Last night I attended the much anticipated presentation of the GGP Draft Master Plan for Columbia Town Center. The three hour presentation was held in the Spear Center in the GGP building in Town Center.
Before going to the presentation I dropped by Clyde’s where GGP was hosting a small cocktail reception for some business folks before the presentation. Much of the cocktail chatter was about the recent Columbia Council elections. Suffice it say that not everyone was pleased with the results. One of the more interesting things I picked up was a rumor that some kind of deal has been struck with a group of council members that will essentially give the job of CA president to Liz Bobo.
It seems that some folks see nefarious designs behind Liz’s heavy involvement in supporting her chosen candidates. My own take on this is that while it is plausible that such a deal could have been made it doesn't seem probable.
Then again, who knows?
The presentation itself was somewhat less than uplifting. In my day at The Rouse Company (the predecessor of GGP), if we had a presentation to make, our objective would have been to blow peoples socks off. We routinely set up multi projector slide shows that were scored with music and narration. By the end of one these slide presentations we’d have people fired up about our plans. Anyone whoever attended a Rouse Company shareholders meeting knows of what I speak.
GGP’s presentation last night was not quite up to that standard. As Paul Skalny, a local attorney quipped to me “I hope their planning is better than their presentation.” Greg Hamm and his consultants could have benefited from more preparation time.
That is not to say that the presentation wasn’t informative. It was. In fact, I applaud GGP for the approach they are taking. Rather than attempting to plan out all of Town Center at once, they are taking a phased approach. This consisted of outlining an overall conceptual plan that can be modified along the way while focusing on the details of what will likely be done first.
I’ll have more on that in a separate post.
It also appears that GGP has created a new logo for Town Center. I wonder if the village of Town Center will adopt this a replacement for the existing village logo. I, for one, think it would be an improvement of the current one.