In The News

Urbanizing the Town Center of Columbia, Maryland

By Will Macht
Urbanland Magazine – March 12, 2018

When the Howard Hughes Corporation (HHC) inherited control of the pioneering mixed-use town center of Columbia, Maryland, in 2010, the company became steward of the task of urbanizing Columbia’s still-suburban downtown for a city that had grown to a population of 99,615.

In the 1960s, developer James Rouse had conceived of Columbia, which was to be built on open land between Baltimore and Washington, D.C., as a 14,000-acre (5,700 ha) new town of ten villages, including its designated Town Center. The vision was roughly based on Rouse’s native Easton, Maryland, although Easton was a mid-19th-century village built on a rectilinear street grid of mostly 200-by-400-foot (61 by 122 m) blocks.

Read more.

Two Merriweather Welcomes Pearson Learning

Elizabeth Janney
Columbia Patch – December 2017

COLUMBIA, MD — There will be a grand opening for a far-reaching education company this week at Two Merriweather. The new tenant — Pearson — provides tools and content for educators across the world.

The office in Columbia will support Pearson’s online learning initiative. The virtual classroom component of the company launched in Baltimore as Connections Education in 2001 and has since been acquired by Pearson, according to a statement from the company… Read more.

Tenable to relocate to new building in downtown Columbia

The Baltimore Sun – November 2017

Tenable, the fast-growing cybersecurity company based in a Columbia office park, plans to relocate its headquarters to an urban-style campus in downtown Columbia and add hundreds of employees in the next few years.

The expansion, expected in 2019, will bolster the Baltimore-Washington region’s reputation as a cyber hub supported by government and federal contractor needs, university research and training, and a skilled workforce…  Read more.


Cybersecurity company to expand headquarters to Columbia1600 1750

Associated Press
Washington Post November 2017

A cybersecurity company is expanding with a new corporate headquarters in Columbia, Maryland.

Officials from The Howard Hughes Corp. and Gov. Larry Hogan are announcing the expansion of software company Tenable on Friday. It will expand Tenable’s current local employee base… Read more.


OPUS 1 is the surreal party Columbia needs

Kristen Page-Kirby
Washington Post October 2017

“Most people haven’t been inside an 80-foot, inflatable, cloudlike structure.”

What Ken Farmer is saying is probably true. Farmer is the curator of Opus 1, a festival that will blend art, music, technology and nature near Merriweather Post Pavilion on Saturday. The structure he’s referring to — one of four stages at Opus 1… Read more.


OPUS 1 paints Columbia’s woods with innovative visuals and music

Kristen Page-Kirby
WTOP October 2017

The woods of downtown Columbia, Maryland, will serve as a living, organic canvas Saturday for OPUS 1, an interactive art installation featuring an eclectic mix of sight and sound.

Merriweather Park at Symphony Woods will host the inaugural one-day festival, which comprises 11 large installations… Read more.


Kettler, Howard Hughes open new Columbia apartments

Adam Bednar
Daily Record October 2017

The ongoing redevelopment of downtown Columbia marked a milestone with the opening of two new apartment buildings on Tuesday. TEN.M and m.flats Downtown Columbia provide 437 units along with roughly 28,000 square feet of ground floor retail. Amenities at the apartment buildings include a sports bar, pools and yoga studio. “TEN.M and m.flats redefine luxury apartment living… Read more.

‘Not just a better suburb’: Through food, festivals and music, downtown Columbia tries to become a ‘real city’

Amanda Yeager
Baltimore Business Journal  September 2017

Beyond the buildings, downtown Columbia’s boosters are working to create something less tangible but, they say, just as important to growing a city: establishing an urban scene capable of drawing in a new generation of millennials, young professionals and families – and, hopefully, convincing them to stay. Read more.

Columbia Spotlight Shifts, Shining Back on Lakefront

Mark R. Smith
Business Monthly July 2017

For what was once considered the center of a nascent downtown, The Columbia Lakefront hasn’t gotten much attention in what seems like a long time.

It’s seemed that, though the Downtown Columbia Master Plan has been approved for several years and a number of projects are underway or finished, the buzz has focused elsewhere… Read more.


Little Patuxent Square mixed-use development opens in downtown Columbia

Katie V. Jones
The Baltimore Sun June 1, 2017

At the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new Little Patuxent Square building, there was wine, food and distinguished guests such as Lt. Gov. Boyd Rutherford and Howard County Executive Allan Kittleman. The real attraction, however, was the room itself.

Held on the ninth floor of the new downtown Columbia building, the opening reception on May 24 provided guests with a panoramic view in a bright, open office space that featured windows all around. Read more.

These 4 Washington Developers Are Building New Neighborhoods From Scratch

Marisa M. Kashino
Washingtonian 4/14/2017

REAL ESTATE.– Around here, developers don’t just build buildings—they build entire neighborhoods. […]

Downtown Columbia – John DeWolf. When James Rouse designed the city of Columbia in the 1960s, he placed a shopping mall at its core. Today’s smart-growthers would have laughed. But back then, Rouse was among the most progressive planners in the country. His intention was arguably urban-minded—he wanted malls to serve as town centers for otherwise sprawling suburbs. Read more.

The Howard Hughes Corp. Acquires Two Downtown Columbia Office Buildings

Business Wire 1/11/2017

COLUMBIA, Md.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The Howard Hughes Corporation® (NYSE: HHC) announced today that it has expanded its holdings in Downtown Columbia, MD with the acquisition of two existing office buildings: The American City Building (ACB), adjacent to Whole Foods Market on Little Patuxent Parkway; and One Mall North, positioned on the outside of the ring road surrounding The Mall in Columbia. Both purchases were underwritten in view of their future development potential. Read more.

Columbia, Maryland: Good as Gold.

Steve Bates
Common Ground Magazine 1/9/2017

Columbia, Md., was developed 50 years ago to be a new town that would represent the best of America. That ideal still holds true for one of the country’s first master-planned communities—even as it continues to grow. Read more.

Faces to Watch in 2017: ​Greg Fitchitt, vice president, Howard Hughes Corp.

Melody Simmons
Baltimore Business Journal 1/5/2017

Why is he one to watch: The Largest redevelpment and expansion of downtown Columbia will begin this year under his watchful eye.

For the first part of 2017, Greg Fitchitt will spend much of his time pouring over design plans for development work that will commence at the end of the year. Read more.

Downtown Columbia development nabs second big tenant with 75K s.f. lease.

Melody Simmons
Baltimore Business Journal 12/19/2016

Pearson PLC, an international publishing and education company, will merge four of its Maryland offices into new office space in Columbia’s up-and-coming downtown.

The company has leased 75,000 square feet in Two Merriweather, a $41 million Class A office development now under construction by the Howard Hughes Corp. in the heart of the Howard County town center. Read more.

Howard County Council approves historic overhaul for downtown Columbia development

Fatimah Waseem
Columbia Flier 11/9/2016

After months of deliberation, the Howard County Council Wednesday approved a $90 million public financing deal and affordable housing plan for downtown Columbia as Howard Hughes Corp., Columbia’s master developer, overhauls the county’s core. Read more.

A Downtown Columbia Garage: In Play, But Who’ll Pay?

The Business Monthly 11/2/2016

Anyone who’s ever taken in a concert at Merriweather Post Pavilion knows that parking for the shows can offer a tough choice: Either park in the 60-acre dirt lot that surrounds the venue in what’s known as the Crescent, then get caught in the bottleneck when you leave; or take your chances in the parking lot at The Mall in Columbia. Read more.

Building Downtown Columbia: The TIF

T.J. Mayotte
Medium 10/7/2016

The Downtown Columbia Plan was adopted in 2010, sketching out a vision to fulfill the Rousian promise of “a real, comprehensive, balanced city.” The plan said, with perhaps a tinge of optimism, “Downtown Columbia will be a diverse, mixed-use, livable, physically distinctive and human-scaled place with a range of housing choices and recreational, civic, cultural and educational amenities.” Read more.

Chamber leadership urges support of TIF, affordable housing recommendations [Commentary]

Leonardo McClarty
Howard County Chamber of Commerce
Howard County Times– 10/5/2016

Economic and community development have always been priorities of the Howard County Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber has always supported initiatives that foster commerce all the while enhancing the Howard County community. It is in this spirit that we support the County Administration’s Tax Increment Financing (TIF) proposal and Joint Recommendations on Affordable Housing. The collaboration between residents, stakeholders and the County Council to form a meaningful dialogue and unanimously pass the Downtown Columbia Plan was exceptional. Now, the thousands who have supported the Downtown Columbia Plan for over six years are counting on us to implement the Plan for future generations. Read more.

How America’s #1 Best Place to Live Got to Be That Way

Kristopher Brant
Money Magazine – 9/22/16

Number One in MONEY’s Best Places to Live in America 2016 is a planned community: Columbia, Md. Here’s how it got to be that way. Read more.

#1: Columbia, Md. – Best Places to Live in America 2016

Money Magazine – 9/18/16

You know the phrase “50 is the new 30?” Apparently, that applies to cities and towns, too.Columbia, Md., turns 50 next year, and it’s never looked better. One of the most successful planned communities in the country, Columbia is a magnet in the Baltimore–Washington corridor, attracting families in search of good schools and businesses hungry for educated employees. Read more.

Howard planners: Parking reduction key to urban shift in downtown Columbia

Fatimah Waseem
Howard County Times – 9/14/2016

The Howard County Council is considering a parking reduction in downtown Columbia as part of the Kittleman administration’s plans to redevelop the area into a vibrant, urban core.

The move, which changes a 2010 development plan for the town, reduces parking from 1.65 spaces to 1.3 spaces for new studio and one-bedroom units as the county grapples with how to create an urban environment in a largely suburban area. Read more.

•  Part 3: Shopping and Retailing at the Heart of the Columbia Plan

Len Lazarick
Maryland Reporter –  9/13/2016

Tony Tringali is a living fossil, a historical remnant of ancient Columbia. His barbershop in the Wilde Village Center is not just antique; it qualifies for a plaque as a historic landmark of the Founding Father’s plans.

Tony is the last merchant standing from those that opened their doors 49 years ago for the first Columbia residents. Before the mall, before Route 175, before the eight other village centers opened, there was Tony. Read more.

• New $41M office building in downtown Columbia eyes fall 2017 opening

Fatimah Waseem
Howard County Times – 8/17/2016

A new $41 million office building by Howard Hughes Corp., Columbia’s master developer, is slated to open in the fall of next year as the county chases a vision to redevelop the town into an urban, mixed-used center and integrate retail and office space to make downtown Columbia a major job center. Read more.

• Legislation Aims to Prime Affordable Housing Pump

George Berkheimer
The Business Monthly – 8/5/2016

Six years after adoption of the Downtown Columbia Plan, the number of affordable housing units built stands at zero.

That’s a bit of a head-scratcher, considering that some initial large-scale mixed-use residential projects have been completed, others are in the planning stage and ongoing construction activity is widespread. Read more.

Part 2 Focusing on Shelter and Jobs: Columbia Downtown, Business Parks Went Up and Down With the Economy

Len Lazarick
The Business Monthly – 8/1/2016

This is the second in a series of 12 monthly essays over the next year leading up to Columbia’s 50th birthday celebration next June.

It was an odd celebration, even for the honorees. In hindsight, the way Ryland Homes commemorated its long, 35-year partnership with the Rouse Co. in 2001 was ironic for both companies. Read more.

Proposed multi-purpose arts center envisioned as ‘crown jewel’ of Columbia

Fatimah Waseem
Columbia Flier – 7/27/2016

A plan to grow the arts on nearly three acres of downtown Columbia is underway as the town chases a vision of becoming a vibrant, urban core.

The concept proposed by Orchard Development Corp. would create the county’s first cultural arts center — a $130 million facility that integrates art organizations under one roof, caters affordable housing to artists and creates a year-round laboratory for artists and art lovers alike. Read more.

Advocates: $51M parking garage key as Merriweather eyes new ownership

Fatimah Waseem
Columbia Flier – 7/26/2016

Nearly 13 years ago, two Columbia kids and bandmates launched a campaign to “save” Merriweather Post Pavilion, a popular outdoor amphitheater in Columbia, from encroaching development by General Growth Properties. Read more.

Setting the Record Straight on the Future of Downtown Columbia

Michael W. Davis 7/19/2016

When I attended the Howard County Council public hearing on July 14 regarding the pending TIF legislation, I was struck by a few common misunderstandings that were being discussed by some of the people providing testimony. Having been active in the Howard County civic and legal communities for over 30 years, I would like to address a few points for clarification. Read more.

Statement from Executive Kittleman on affordable housing and TIF legislation for Downtown Columbia

News Release
Howard County Government – 7/15/2016

ELLICOTT CITY, MD – I appreciate the many residents who came out Thursday night to the County Council’s public hearing to testify regarding the Downtown Columbia affordable housing and financing plans. Our policies and initiatives are always made stronger through input by our residents and stakeholders. Read more.

•  County officials: Without TIF, Howard County could ‘wait forever’ to redevelop downtown Columbia

By Fatimah Waseem
Baltimore Sun  – 7/15/2016

As the Howard Hughes Corp. develops downtown Columbia, Howard County officials defended the need for $128 million in tax increment financing to fulfill a vision to create a vibrant urban core, a framework laid out by the 2010 Columbia redevelopment master plan. The tax increment financing, known as a TIF, joins nearly $2.21 billion in private investment proposed for the full build-out of downtown Columbia, which Howard County Executive Allan Kittleman envisions will be “the driving economic engine and force of the county.” Read more.

•  Affordable housing and infrastructure plans for downtown Columbia [Commentary]

Allan Kittleman, Howard County Executive
The Baltimore Sun –  7/13/2016

As Columbia approaches its 50th year, planning for the future of downtown Columbia is underway. The 2010 Downtown Columbia Plan set the stage for a thriving downtown space and I am pleased that our administration has put together a consensus-driven legal framework for sustainable development throughout downtown Columbia. Read more.

  Part 1: How the ‘garden for growing people’ got planted and grew

Len Lazarick
Maryland Reporter –  7/11/2016

When I tell people I’ve lived in Columbia 43 years, some say, “Oh you must be a pioneer.” But a pioneer, in old-Columbia speak, is technically someone who moved here in its first year, 1967–68. A few of those 2,200 souls are left, and all can tell you of the first store, the first school, the first this and the first that. But this monthly series of essays leading to Columbia’s 50th birthday next June is not meant as a piece of nostalgia. Read more.

•  Recommendations represent expert thinking on housing [Commentary]

Linda Odum
The Baltimore Sun – 7/7/2016

With Columbia’s 50th birthday less than a year away, it is fitting that the Downtown Columbia Plan for the city’s “revitalization” is gaining momentum.
This was evidenced by Howard County Executive Allan Kittleman’s submission last week of legislation for affordable housing and financing for public infrastructure to support the implementation of the plan. Mr. Kittleman’s proposal will help further the wish of founder James Rouse that Columbia be a “real city.” Read more.

•  In 4-1 vote, Howard planning board approves affordable housing proposal for downtown Columbia

Fatimah Waseem
Howard County Times – 5/11/2016

In a 4-1 vote, the planning board approved the Kittleman administration’s affordable housing plan for downtown Columbia that includes nearly 1,000 affordable units tied to a significant increase in housing density and reduced parking. Read more.


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