Thursday, October 2, 2008

Downtown Plans Submitted To County

Here we go.

From WaPo:

Developers formally proposed the most ambitious overhaul of downtown Columbia in its history yesterday, hoping to transform the four-decade-old planned community into a collection of modern, walkable, environmentally friendly neighborhoods with a new downtown.

General Growth Properties submitted a plan to Howard County officials that calls for 5,500 new townhouses and apartments and the construction of 1 million square feet of retail space over the next three decades in neighborhoods surrounding Columbia Town Center.

WaPo reminds us that GG owns 95 of the 110 acres that might be redeveloped. The ExploreHoward blog reports that there is no set timetable for actual construction (WaPo says GG would like to start in 2010, but the economy might have something to say about that) Buildings could be as tall as 20 stories; Merriweather would get a makeover:

The 82-page plan, which requires the approval of the County Council, calls for the creation of five distinct neighborhoods -- Warfield, The Lakefront, The Crescent, Merriweather and Symphony Overlook -- designed to incorporate a mix of residential, commercial and retail development to make the downtown area more urban and pedestrian-friendly. The neighborhoods would connect more directly with the Columbia mall, Merriweather Post Pavilion, Symphony Woods and Lake Kittamaqundi, with broad pedestrian walkways lined by shops, caf├ęs, fountains and gardens.

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