Columbia Association will move its headquarters out of downtown Columbia next summer, a move the organization says is a "value-oriented" alternative to its current situation.
The organization, a large nonprofit that manages much of Columbia's open space, pathways and amenities, which includes gyms, an ice rink, golf courses and swim center, has had most of its corporate offices located in downtown Columbia since 1992, when it moved into space overlooking Lake Kittamaqundi called "The Teachers Building."
In August 2015, the organization will move into 32,000 square feet at the Hillside Center, an office complex located off of Stevens Forest Road in East Columbia.
CA occupies a total of of 26,208 square feet in the downtown area: 20,733 square feet on Wincopin Circle at The Teacher's Building; 3,771 square feet for its Information Technology offices in the Ridgely Building on Sterrett Place, and 1,704 square feet for the Columbia Archives in the American City Building on Wincopin Circle.
The three offices will be consolidated in the move.
According to a news release, CA spent "considerable time" evaluating new headquarters, including locations in downtown.
The news release states: "The Hillside Center office offers a value-oriented alternative for CA and comes with ownership potential. This decision demonstrates CA’s commitment to being a careful steward of its resources."
The release also says CA will continue to be a stakeholder in downtown through its ownership of the downtown Columbia lakefront, the operation of Haven on the Lake, a new wellness retreat opening this month, and through the Downtown Columbia Partnership, a nonprofit set up to promote downtown.
CA has moved several times it its history: its first office opened in 1966 at “The Bungalow” in Wilde Lake, later moving to Century Plaza off Governor Warfield Parkway and then in 1975 switching to the Banneker Building on Banneker Road, where CA’s open space division also was located. In 1983, CA moved its offices to One Knoll North in Oakland Mills, where Columbia Medical Practice is presently located. In 1988, CA moved to Lakeview Office Park, across Broken Land Parkway from Lake Elkhorn.