Full coverage: Mayor Pugh's 'Healthy Holly' books, UMMS board deals

GP Strategies Corporation

Downtown Columbia burgeoning as employment hub

Downtown Columbia burgeoning as employment hub

In the four years since the approval of the Downtown Columbia Plan – a master guiding document aimed at revitalizing the heart of Howard County's core city – Columbia Town Center's progress toward becoming a true urban destination has been marked by the addition of high-profile restaurants and retailers, the renovation and expansion of city landmarks and the construction of a new, modern apartment building.

This week, its progress will be marked by what some say is the biggest boon so far: the opening of the county's first Whole Foods Market, which occurred Wednesday inside the community's iconic, Frank Gehry-designed lakefront building.

But, according to county officials, the...