The plan outline for Parcel A of Columbia’s Crescent property (the patch of land located near the corner of Little Patuxent and Broken Land; north and west of Merriweather) has been unveiled, via renderings, by Howard Hughes. News coverage can be found here.
Overall, I am encouraged by the proposals. There is a commitment to reforestation in the general vicinity, which is very important. I have seen developments (Alexandria, Virginia’s West End comes to mind readily) where little to no attempt was made to restore the natural beauty of the lands surrounding new multi-story buildings. The Crescent plans appear to be consistent with Columbia’s values, of finding a way to create something that exists harmoniously within the larger environment.
Will that particular swath of Columbia be recognizable in 2020? No but that is a good thing. While some might wax nostalgic for a certain time and place, there is a way to move forward that is far more beneficial to our residents and those who visit our community.
For example, while the Wilde Lake Village Center looks much different than it did a few years back, the ongoing revitalization effort is producing a development that still retains a Wilde Lake-ness; a familiar and improved village center that will attract more residents, businesses and customers. To not embrace change would have resulted in continued decline, followed by a failed center. Foresight, a thoughtful and respectful vision, and hard work are helping recreate Wilde Lake…and it seems as though the same general approach is guiding the process for that which will become Columbia’s Crescent neighborhood. At least I hope that is, and will remain, the case.
Stay tuned, as more will follow.