(Updated) Mall in Columbia Redevelopment? Find Out More Tuesday

A meeting on a new lifestyle concept for part of the mall will be held at Howard Community College.

This article has been updated with the correct time for tonight's meeting, which is 6:30 p.m.

is about to undergo a major redevelopment project—a project that will be explained in more detail at a community meeting Tuesday at

The redevelopment would add a 75,000-square-feet “lifestyle center,” according to Explore Howard, which also reported that the redevelopment would get rid of 30,000 square feet of existing retail space.

Lifestyle centers are the new trend in malls: They feature open-air plazas, tend to be smaller than the average suburban mall, and are not giant enclosed structures, which have struggled in many places, like Owings Mills.

is abandoning completely the indoor mall concept, and what stands there now will be torn down. In its place will be an open, pedestrian-friendly outdoor mall, expected to be done by late 2014.

is going through a similar rebirth.

The mall would also as it is today. The new plan would mean the demolition of the mall and its restructuring as the Laurel Town Centre, similar to Bowie Town Center, with a Main Street-style entrance, a movie theater and mixed-use buildings that would include residential units. 

The Mall in Columbia opened , and today, attracts 18 million shoppers per year.

The 640,000-square-foot structure was developed by the same entity, The Rouse Company, which conceptualized Columbia, the planned community that came to be in 1967  

square feet and has more than 200 stores, kiosks and restaurants.

The meeting is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. at Howard Community College, Room 400, 10901 Little Patuxent Parkway.


Elizabeth January 17, 2012 at 06:04 PM
I don't want to see the indoor shopping space reduced. If they just add more stores, then that is fine. Removing more of the indoor shopping areas will make you have to move your call around the parking lot to get to other stores. You won't want to do this on bad weather days. I would not mind to see Lord and Taylor go. I'd love to see a Bloomingdales as an anchor store.
Lisa Rossi January 17, 2012 at 07:01 PM
Hi Jen - Mall Manager Katie Essing says the meeting is at the Rouse Company Foundation Student Services Hall – Room 400. Hope this helps! - Lisa
CJ23 January 17, 2012 at 09:31 PM
I'd be all for this development. I don't think it will have much of an impact unless we provide more affordable housing around the town center area.
SeanDMan67 January 18, 2012 at 01:21 AM
18 MILLION shoppers a year and they're worried about the indoor mall concept? That's amazing to me. I'd think if merchants are struggling with that many customers, then it's NOT the structure that's causing the problem.
Brook Hubbard January 19, 2012 at 02:10 PM
At 30,000 sq ft being removed (from a 1.4 million sq ft property), the most likely loss would be one of the department stores. If a store is about to go under and/or not renew it's contract, then that will be a large area that may have problems being leased. Also, the change to outdoor malls is less to do with shopper numbers and more to do with upkeep. The cost to regularly heat or A/C an indoor area is exponential and why most newer malls are created in the "outdoor" style of Bowie Town Center. I guess we'll just have to wait and see what's being proposed...


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