oosely bounded by Clarksville Pike (MD 108) and the Patuxent Freeway (MD 32), Columbia, Maryland is a planned community comprised of 10 self-contained villages that channel James Rouse’s vision of a small-town hamlet. Initially built to promote unity and social engagement, Columbia has developed into one of the most inclusive areas in Maryland boasting social and economic diversity with a mix of apartments, subsidized housing, and single family homes in each of its neighborhoods. The area is easily accessible by car and via public transportation through RTA Maryland which offers 15 bus routes, 12 of which meet at The Mall in Columbia. Main corridors of transportation include Columbia Pike (US 29), Little Patuxent Parkway (MD 175), and various other roads which link the neighborhoods to one another. Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport is 15 minutes away and is the busiest, by passenger count, of the three major airports in the area.
Approaching 50 years since its inception, Columbia has developed into a thriving suburb with over 100,000 residents and an unemployment rate of 3.5%. It has been selected by Money Magazine as America’s No. 1 best place to live for 2016 and ranked in the top 5% of the 823 places surveyed for job growth and economic opportunity. Area schools are ranked amongst the best in the state, while median income recently surpassed $100,000, and median home values have risen over $300,000. Growth continues at Fort Meade with the NSA continuing to add approximately 800 personnel
a year, collectively representing a $26 billion economic impact on the state. Other major employers headquartered in Columbia include, W.R. Grace and Company, Integral Systems, Sourcefire, and MICROS systems which is now owned by the Oracle Corporation.
Located in the heart of Columbia, Maryland, Town Center is the last of the ten master planned communities to be developed. Home to the Columbia Mall, Merriweather Post Pavilion, and Howard Community College, this downtown destination is quickly evolving to capture an urban city feel while preserving the comfort of a neighborhood. The mall features anchors such as AMC Columbia 14, Nordstrom, Lord and Taylor, and Sears while Maryland’s first Wholefoods is located just across the street. Upcoming developments include Little Patuxent Square, a nine-floor building designed to meet LEED Gold specifications which will provide more than 140,000 square feet of office and retail space as well as 160 luxury apartment units. The Merriweather District, a 68-acre project, is set to be the next phase of development for Downtown Columbia, overseen by the Howard Hughes Corporation. The first office building is near completion at 200,000 square feet and will have MedStar as its primarily tenant. Two Merriweather, a 130,000-square-foot building is expected to open in the fall of next year and will bring the area closer to fulfilling James Rousse’s vision of “A City in a Garden.”
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