Monday, December 29, 2014

Columbia - Keep Up or Get Out of the Way

Kevin Litten with the Baltimore Business Journal wrote a very important piece about what Howard Hughes plans to do with the six Corporate Center buildings it purchased last week.  This quote from senior leasing manager Holly Breland stuck out:

"This market is covered by excellent national retail and great big-box representation, but you don't have that quaint touch of Georgetown," Breland said, referring to the high-end retail corridor in Washington, D.C. "There are certain tenants that prefer to be on the street over malls, so I'm talking about great retail often found on the street combined with restaurants."  (Emphasis added)

You'll also find referenced to "chef-driven restaurants" in the piece, which I think of as "destination dining" (i.e., the places that make for solid small talk after you're finished talking about the weather).

Litten also notes that Howard Hughes is entitled to build 4.3 million square feet of Downtown office space under the Master Plan.

Complaints about parking and traffic have lost impact with repetition.  This is a sketch of what the future of Columbia will end up being.  The original title for this post was "Columbia: Completely Different, Just Like Everywhere Else", but that expresses a cynicism and pessimism that I don't feel here.  I am genuinely excited.  I was excited when Whole Foods was announced.  I was excited when Haven on the Lake was figured out.  I am excited by everything Inner Arbor promises to be.

There is so much kinetic energy in Columbia right now that our greatest task is either to keep up or get out of the way.  I almost missed this article entirely and, as far as I can tell, plans for these new buildings did not make it into the local coverage of the purchase.  Sure, these are just plans and we are far off from demolition/rebuild, but you get the feeling that Columbia may outgrow our cognizance.  I've never felt that way before.

Have a great Monday doing what you love!