$125M mixed-use development planned near Columbia Mall

Plans for a $125 million, two-structure apartment complex in Columbia's Warfield neighborhood were revealed this week, making it the third housing development announced in the redevelopment of downtown Columbia.

The five-acre parcel, which is owned by Howard Hughes Corp., will be a mixed-use development with 30,000 square feet of retail and 437 apartments.

The property is adjacent to The Mall in Columbia — between Mall Ring Road and Broken Land Parkway — and neighbors another Howard Hughes mixed-use development called Metropolitan Downtown Columbia, which is scheduled to open next summer.

Kettler, the developer for both projects, envisions its newest venture appealing to young professionals and empty-nesters. The $100 million, 380-unit Metropolitan, which began construction in February, is aimed at attracting a broad spectrum of tenants, including young families.

"We are very bullish on downtown Columbia," said Kevin Peterkin, Kettler's director of real estate investments and development. "We envision the two buildings as completing a link (between the mall and the Metropolitan). We think it is going to create a really exciting streetscape for residents and visitors alike that will really start to activate that side of the mall."

Peterkin said the new buildings will include retail tenants and a restaurateur that complements the mall, which is currently in the process of redeveloping its western entrance..

Plans for the development were revealed to the public for the first time July 9 at a pre-submission meeting at Howard Community College. The meeting was the first step in Howard County's rigorous 16-step downtown development process.

Peterkin estimates the earliest Kettler could start construction would be early 2015, with the project ending in 2017.

According to Peterkin, the south building, which will house 267 residential units, will have five and six-stories, while the north building, which will house 170 units, will be five stories.

The two buildings, which will each have a courtyard with a pool, will wrap around a parking garage to be used by residents and shoppers. Peterkin said the garage will have a minimum of 900 spaces, but that it could expand.

The larger south building will have more one-bedroom and two-bedroom units, which Peterkin said will attract young working professionals. The north building will have larger two- and three-bedroom units, targeting empty-nesters.

Peterkin said both units will have "a robust set of amenities" that will include a fitness center.

In addition to the pair of Kettler projects, Columbia-based Costello Construction hopes to begin construction this year on a $65 million, nine-story apartment complex across Little Patuxent Parkway from the mall next to Wincopin Circle.

The project, known as Little Patuxent Square, proposes 160 apartments, 130,000 square feet of office space and 12,000 square feet of retail space.

Baltimore Sun reporter Steve Kilar contributed to this report.

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