Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Columbia 2.0

Every big development discussion produces its own set of protagonists. Who will lead the charge on downtown development? General Growth's Gregory Hamm? State delegate Liz Bobo?

Columbia 2.0?

The Sun and others say a small group of "young, business-oriented" folks gathered Monday to push for the redevelopment of the downtown.

The new group drew about 25 people to a news conference yesterday on the parking lot of The Mall in Columbia, a short distance from a restaurant where David Yungmann, 41, a Columbia real estate agent and one of three leaders, began the event.

"We wanted to highlight how hard it is to walk from there to here," Yungmann said, explaining that his group wants to involve more young people in the discussion and push for the kind of redevelopment plan proposed by General Growth Properties Inc., the Chicago-based firm that bought the Rouse Co.

"The status quo is not an option," Yungmann said, noting how difficult it is to move around Town Center's vast parking lots on foot.

Columbia 2.0 seems very much a work in progress right now. The Web site includes little information beyond a statement of purpose. A video on the site quotes a guy saying Columbia is going downhill and needs renovation, and a young couple saying GGP's vision is great. Not exacting thought-provoking stuff there.

The video links to a Flickr site for a Laurel entrepreneur named Glenn Garnes, who also registered the Columbia2pointo Web site back in May, which was about the time GGP started its presentations.

It'll be interesting to see if a new generation of folks really steps forward; we saw inklings during the big battle over Merriweather. Read this piece for one account.

If nothing else, maybe debate over downtown will produce some more local bloggers ;)


Chris Bachmann said...

I'd really like to read their proposals myself. It seems that there is noting really substantial beyond what GGP is proposing. I appreciate their efforts and I wouldn't mind taking part of their discussion as well as the one my own on my own site, but we've been talking about this for a long time without a lot of substantial reports that are open to the public. Maybe I'll have to have them on for an early episode of Choose Senility.

Anonymous said...

Are the official results of the Charette located on the web?

It would help C2.0 credibility tremendously if they were not associated with the real estate industry. Howard citizens have been trampled for decades by the land use industries, and we're acutely sensitive to associations that link an individual's personal agenda to permanent changes with the potential to impact residents countywide.