Thursday, February 07, 2013

Merrill Lynch Facelift

I've always considered the Merrill Lynch office building in downtown Columbia to be a bad building in a great location. With its close proximity to The Mall and commanding views of downtown Columbia and the lakefront, this should be the best office building in town.

It isn't.  From the day it first opened in 1982 the building has been plagued with an undersized heating and air conditioning system that, on any given day, left half the building tenants cold and the other half hot.

It also had a split lobby that often left visitors confused. Crossing the pedestrian footbridge from the lakefront, you entered the building on the ground level. Parking in the top level of the garage you entered on the second floor. Parking on the lower level of the garage, you entered a side door on the bridge level.

The upper floor elevator lobbies were a mishmash of finishes as various owners over the years tried to put lipstick on the pig.
The newest owner, First Potomac Realty Trust, is finally doing justice to the buildings great location. The most visible improvement is the opening up of the first two floors creating an impressive two story lobby. They are also upgrading the buildings mechanical systems, elevator cabs, upper floor lobbies and restrooms.
The work is scheduled to be completed in April.
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