Downtown Columbia, Maryland is in the midst of an exciting evolution. Long envisioned as the vibrant town center of the planned community of Columbia, Downtown is beginning to realize its full potential following the passage of a community-driven master plan in 2010. That plan followed years of discussions about the future of the city, and it calls for new residential, commercial, and retail development, as well as community enhancements, that will transform Downtown into a dynamic place to live, work, and play.
Already, signs of Downtown's transformation are evident. The former Rouse Company headquarters building was redeveloped and is currently occupied by Howard County's only Whole Foods Market. The redevelopment of the building not only broadened its use, but it also created community gathering spaces that add vitality to Columbia's Lakefront. The Metropolitan brought new, high-quality housing and dining options to Downtown, and an open-air expansion at the Mall in Columbia added a variety of new retailers and restaurants.
The area is also become a more walkable and bike-able destination, thanks to several roadway enhancements as well as a new multi-use pathway that connects east and west Columbia through Downtown.
Exciting changes are taking place every day in Downtown Columbia, and the Commission is beginning work to add artistic and cultural opportunities to the mix, as well.