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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...