Friday, October 28, 2011

A New Neighborhood is Born

Last night, at the Public Submission for the first Town Center neighborhood to be developed under the new redevelopment legislation, the public got a glimpse of how the existing areas around The Mall will be transformed. The new Warfield neighborhood will wrap around the cinema side of the mall with buildings ranging in height from 4 to 9 stories. It will also include six amenity areas totaling 1.88 acres, three of which already exist in some form.

They now have names. The plaza in front of L.L. Bean will now become Warfield Plaza. It will also be expanded to “accommodate intense and planned public events, such as frequent markets, festivals, fairs and similar.”

The existing plaza in front of the cinemas and the Cheesecake Factory will be rechristened as Warfield Plaza and is envisioned to complement Warfield Square and “uniquely accommodate young families, children and young adults from Warfield, nearby neighborhoods and the broader community of Columbia.”

The existing sidewalk that runs up the hill from Nordstrom to the Evergreens age restricted apartments will get a makeover and become Warfield Mews, “a small linear green affording residents, shoppers and office workers a place to sit, stroll or walk the dog.”

It is interesting to see how these existing areas will be worked into the new plan and the detail provided here is only a small snapshot of the overall program. The amenity plan is part of the neighborhood design guidelines contained in a 270 page book covering everything from architecture to storm water management. The developer has already provided copies to the media and has promised to post them online as well. For anyone interested in community development it is a treasure trove of information. I’ll provide a link when they become available.
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