UPDATE - March 8 - At their meeting on March 7, the Howard County Planning Board approved Howard Hughes Co's plan to remove the parking spots and redevelop the site at the former Rouse Building which is slated to be a Whole Foods and Columbia Association Gym.
Original Story - March 5
One of the most noticeable developments for most residents will be a traffic signal on Little Patuxent Parkway leading into the lakefront lot. A traffic study by the county deemed the signal necessary, according to a staff report written by the the Department of Planning and Zoning.
As for parking, Howard Hughes intends to cut almost 100 spaces from the two lots at the building, according to the report. If approved, the lots would have a total of 356 spaces, three more than required by downtown parking requirements, but less than the 454 that are currently outside the building.
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The plan calls for the lots to be reoriented so that the parking spots run east to west rather than north to south, according to the staff report.
In addition, the development company plans to add landscaped islands to the lots to act as stormwater management. The former Rouse Building has two parking lots, the large one directly in front of the building and a smaller one closer to the lake.
Also provided in the staff report was square footage estimates for the amenities. The plan calls for renovation of the second and third stories of the building, which will result in a 46,720 square foot, one-story space for Whole Foods. The first and fourth stories will be taken up by 19,008 square foot of office space and a 28,385 square foot health club.