope we've listened. We hope we've learned, but we're not done."
NEWS
By Erik Nelson and Erik Nelson,Staff writer | April 12, 1992
The county Zoning Board last Thursday rejected an appeal by the Rouse Co., which had asked it to reconsider a proposal for up to 300 apartments on 12 acres in Columbia's Town Center. But the board left openthe possibility of hearing the case again at a later date.The board refused to allow the change from the property's current designation as employment center, saying residents of apartments or town houses might be disturbed by noise from the Merriweather Post Pavilion. The decision has been criticized by community leaders and Rouse Co. planners, who have long maintained that downtown Columbia would be enlivened by more high-density residential development.
NEWS
By Erik Nelson and Erik Nelson,Staff writer | March 4, 1992
Site plans for 100 town houses in downtown Columbia -- the first houses to be built in Town Center since 1985 -- were approved by the Planning Board yesterday.The unnamed project will feature 50 standard town houses and 50 "back-to-back" town house condominiums, said Maurice Simpkins, vice president for the Columbia Division of Ryland Homes.The 14-acre development, on Banneker Road in Town Center's southwest corner, is adjacent to land the Rouse Co. is trying to rezone from commercial to residential to help bring more residents, and consequently more urban character, to Columbia's downtown area.
NEWS
By Alisa Samuels and Alisa Samuels,SUN STAFF | June 16, 1996
Howard County police are searching for a woman who robbed a downtown Columbia bank Friday morning after indicating she had a bomb.No one was injured and no weapon was displayed in the robbery, which occurred at 9: 50 a.m. at Taneytown Bank & Trust Co. in the Clark Building, in the 5500 block of Sterrett Place, police said.The woman walked into Taneytown Bank, which had just opened, approached a teller at the counter and handed over a manila envelope, said Sgt. Steven Keller, a police spokesman.
NEWS
By a sun reporter | September 1, 2006
Responding to broad public concern, a height limitation of 14 stories for new buildings in downtown Columbia is under consideration by the county. That has been one of thorniest issues confronting a sweeping proposal to convert downtown into a dense city, and it has become even more contentious with the approval of a 275-foot-tall luxury residential and retail complex overlooking Lake Kittamaqundi, which would be the tallest structure in Howard County...
NEWS
By Tyrone Richardson and Tyrone Richardson,sun reporter | January 7, 2007
The Mall in Columbia needs to expand again as plans to redevelop Town Center move forward, according to Douglas M. Godine, vice president and general manager of General Growth Properties Inc., the primary landowner and developer of the city. "The demand is much greater than the supply, and we want to protect our interests here in Columbia and keep those retailers that may be looking elsewhere and who want to come to Columbia. But we don't have the space for them," Godine said. "We are addressing how we can expand the mall to add retail shops, and that will take a long period of time, but we are confident that we will get there," he said.
NEWS
By Luke Lavoie, llavoie@tribune.com | May 1, 2014
The U.S. Postal Service has signed a lease that will keep the post office in downtown Columbia in its current spot for five more years, a USPS spokeswoman said Thursday. The post office is on the ground floor of the American City Building, which overlooks Lake Kittamaqundi. The USPS announced in November 2013 that the future of the post office was in doubt after its current lease, which expired in December, was up.  Shortly thereafter, USPS and the building owner Howard Hughes Corp.
NEWS
By Luke Lavoie, llavoie@tribune.com | January 3, 2014
The Howard County Planning Board approved plans Thursday night to build a nine-story development containing office space, retail and 160 rental apartments near the downtown Columbia lakefront. The development, to be known as Little Patuxent Square, is located off of Little Patuxent Parkway on Wincopin Circle and will be built by Costello Construction. "It's a huge step for downtown Columbia," said David Costello, owner of Costello Construction. Costello estimates the project will begin construction in mid-March and could be completed as early as January 2016.
NEWS
June 27, 2013
I read Steve Kilar's article on Columbia this morning, and nobody I know wants Bethesda in Columbia ("'Urban feel' is aim for Columbia," June 25). I see the term "urban" used in a lot of these articles, but the only people who use it are developers and politicians. To me, it's just a synonym for crowded. The problem is that there's not much, if any, property to develop in and around Columbia anymore, so the developers have turned their attention to the downtown area. They have all these grandiose ideas on how to "improve" downtown, but it's really all about money, not improving the community.
NEWS
By Arthur Hirsch, The Baltimore Sun | February 4, 2013
Decades ago, developer James W. Rouse looked at a rundown industrial waterfront in downtown Baltimore and saw the makings of an attraction called Harborplace at the Inner Harbor. Now a former Rouse employee looks at an expanse of woods in downtown Columbia and sees the possibility of an "Inner Arbor. " That's the name Michael McCall has given his proposal to turn 34 acres of woods surrounding Merriweather Post Pavilion into a place meant to celebrate both the arts and nature, a combination performing arts center, sculpture garden and elevated arboreal walkway.
NEWS
By Ken Ulman | July 29, 2012
The Columbia of my childhood, then known as "The Next America," was a place of innovation and excitement. It was known across the country as the herald for the next generation of great American communities. My parents and many others moved here in those days because it was a city founded on the principles of diversity and acceptance and guided by a ground-breaking plan that ensured a fertile "garden for growing people," as visionary developer James Rouse called it. But sometime in the early '90s, Columbia stopped innovating, and Jim Rouse's New City stalled.
NEWS
By Arthur Hirsch, The Baltimore Sun | June 28, 2012
John DeWolf III, the Howard Hughes Corp.'s senior vice president for development, is a tall man doing a big job from a large office in downtown Columbia. The floor-to-ceiling windows face Lake Kittamaqundi, and the conference table is covered with maps and plans for downtown development, a 30-year project to include new stores, homes, offices, hotels, transit lines, walking paths, renovations at Merriweather Post Pavilion — all in pursuit of James W. Rouse's original idea of a "real city.
NEWS
By June Arney and June Arney,Sun reporter | May 9, 2008
Solar arrays, "green" roofs and storm-water management that doubles as civic art and takes place only when it's raining are among the ideas for improving the environment in the redevelopment of downtown Columbia, a consultant told residents this week. Town Center could be a "city within a garden," said Keith Bowers, a landscape architect on General Growth Properties' design team -- a vibrant place that makes use of renewable energy and is built with local materials so that little energy is expended to bring supplies here.
NEWS
BY A SUN REPORTER | May 30, 2007
Of the many complex issues involved in converting downtown Columbia into an urban center, none has provoked greater passion than the need to provide housing for low- and moderate-income families. Unlike in some neighborhoods, one obstacle appears to have largely been overcome: public resistance. That is not surprising, because the spirit of the planned community has been economic and racial diversity. But the dynamics that permitted the new town to rise from farmland four decades ago to embrace all have changed substantially, creating a more daunting task in ensuring that Columbia is not a bastion only for the affluent.
NEWS
By Arthur Hirsch, The Baltimore Sun | June 10, 2012
The jazz quartet's last tune of the lunchtime set at the Columbia lakeside took an up-tempo bebop turn, the sort of sound one might associate with things urban and urbane: the Village Vanguard, maybe Birdland. The band played before a sparse crowd seated on a grassy terraced slope, folks who would get into their cars and drive off through a place that looks much like a suburban office and shopping area with its wide boulevards, tidy lawns, neat rows of trees, and parking lots. Not quite urban.
NEWS
By Edward Gunts, The Baltimore Sun | May 17, 2012
The master developer of Columbia's Town Center aims to begin construction by early next year on a $100 million apartment and retail complex, the area's first new housing in a decade. The Metropolitan Downtown Columbia will be a six-story, 380-unit development that the Howard Hughes Corp. plans to build in a joint venture with Kettler of McLean, Va., and Orchard Development of Ellicott City, on land next to The Mall in Columbia. Rents are expected to range from $1,600 a month for a one-bedroom apartment to $2,800 for a three-bedroom unit — making them among the highest in the region.
Baltimore Sun Articles
|
|
|
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.