Monday, July 12, 2010

Town Center Competition Heating Up

The approval of the enabling legislation for General Growth Properties’ makeover of Columbia Town Center has come none too soon. As I previously posted, Columbia is surrounded by other planned communities that will be competing to attract retailers, restaurants and office users to their communities.

To the south, in PG county, after years of planning, Konterra Town Center East expects to finally break ground in 2012. According to this story by Ovetta Wiggins in The Washington Post, the 500 acre development will include “4,500 residential units, 5.3 million square feet of commercial, retail and office space, and 500,000 square feet of hospitality space.”

“The project, however, has repeatedly stalled in recent years when trying to get it through the planning board, and previous start dates have passed without movement. But developers say they are optimistic about the 2012 groundbreaking.”

To the east the sleepy town of Odenton in Anne Arundel County is about to awaken from its development slumber. The 1,600 acre Odenton Town Center development recently reached a tentative deal with the county on infrastructure financing that will allow the project to move forward. According to this story by Daniel Sernovitz in the Baltimore Business Journal, “the Halle Cos. has agreed to spend more than $12 million to build Odenton Town Center Boulevard, a spine road that will connect several planned developments making up the town center. Halle would, in turn, receive credits it could apply toward millions of dollars in impact fees it would otherwise need to pay the county for its project.”

“As a concept, the town center has been in the works for decades. But its construction has been delayed for years because of a lack of sewer capacity and money to make those needed upgrades. The agreements announced Tuesday would resolve those issues and clear the way for future construction.”
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