$100 Million Luxury Building Unveiled for Downtown Columbia

The building will be the first in a long-term development plan for Town Center.

A $100 million luxury apartment and retail building planned for downtown Columbia will be introduced to the public at a pre-submission county meeting at Howard Community College on Tuesday, according to the Downtown Columbia website.

The building will include 380 apartments and 14,000 square feet of retail, according to an article in the Howard County Times.

It will be the first step in a 30-year plan to develop Town Center into a more walkable, urban downtown.

The Metropolitan Downtown Columbia building will include one-, two- and three-bedroom luxury apartments that range in price from $1,500 to $2,800 as well as first floor retail shops, according to the Howard County Times article.

The meeting for the development of Parcel D, the location where the building is planned to be built, will take place on May 22 at 6:30 p.m. in the Rouse Company Foundation Student Services Hall, Room 400, at Howard County Community College. Parcel D is located just west of the mall ring road and east of Broken Land Parkway on the west side of the mall, according to the website

Are you excited for development to begin in Town Center?

jj May 17, 2012 at 05:22 PM
More rental apartments for Columbia means more urban problems. Pollution, traffic, crime, and schools over capacity. You can thank the County Ex and County Council Chair for giving the developers what they want and giving taxpayers the bill.
Michaelwritescode May 17, 2012 at 06:15 PM
Not sure if all the use of the word "luxury" is marketing spin or a legitimate description of the apartments. Will they rent to Section 8? Not sure if renters have a choice in MD. Anyway the article certainly makes them sound nice and as a young Columbian I'm okay with letting downtown become a little more "downtown" rather than simply "oh look a mall".
jj May 18, 2012 at 11:59 AM
We need people to take ownership in the community. Area has enough apartments already --- these are much like all the others in terms of rental rates. If you consider all the others as luxury apartments, these would be luxury too. Developers are just after a quick profit. However, we need to promote ownership and have more townhouses in the area for people to purchase and raise a family.
Polly May 18, 2012 at 01:04 PM
@jj - I get your message however, did it ever occur to you that there are some of us that would prefer to rent an apartment? Personally, a single family home is out of the question as is a townhouse. Why? Well, I owned a home for many years but due to doctors orders I sold it about 5 years ago. I need to be on one level, few to no stairs/steps. Basic housecleaning has to be done in small spurts when pain allows, which I'm sorry to say isn't as often as I'd like. The outside maintenance to a house/townhouse and yard is much more than I could handle physically and now that I'm on a limited income, it's very costly to hire someone to do even the simplest of tasks. Things I used to do myself. Now, a condo might be more to my liking and if I can find one that suits my needs and wants, I'll buy one. Until, then as soon as I can get out of my current living situation I plan to rent. Nothing fancy, but in a safe area, and quiet is necessary (not near tot lots, basketball courts etc.) It would be so much less expensive to buy a home now as opposed to renting, but that would be my choice. And, I'm not alone. Don't stereotype renters, it's unfair and unseemly. Being an owner as opposed to a renter does not guarantee anything other than more property taxes, period. There are many people I know that own homes that I wouldn't want to live next to. How about you? Are all your neighbors wonderful?
jj May 18, 2012 at 01:11 PM
Polly ---- there are lots of apartments in the area now. You can rent one if you wish. We need to have balance in the area. Seems you have something against people that want to buy a home.
Polly May 18, 2012 at 01:19 PM
jj - lots of apartments ? of course there are, but, unfortunately not in an area I'd feel safe living in. did you even read what I wrote? I have nothing at all against homeowners at all, where did I say that? I said I'd even consider buying a condo, or is that not the type of homeownership you want? Many people, especially those of us that are 55+ would love to live in a nice, safe home that would omit the necessary and costly maintenance of a single family or townhome. Even the article in the Howard County Times that is linked here indicates there is a big demand for apartments. I'm sorry you don't like it, but it is what it is, just deal with it.
jj May 18, 2012 at 01:33 PM
Polly --- I wish you well in your search. You are correct about many apartments in the area no longer being a safe place to live. Ask the local police how safe these "luxury" apartments in Columbia are today --- not safe at all. I know you hope these new ones will be different. You may even think they will make the Mall and mall parking lot safer. Good luck.
Anne May 18, 2012 at 06:07 PM
If you are on a limited income, Polly, then a condo is NOT your best choice because you have to be vigilant that your condo board sets aside an adequate amount for long-term maintenance & replacement of major systems, roofing, HVAC, grounds, interior spaces, etc. And then there is the problem of fellow owners who have destructive "guests" who visit & trash the property & its amenities. Guess who gets to pay for the repairs in addition to your monthly mortgage & utilities? I would recommend that you give serious consideration to moving OUT of Columbia. It is overpriced, overbuilt & overrated.
BOH May 23, 2012 at 12:28 AM
Polly, a big part of why the apartments aren't safe is that policymakers and other decision-makers in affordable and public housing don't strike an effective balance between dignity, fairness, and pragmatism in implementation. I appreciate the ideals of affordable housing, and believe we should cleave to them. But it's completely irresponsible to not carefully address the accompanying realities--namely, crime and other problems caused by a few bad apples who sully the program's image.


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