Columbia's Downtown Transformation

A look at the plans currently being constructed or debated in Downtown Columbia.

The start of construction at the Metropolitan Downtown Columbia and the Mall in Columbia have brought a focus back to the development of Columbia's Downtown.

As the Downtown Columbia Plan becomes a reality, more and more of the designs presented in past community meetings will begin to appear in the city.

Currently, construction projects are underway at the Mall in Columbia, the Warfield area where the Metropolitan is being built, and Clyde's on the waterfront where a $4 million renovation project was announced in December.

John DeWolf, senior vice president of development for the Howard Hughes Corp., said at the Metropolitan's groundbreaking that the renovation of the former Rouse Company Headquarters to make it ready for a Whole Foods grocery store and a Columbia Association fitness center will soon begin.

DeWolf also noted Howard Hughes will start planning for the Crescent property surrounding the south side of Merriweather Post Pavilion.

DeWolf indicated that Howard Hughes is working on a plan to update Merriweather Post Pavilion, but said he wasn't ready to talk publicly about it yet.

In January, Columbia Association revealed a new plan for developing Symphony Woods, the Inner Arbor Plan, that was dramatically different from the original pathway and fountain plan. At the CA Board meeting on Feb. 14, the board voted to pursue the Inner Arbor Concept plan for the development of Symphony Woods, although it still must go through the county planning process before any kind of construction can begin.

Above, flip through the design plans and construction sites for the current projects being developed and discussed for Downtown Columbia.

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Richard W. Boss February 21, 2013 at 06:14 PM
I look forward to having Whole Foods in Columbia, but I am concerned about parking. When I went to the post office near the planned location this past week there was not a space to be found within an eighth of a mile. Is additional parking planned in association with the new store? If so, that should be mentioned.
Paul Milligan February 21, 2013 at 06:43 PM
Additionally. I am concerned about Whole Foods affect on traffic. Traffic patterns around office buildings and grocery stores are entirely different yet we've heard nothing about how these changes will be accommodated. Of particular concern is that one of the two parking lot entrances is unsignaled.
Andrew Metcalf (Editor) February 21, 2013 at 06:53 PM
From my experience there's normally a pretty large number of parking spots to the right of the Rouse building, unless there's a large concert going on at Merriweather, b/c it's occasionally used as an overflow lot. There's also parking below the building, near the side that faces the lakefront that's lightly used. We'll see if the developers plan to add parking as the site is developed.
Elle February 22, 2013 at 03:50 PM
It's a shame Whole Foods is going there. So many places it could've gone and now its going to be plopped right in the center of town. Is this was Rouse envisioned? I doubt it.
Kevin I. February 22, 2013 at 06:55 PM
I agree with Andrew. I have never been to the Rouse Building and not been able to find a parking spot. I even parked there for Wine in the Woods last year and the lot was not yet full. Howard Hughes has stated that additional parking is planned for the area and I am fairly certain traffic signals will be added where needed. This is a very exciting time for Columbia.
Michael February 22, 2013 at 10:01 PM
Columbia's downtown transformation is all about greenback greed.
Michaelwritescode February 25, 2013 at 03:56 PM
Welcome to capitalism?


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