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Downtown Columbia

Columbia, Maryland


Downtown Columbia’s transformation is underway through the approved master plan adopted in 2010 that allows for up to 14 million square feet of mixed-use development, including 6,250 residential units; 1.25 million square feet of retail; 4.3 million square feet of office space; and 640 hotel rooms.

Columbia’s convenient location between Washington, DC and Baltimore, MD continues to draw highly educated residents, with easy access to leading public and private employers and some of the best public schools in the country. Premier homebuilders and a compelling environment have also led to a growing population in the area. Located in Howard County, it's one of the nation’s most affluent counties, with a median household income of over $100,000 and population growth above 34% over the past decade.

Recent development momentum includes the adaptive reuse of the iconic former Rouse Building into a Whole Foods Market; the opening of The Metropolitan, Downtown Columbia’s first multi-family project offering 380 units with ground level retail; the acquisition of multiple existing office buildings; and additional multi-family projects located adjacent to The Metropolitan underway.


Opened in late 2016 in the Merriweather District is the first new Class A office building to be constructed in Downtown Columbia in decades that will be home to MedStar, the largest healthcare providers in the region. Named One Merriweather, the building contains approximately 199,000 square feet with structured parking sufficient for another similar-sized office building. This second building, Two Merriweather, is currently under construction.

These latest investments in Downtown Columbia comes on the heels of national recognition in the October 2016 issue of Money Magazine, which listed Columbia at the top of its Best Places to Live in America list, citing its outstanding national ranking for job growth and economic opportunity as well as its award-winning public education system and range of housing choices.

Expansion of the company’s footprint in Downtown Columbia follows several significant milestones recently achieved in keeping with the 2010 Downtown Columbia Plan, including the approval of a $90 million tax increment financing (TIF) plan on November 9, 2016 by the Howard County government to fund critical public infrastructure improvements. As of October 2017, $48 Million of bonds have been issued for infrastructure costs related to the development of Merriweather District. The proceeds will fund road work improvement of Merriweather Drive, Divided Sky Lane, extension of Hickory Ridge Road, Symphony Woods Road as well as improvements to storm water management and water and sewer lines.