Panelists Discuss Future Development of Howard County

Columbia has come a long way since developer James Rouse first envisioned the planned community more than 50 years ago. But the town’s ambitious plans for downtown development — which include self-parking cars and hi-tech office buildings — may eclipse even Rouse’s biggest dreams.

The nearby Columbia Gateway office park has also undergone a revitalization of its own. COPT owns about half of the 4.5 million square feet of office space in the park and Hermann said that even with all the new office space available, he doesn’t think the market is saturated. COPT is looking to differentiate itself by renovating and redesigning its buildings, many of which are 20 years old. Often, that means adding shared conference rooms, fitness centers, break rooms and other amenity spaces that are attractive to tenants.

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