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Howard County's Top 3 Upcoming Developments

As the neighborhood between Baltimore and Washington, Howard County has often been overlooked by developers, but these three developments show that it can be a prime spot for commercial, residential and even office/logistical properties.

Downtown Columbia


Developer: Howard Hughes Corp, which owns all the land in Downtown Columbia

Details: A rezoning of the planned community founded by visionary James W. Rouse in 1967, which will transform the area into a walkable, mixed-use district. The vision includes up to 5,500 new multifamily residential units, 1.2M SF of retail, 4.3M SF of office, 640 hotel rooms and open public spaces. The acclaimed Merriweather Post Pavilion—one of the country’s top outdoor concert venues—will benefit from a $19M renovation over the next five years. It also features the Frank Gehry-designed Rouse building, which now holds a Whole Foods.

Also in the community is Metropolitan (pictured)—a JV effort between Howard Hughes, Kettler and Orchard Development—which features a 380-unit apartment complex and 14k SF of ground-floor retail that’s ahead of pro forma on lease-up. And that's only Phase 1. Phase 2, another JV between Howard Hughes and Kettler, will be two buildings containing 437 units and 29k SF of retail. It’s also within walking distance to Columbia Mall and close to Merriweather Post Pavilion. 

Most recently, Medstar has chosen Downtown Columbia for a 97k SF HQ, anchoring the first office building to deliver in the development. 

Maple Lawn


Developer: Greenebaum Enterprises

Details: Michael Greenebaum’s mixed-use project combines a traditional neighborhood community of single-family homes, townhomes and condominiums and 1.4M SF of commercial space. Situated in the heart of Howard County, the property has attracted a wide mix of businesses, including huge leases by Cisco (which will take 100k SF by Q2 '16), IronNet Security (a tech firm founded by retired Gen. Keith Alexander), Raytheon, Offit Kurman and New Day Financial.

St. John Properties SVP Rick Williamson says when a Class-A office building goes up, the firm factors in about 18 months to lease-up, but the last two office buildings at Maple Lawn were leased up in six months. A sixth building, 8115 Maple Lawn, opened this month with more than 50% already committed. The office and R&D/flex space has done incredibly well, Rick says. The five R&D/flex buildings are 100% leased with another mix of firms. Michael says the residential development is about 70% complete and the commercial properties are 65% complete. Retail will be included in another phase this year.

Baltimore-Washington Logistics Center


Developer: Manekin 

Details: Expected to be completed in June, the state-of-the-art building is designed and being redeveloped to offer more than 1M SF of institutional Class-A logistics space. Located in the heart of the Baltimore Washington Common Area—recognized as one of the most affluent and fastest-growing major markets in the United States—the 60-acre logistics center offers modern high bay functionality, ample trailer storage, lay-down space, advanced ESFR fire suppression system, LED lighting, sophisticated multi-zone freezer/cooler areas, various energy saving systems, and ample employee and fleet parking.