Saturday, July 26, 2014

Downtown Columbia Development Proposals in 2015

Developer Howard Hughes Corp. hopes to begin a long-term plan within the next year for $1 billion of development in an area of downtown Columbia known as The Crescent, located next to Merriweather Post Pavilion.

The goal is to create a mixed-use high-density area where people could live, work, and play. Amenities would include a new library, a state-of-the-art swim center, and a conference center with a 15,000 square foot ballroom.

This is part of a much bigger plan to make Columbia more vibrant over the next few decades and to fully realize the vision of founder Jim Rouse.

Design Collective rendering of The Crescent as
 published in The Baltimore Sun

The proposal calls for 4.8 million sq. ft. of residential, office space, retail, medical, and recreational facilities in a setting with 20-story towers and an urban streetscape comparable to Bethesda Row.

If approvals are granted, the developer plans to begin construction in Spring 2015 with the first buildings opening in late 2016.

Timeline for Downtown Columbia:

Display for the Master Plan at The Mall in Columbia

  • February 2010: Downtown Columbia Plan approved
  • February 11, 2013: Construction begins on The Metropolitan Downtown Columbia apartment complex with anticipated Fall 2014 opening
  • June 2013: Clyde's of Columbia re-opens restaurant on the Lakefront after $4M renovation to its building
  • November 1, 2013: First stores open in new outdoor wing of The Mall in Columbia
  • February 2014: Petit Louis Bistro on the Lake opened in Columbia by restauranteurs Tom Foreman and Cindy Wolf
  • February 14, 2014: Columbia Association Directors approve the "Inner Arbor" conceptual plan for an arts park in Symphony Woods next to Merriweather Post Pavilion, with a parking structure where Toby's Dinner Theater is located today.
  • March 31, 2014: Pre-submission community meeting for The Crescent (7 PM on 4th floor of Howard Community College's Student Services Hall) [article]
  • June 26, 2014: Agreement signed for $19M renovation of Merriweather Post Pavilion, with Howard Hughes Corp. transferring control to the Downtown Columbia Arts and Culture Commission in 2019
  • July 28, 2014: Construction begins on Little Putuxent Square near Lake Kittamaqundi, with office space, retail, and apartments scheduled to open in 2016
  • August 20, 2014: Whole Foods opens on the Columbia Lakefront in the former Rouse Building
  • October 2014: New expansion wing of The Mall in Columbia opens
  • October 15, 2014: Howard County's Maryland Center for Entrepreneurship (MCE) begins expansion and renovation of the former Columbia Flier building, to be completed in 2016.
  • Late 2014: $19M in renovations to Merriweather Post Pavilion to begin, to be completed by 2019
  • November 14, 2014: Howard Community College breaks ground of 4-story dedicated Science, Engineering and Technology (SET) building to open in 2017
  • December 2014: Haven on the Lake opens (27,000 sq. ft. spa in basement of Whole Foods)
  • January 2015: The Metropolitan apartment complex opens; two more apartment buildings slated to begin construction
  • March 19, 2015: Howard County Planning Board approves final plan for The Crescent
  • Spring 2015: Proposed start of construction in The Crescent, beginning with roads
  • October 15, 2015: Howard Planning Board approves first phase of The Crescent
  • Late 2016 or Late 2017: Proposed opening date of first buildings in The Crescent
  • 2019: Anticipated completion of renovations to Merriweather Post Pavilion and handover to the Arts Commission

Related Links:

Columbia Lakefront

The Frank Gehry-designed Rouse Building is being renovated for
Whole Foods to open up in Fall 2014

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