Opened in 1967, the Columbia, Maryland master planned community is comprised of 16,450 acres located in the Washington-Baltimore Metropolitan Area with nine distinct villages and a downtown. Columbia was created to offer a metropolitan setting for its nearly 100,000 residents by James W. Rouse, considered one of the fathers of the master planned community business. With more than 5,300 acres of open space, lakefront venues such as Town Center, The Columbia Mall, Whole Foods Market and the Merriweather Post Pavilion, Columbia lives up to its recognition by Money Magazine in 2012 as one of the best places to live.
The Howard Hughes Corporation is the master developer and majority land owner for the Downtown Columbia master plan that was unanimously approved by Howard County in 2010. The vision includes up to 5,500 new multi-family residential units; 1.2 million square feet of retail; 4.3 million square feet of commercial office space; 640 hotel rooms and more open public spaces. The acclaimed Merriweather Post Pavilion, one of the country’s top outdoor concert venues, will benefit from a $19 million renovation over the next five years.
The development of Downtown Columbia into a 21st century urban destination is currently underway. Milestone accomplishments include the August 2014 opening of Columbia’s first Whole Foods Market in HHC’s redeveloped, Frank Gehry-designed, Columbia Regional Building; the recent opening of The Metropolitan Downtown Columbia, a 380-unit luxury apartment complex with 14,000 square feet of ground floor retail co-developed by HHC in partnership with Kettler; the expansion of The Mall in Columbia; the opening of the Haven on the Lake wellness center and spa; and the commencement of construction on Little Patuxent Square, a mixed-use development that will include office, retail and residential components. These achievements represent the initial phase of the transformation of Downtown Columbia into a world-class community to live, work, learn and play.