Monday, October 01, 2012

An Oella Morning

This morning I met up with Charles Wagandt, the president of The Oella Company. His company has been involved in the redevelopment of the former mill village along the banks of the Patapsco River since 1973. Oella was not served by public and sewer until 1984. Before then many homes still used outhouses.
It’s a different place today. The William J. Dickey & Sons Textile Mill was built in 1918 and ceased operations in 1972. It is now a 147 unit luxury apartment project offering spectacular views of the river. Homes dating back to the early 1800’s have been painstakingly rehabbed and new homes have been added that maintain the architectural integrity of the village. Oella is now a National Register Historic District.

It’s still a work in progress and that’s what bought me back to see Charles this morning. Earlier in the year he had asked me to come up and take a look at the old village Community Hall which he had leased to a technology company called SensorStar. The company had since moved their operations down the hill to Ellicott City and Charles wanted to find a new tenant. He asked for my advice.
At the time, the building was clad in asbestos shingles. It sorely lacked what we call curb appeal. I suggested to Charles that getting rid of the asbestos shingles might be a good start.

He actually listened to me!

Today, with the old shingles removed, the original plank siding was exposed. I only wish I had taken a before picture. The place looks great.
If any HoCo loco business is looking for something a little different than the standard suburban office fare, there is a 5,000 square foot building in Oella that’s well worth a look.

And yes, this was a bit of a shameless plug for my real job.

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