As Thursday evening's Columbia Association board meeting approaches, along with the board's first opportunity to approve the new concept plan for Symphony Woods Park, most board members say they are in favor of the plan, while others remain hesitant.
Why is Howard Hughes Corp. remaining silent on the new Symphony Woods proposal? Previously the Columbia Association staff requested a delay on implementing the Planning Board approved plan for Symphony Woods so that they "could work collaboratively with Howard County and Howard Hughes." CA staff is asking the CA Board to adopt this new plan without any estimate of its cost. Will it be $10 million, $100 million or $500 million? How much of the cost will fall on the backs of the CA lien payers?
Michael McCall's Inner Arbor Plan is called new: however, it is almost identical to the General Growth Properties Plan for the Columbia Association's Symphony Woods open space/parkland property that was approved by the County Council in 2010 legislation. The orientation and entry point to Symphony Woods seem to be the only major changes. Is it surprising then that the three Council members representing Columbia indicated they love this "new" plan?
Blending the two main functions of the area near Symphony Woods would produce an inclusive, interdisciplinary, holistic place with public participation benefiting both business and providing more exposure to the arts.
Columbia Association's plans to circumvent the county-mandated 16-step development approval process should not be allowed. CA pushed the original plan for Symphony Woods through the first eight steps to achieve the Planning Board's approval. CA is now changing the plan to elevated walkways with numerous different amenities on the east side of MPP and claims it can just start with step nine to acquire the rest of the needed approvals
The team of professionals responsible for the Symphony Woods Park plan envisioned creating a "special people place," a place where the community could come together to celebrate the dream James Rouse had for this important community space. The master plan identified a central meeting place to generate life and vitality throughout the park. The inter-active water feature and the cafe with outdoor seating near the fountain will draw people to this important activity space in the center of this
Columbia Association is committed to serving every segment of the Columbia community, as it has for the past 40-plus years with its three award-winning fitness facilities, its indoor and outdoor pools, indoor and outdoor tennis facilities, golf courses, Columbia Ice Rink, and Columbia SportsPark/SkatePark.
On paper, the plan for a car maintenance shop and a few stores on Snowden River Parkway in Columbia hardly seems worth fighting about. The business people opposing it, however, see it as an illegal first step toward drastic changes for the worse along some major roads, and a potential threat to businesses in Columbia's nine village centers.
The Columbia Association board has advised staff to explore entering into a tripartite agreement with Howard Hughes Corp. and the Howard County government, which could result in the creation of master redevelopment plan for the Symphony Woods/Merriweather Post Pavilion neighborhood.
Clyde's of Columbia, located on the downtown lakefront since 1975, announced plans Tuesday for a $4 million renovation project that will close the popular eatery and its sister restaurant Tomato Palace for six to eight weeks beginning in January.
A group of local housing advocates have put together the necessary documents to present to the County Council for recognition as the nonprofit that will provide affordable housing in downtown Columbia.
A transportation study conducted by Howard Hughes Corp. concluded that the use of a transit bridge over Route 29 connecting downtown Columbia and Oakland Mills would not be great enough to justify the expense of building such a bridge, according to county transportation administrator John Powell.
Construction of the first segment of a multi-use pathway that will connect Howard County General Hospital to Blandair Park is expected to begin early next year. The first segment will start at the southeast corner of Broken Land Parkway, go down the south side of Little Patuxent Parkway by Symphony Woods, cross South Entrance Road and go down the east side of South Entrance Road to Swift Stream Place.
The Columbia Association staff has recommended the Symphony Woods Park project be put on hold until Howard Hughes Corp.'s redevelopment plans for Merriweather Post Pavilion take shape, CA Landscape Architect Jan Clark said at Thursday's CA board meeting.
The Howard Hughes Corp. of Dallas, which succeeded Rouse and General Growth Properties as the master developer of Columbia, has a $20 million plan to convert the former Rouse headquarters on Little Patuxent Parkway from a single-occupant office building to a mixed use, mufti-tenant development with Whole Foods Market as the anchor.
On Wednesday evening, Howard Hughes announced that Whole Foods Market had signed a lease to open a 45,000 square foot store inside the Rouse company building in downtown Columbia. On Thursday, the company welcomed the Austin-based grocer to Columbia with a ceremony inside the building's conference room overlooking Lake Kittamaqundi.
An open-air plaza surrounded by yet-to-be-selected restaurant and retail tenants is planned to be built at the Mall in Columbia in the space currently occupied by the L.L. Bean store, mall owner General Growth Properties announced Tuesday.
Hughes Corp. announced Wednesday that Whole Foods Market has signed a lease to open a store inside the former Rouse Company building in downtown Columbia. The store is scheduled to open in late summer or early fall of 2014..
An "open-air plaza" surrounded by yet-to-be-selected restaurant and retail tenants is planned to be built at the Mall in Columbia in the space currently occupied by the L.L. Bean store, mall owner General Growth Properties announced Tuesday.
John DeWolf, who delivered a downtown development update to the Columbia Association on Thursday, said in his presentation that Howard Hughes is currently in "significant" negotiations with a number of potential tenants and specifically referenced Whole Foods.
CA's plan is to create a pedestrian entryway off Little Patuxent Parkway, directly across from Mall Access Road, with a wide stairway leading down to pathway connecting to a central fountain. The plan also includes a smaller network of pathways that connect with the fountain, which is to serve as the central gathering space in the park.
The Planning Board Thursday unanimously approved General Growth Properties' plan to remove 30,000 square feet of retail at the Mall in Columbia and replace it with 75,000 square feet of retail to create an outdoor-facing "lifestyle center."
The Howard County Council Monday passed legislation that would form a Downtown Columbia Partnership with amendments changing the partnership's leadership structure and the entity administering funds collected for affordable housing
The Howard County Council Thursday prefiled 11 different amendments to legislation that would form a Downtown Columbia Partnership, including proposed changes to the partnership's leadership structure and the entity administering funds collected for affordable housing.
The Howard County Zoning Board Wednesday night unanimously approved preliminary plans to redevelop the Wilde Lake Village Center with a minimum of 85,000 square feet of commercial space and a maximum of 250 residential units.