Monday, August 18, 2008

Long Reach Redevelopment

Just like Oakland Mills, Long Reach is ready for some massive redevelopment. The two villages were built at exactly the same time by the same builders in the same style. One difference between the two is the distribution of open space. Long Reach's open space is in one section of the village rather than spread out like Oakland Mills every other village in Columbia. That plan was flawed because in 1976 route 175 cut through Long Reach's open space.
The past decade in a half was not kind to Long Reach. As River Hill came up middle and upper income families fled for Columbia's newest village as Long Reach saw an increase and in crime, blight and drugs. A big saving grace was the expansion of the Safeway in the Village Center which involved relocating the doors to face the parking lot. Another addition to the Village Center was a Howard County Police Satellite Office. Eventually Harpers Choice, North Laurel, and Oakland Mills received these offices. Owen Brown and Wilde Lake are the last two Columbia Villages that would need one.
Now back to the redevelopment of Long Reach. The two effected neighborhoods would be Locust Park and Jeffers Hill. The most would occur in Locust Park, in fact I'm guessing 90% of the neighborhood would be rebuilt from the ground up. In Jeffers Hill, there would only be two effected developments but they would give the neighborhood a face lift and provoke more investment. Going along with Rouse's 10% low income rule the income breakdown for the new Long Reach would 65% Market Rate Homeownership and 25% Market Rate Rentals spread out through the new developments. Now with the 10% low income rule who says it has to mean rentals? Why not make them subsidized homeownership? Why not put equity in these people's pockets instead of helping "buy time" as is the case with renting. Also additional home owners means a bigger stake in the community and would translate into more long term residents.
The developments to hit the wrecking ball are (drum roll please) Columbia Landing (formerly Bentana east and west) Sierra Woods (Flowerstcok Row and Airy Brink Lane) Long Reach Knolls, Long Reach Condos, Heatherstone (Tamar Drive and Hayshed Lane), Lazy Hollow, Jeffers Glen, and Treover.The Columbia Landing West site will contain low rise elevator condos and will be renamed Locust Grove. With 65% Market Rate Home Ownership and 35% Market Rate Rentals.The Long Reach Knolls/Sierra Woods Flowerstock Row Site will contain 4 story elevator garage condos and will be renamed the Crescent at Locust Park. It will contain 45% Market Rate Home Ownership 30% Market Rate Rentals, 20% Below Market Rate Homeownership and 5% Below Market Rate Rentals.The Lazy Hollow site will contain 5 story elevator condos with and will be renamed Long Reach Town Center. It will be 30% Below Market Rate Home Ownership and 70% Market Rate Rentals.The Columbia Landing East site will contain two car garage town homes and will be renamed The Townes at Locust Park. They will be 90% Market Rate Home Ownership and 10% Below Market Rate Rentals.The Heatherstone sites will contain non garage town homes and will be renamed Tamar Overlook. They will be 100% Market Rate Home Ownerhip.
Long Reach House Condos will contain one car garage villa town homes for seniors and will be named Hearthstone at Locust Park. They will be 100% Market Rate Home Ownership for Seniors.The Sierra Woods Airy Brink Lane site will contain two on two town homes stacked above each other with one car garage per unit and will be renamed Locust Woods. They will be 50% Market Rate Home Ownership and 50% Market Rate Rentals.
Longwood House Apartments will be redeveloped into low income senior condos and will not be taken from the pool of affordable housing units. They will be 100% Below Market Rate Home Ownership.
Shalom Square will be redeveloped into rental senior villa town homes for low income residents. It will resemble what is replacing Long Reach House Condos. They will be 100% Below Market Rate Rentals.
The site on Old Dobbin Lane across from Long Reach High School will be developed with high rise elevator condoes with underground parking and will be part of the Long Reach Town Center development. The relocated Exxon station from the Village Center redevelopment will be here too.
In Jeffers Hill the site of Jeffers Glen will be one car garage town homes renamed Majors Overlook. This will be 75% Market Rate Home Ownership 20% Market Rate Rentals and 5% Below Market Rate Home Ownership.
The Treover site will contain low rise elevator condos and will be renamed the Pointe at Jeffers Hill. These will be 100% Market Rate Home Ownership.

Last of all, the Fire Station will be redeveloped with a brand new 21st century state of the art facility.

Well that's it for Long Reach's redevelopment.


wordbones said...

Oakland Mills and Long Reach were not "built exactly at the same time."

Far from it.


Spence said...

Take Kendall Ridge out of the equation and the fact that Thunderhill got a head start. The developments in question were built mostly from 1971-1975 with a few in 1978-1979

Jeannie said...

Interesting concept, how do you plan to put this into play?

Spence said...

This is controversial but through Eminent Domain. The County will buy rental developments from their owners and privately owned developments from their owners. The county will demolish the buildings and do all site prep work and sell the land off to developers. Existing residents have the option of returning but there will be a huge inlfux of new residents based largely on the fact that the new development will be denser. It will be denser but it will not rob the community of open space. If I were to give it a time line work would begin in 2012 and be finished by 2020. This method is how redevelopment can occur in all the effected villages.

Anonymous said...

Is this a theory or reality. I'm actually about to purchase a condo in one of the effected villages. Will it be manatory to sell one's property? If so, will the offer be more than the previous purchase price?

Spence said...

It's my theory. It's only a reality in my head. You need not worry about your purchase in Long Reach. Let me be the first to say Welcome to Columbia!

Anonymous said...

Thanks Spence. Since you are so familar with Columbia, MD. Please give me your honest opinion of condos on Roll Right court. Is it a good investment to move in that area?

Spence said...

I think if you qualify for a home loan in this economy you have great credit which means you'll be able to make payments on time. The home prices have plummeted so much that when the market turns around you will have made a wise investment no matter where you live be it Roll Right Court or River Hill. I think the question to ask yourself is, the house turn key ready? If so great catch! If not, are you willing to bare the additional expense and stress of remodeling? If you are, the investment will be that much better on your end.

Anonymous said...

so once again Spence, since you are the "expert" on the neighborhood, is Roll Right Ct a safe neighborhood? Can you walk around in the dark without fear for your life? Demographics of the neighbors and neighborhood? Any info would be highly appreciated! Thanks :)

Anonymous said...

As a long term resident of Long Reach I would like to point out that the problem with low income housing is turnover. Poeple use it as a stepping stone to getting a "better" living situation. Rather than flattening 90% of my neighborhood, which already includes its fair share of low income housing, I would suggest redoing some of the neighborhoods in Hickory Ridge, Kings Contrivance, and River Hill creating a balanced level of low income housing in these areas. The Columbia vision of 10% low income housing lost out to the greed of the past 30 years and these neighborhoods were built soley for profit and not for people.

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