Big Changes Shown in Plan for Downtown Columbia

Ten acres of undeveloped land adjacent to the Columbia Mall in downtown Columbia are slated to be developed into 817 residences and 76,000 square feet of retail space.


Big changes for Town Center may be coming soon to Columbia. Howard County's Planning Board has approved the inital plan for the Warfield neighborhood adjacent to the .

The Howard Hughes Corp. plans on building 817 residences and 76,000 square feet of retail space on 10 acres of undeveloped land, according to the final development plan submitted to the board.

What do you think of the Howard Hughes proposal? Tell us in comments.

Explore Howard reported the plan also includes a 6,000-square-foot-playground and 28,500 square feet of promenade in the southeast that would connect to the Symphony Overlook neighborhood and .

The plan to develop the large area adjacent to the mall represents Columbia's plans to change the city from an iconic surbubia to a more urban, walkable and bikeable city, according to a blog post on Downtown Columbia.

The company will provide more specifics on the plan soon, according to Howard Hughes Senior Vice President John DeWolf, who was quoted in the Explore Howard article.

Anne April 18, 2012 at 04:57 PM
Town Center apartment complex accepts Sec. 8 vouchers & its rents are not inconsiderable. The theory now in housing is to DISTRIBUTE low income residents throughout the community rather than concentrating them in any one development.
Brook Hubbard April 18, 2012 at 05:03 PM
"The theory now in housing is to DISTRIBUTE low income residents throughout the community rather than concentrating them in any one development." Except, as with most social theories, this proves to be the undoing. All it takes is 1 or 2 undesirables setting up shop in an otherwise nice complex, and people start talking and leaving. As people hear about that complex, the only people willing to take the empty spots are similar to the undesirables already there. In the end, every decent member of that community moves away and the area turns exactly into what the "social planners" were trying to avoid in the first place.
Anne April 18, 2012 at 05:19 PM
Developers are having difficulty selling to the 55+ crowd because Maryland taxes are too high already, retirees can move to warmer climates in states that do not tax retirement income & are more favorable to estates. Finally, have you LOOKED @ the changes in the populace in Columbia over the years? It is not going to be too much longer for this area to resemble inner city Baltimore & DC because mass transit has made it so easy for less savory elements from those cities to visit & to reside in Columbia. No, this is not politically correct, but it is a most unfortunate truth!
edb April 18, 2012 at 08:16 PM
The reason no one is buying these is that they are really expensive for folks on a fixed income (starting at $220,000). People want to downgrade in their older years and taking care of 1600 -1700 sq ft of living space is not what they want. I know this because we are looking for affordable housing for my elderly mother in HoCo and it's hard to come by. We don't want her in a slum, but she can't afford extravagance either. Seems like there is nothing in the middle.
Anne April 19, 2012 at 05:58 PM
In addition to Ulman & County Council members pushing for more low income residents to move into Howard County, you also have Social Workers who steer their clients to Howard County & for Brook, I agree with your comment. THAT was my point & I have an advanced degree in Public Administration & ONE of my areas of concentration was "Housing & Community Development".


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