The consultants hired to study Columbia's economy have developed a series of site-specific recommendations that proposes a slew of retail options, including coffee shops, apparel boutiques, office space, specialty stores, a live performance venue and a variety of restaurants, for eight of the community's nine village shopping centers.
The consultants hired to study the economic status and possibilities of key locations in Columbia, including most of the village centers, presented final recommendations from their report on Thursday evening.
The initial results of an economic study of eight of Columbia's village centers identified adding more restaurants as the best future use for the centers, some of which have seen a decline in recent years.
The document, which was approved by the Board on Jan. 9, lists a mission statement, five values and five goals for the organization. The two-page document is a departure from CA's previous strategic plan, which was 44-pages long. According to CA Board Chair Andy Stack, the plan will serve as a guiding document for the organization for the next five years.
The study, which is also being sponsored by the Howard County Economic Development Authority and the county's Department of Planning and Zoning, will recommend future economic uses for eight of Columbia's village centers. It will also evaluate at the Snowden River Parkway and Dobbin Road corridor, which is home to a number of restaurants, grocers and other retail outlets.
The castle at the Enchanted Forest shopping center in Ellicott City will soon get a new next-door neighbor. Construction crews have broken ground behind the castle, a remnant of the site's days as a beloved fairy tale theme park, to make space for a new building on the site.
If Kimco is even remotely interested in creating a complete grocery store experience for the community, they will make sure that Today's Catch is as easily accessible to David's as it was to Giant and will do everything within their power to make sure that this store succeeds in their new Village Center.
In addition to the five-story 250-unit apartment complex, the complete overhaul of the center includes the demolition of the Giant building, the renovation of the remaining village center buildings, and the construction of a CVS pharmacy, which could replace the Crown gas station as early as Fall 2014.
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 battle over the redevelopment of the Solo Cup property in Owings Mills is coming down to the wire, with opponents making last-minute allegations against Baltimore County Council Chairwoman Vicki Almond and announcing a drive to bring zoning maps to referendum.
As competition heats up between Owings Mills developers, the company that plans to build an upscale shopping center featuring Wegmans at the former Solo Cup site is touting the jobs and tax revenue it says its project would create.
The Owings Mills market can't handle major retail development at the former Solo Cup property and other sites along the Reisterstown Road corridor, according to studies commissioned by a mall developer.
A developer has been brought in to build two residential buildings with at least 230 apartments, negotiations are under way to lease out a new pharmacy, and both projects could be part of a reinvigorated Wilde Lake Village Center that could see ground being broken by early 2013
In its first major project planned for downtown Columbia since emerging from bankruptcy last November, the town's master developer has proposed up to 817 residences and 70,000 square feet of retail space.