Panel Recommends Tweaks to Mall Redevelopment

Overall, the design panel was impressed with the plan to redevelop the Mall in Columbia.

The Howard County Design Advisory Panel recommended a few changes to General Growth Property's current site plan for the redevelopment of the Mall in Columbia.

The current plan is to remove the L.L. Bean store and replace it and the parking lot behind it with three buildings, which will total approximately 75,000 square feet, and a pedestrian walkway leading to a new entrance to the mall. The new buildings will be occupied by retail stores and restaurants, according to GGP representatives.

On Wednesday night, the design panel approved five recommendations to the developers:

  • That they tie together interior and exterior features of the mall's current design with the redeveloped space.
  • Use materials that relate to the existing appearance of the mall, including light masonry and more glazing.
  • Create a further passageway to a nearby parking garage and put a structural enhancement between buildings A and B
  • Place bike parking near the garage
  • Insert a green space in the passageway that divides building A and B and connects to the main pathway, which will extend from where the new entrance to the mall will be.

Besides these recommendations, the panel seemed pleased with GGP's design of the redevelopment.

At the meeting, Brian Spencer, of the Design Management Group, said the developers hope to have the redevelopment plans in front of the Planning Board by October and then to begin construction by January.

The developers have not announced what stores or restaurants would be moving into the new space, but did say several parties are interested, according to Jim Whitcome, GGP senior development director.

In a "speak out" on Patch in July, several commenters expressed their interest in the following stores and restaurants: CVS, a beer pub, California Pizza Kitchen, Urban Outfitters, The Container Store, Pottery Barn, Anthropolgie, Jamba Juice and Ruth's Chris Steakhouse.

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