Dallas-based Howard Hughes closed the year with string of leases at its 115,000-square-foot office space in downtown Columbia, Md. Three new tenants are set to join the roster: Ellie Mental Health is the first, set to move in by April. The mental health provider will occupy 3,800 square feet at 60 Corporate Center. It will be followed by tech developer Meta Materials a month later with 11,000 square feet and coworking firm Venture X in July for 22,000 square feet.
The six-story property — which Howard Hughes acquired as part of a $130 million portfolio transaction in 2014 — sits near Merriweather Park at Symphony Woods, Merriweather Post Pavilion, and Merriweather District. The company has undertaken a $10 million renovation project in the area that would add fitness centers, conferencing spaces and tenant lounges.
Upon completion, the owner’s various downtown properties will be linked through a series of pathways with new landscaping, paving and lighting features added. Additionally, future tenants will have access to two central amenity hubs. There will be upgrades to the lobbies and outdoor spaces, as well, with the goal to increase walkability and open the space up to other local gathering spots.
Better still for the building’s future prospects, the downtown area itself is in the midst of a $5 billion, 30-year redevelopment that encompasses the Lakefront District, Merriweather District and Central District. The project is set to add 14 million square feet of mixed-use development spread across 391 acres of land. To date, Howard Hughes’ contribution to that effort totals some 3 million square feet of new office, retail, housing, community gathering and restaurant offerings.
Downtown Columbia is also poised to get the best out of its proximity to both Washington, D.C. and Baltimore by providing access to a vibrant community for some of the country’s fastest-growing industries, including government contracting, cybersecurity, tech consulting and healthcare. Notably, the city provides access to major roadways, while also being dedicated to creating a walkable, amenity-rich environment for businesses vying for top talent.
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