Thursday, December 4, 2008

Wilde Lake Redevelopment

As Columbia's first Village one would assume that Wilde Lake would need the most redevelopment and its housing stock would be the most outdated. This isn't the case, Oakland Mills and Long Reach adapted styles of housing that were popular at the time but have since gone to the dogs. Wilde Lake, although there is plenty of room for redevelopment used a more classic timeless style for its housing stock, one that can look new, modern and well kept even at 41 years of age. Then there are properties in Wilde Lake that fall under the "reinvestment" category which will get its own post. Those are properties that don't need redevelopment but could use exterior facade improvements to keep competitive in the 21st century.Photo From Google Earth
Now for the properties in Wilde Lake I'm slating for redevelopment:
Partridge Courts- I used to live here from 1984-1988 (birth to age 4)actually, this was once a rental complex that was converted into owner occupied. The lay out of the development is out dated and the buildings are hideous. Any Partridge Courts resident will tell you that it's a hike to get from your car to your house.
The new development that will go in its place will feature a wide variety of housing options from condos to two level town homes without a garage (they will have basements) and three level town homes with car garages. All housing types will face inward so residents can park their car and walk right into their home. The tunnel between Partridge Courts and Wilde Lake Village Center will be removed as it's become unsafe. The new Partridge Courts will be 60% Market Rate Home Ownership, 35% Market Rate Rentals, and 5% Below Market Rate Rentals.
Concord House, this straddles the line between reinvestment and redevelopment because the building won't be redeveloped but there will be development on its property. Its parking lot has room to have two more high rises built over top of them.
Photo From Google Earth
The three "concord houses" will have underground parking. Wilde Lake was originally meant to have more high rises but Rouse was cautious due to the market. The swath of land next to the Interfaith Center was originally intended for two high rises.
Bryant Square, I tried sending out an SOS for this community but it's just not working out, especially since it has the new developments of Warfield Triangle across the street further adding to the blighted apperance of Bryant Square.
These are regarded as some of Columbia's largest town homes so naturally in its place will be large town homes. The tunnel going under Twin Rivers Road will be removed due to safety issues. Students will be bussed to Bryant Woods Elementary. This will be 100% Market Rate Home Ownership.

Rosslyn Rise,This "Community Homes" development will be redeveloped with a mix of market rate apartments and subsidized apartments. This will be 85% Market Rate Rentals and 15% Below Market Rate Rentals.Students here will also be bussed to Bryant Woods Elementary.
Rideout Heath,The other "Community Homes" development in Wilde Lake will be redeveloped as a mix of market rate condos and subsidized home ownership condos. This will be 60% Market Rate Home Ownership and 40% Below Market Rate Home Ownership.

Faulkner Station, This town home development located on Jason Lane, Faulkner Ridge Circle, and Tolling Clock Way has become too outdated. The homes are simply too small and narrow to serve today's family.
In its place will be two two level town homes stacked on top of each other. The new homes will be wider and will feature a one car garage per unit. This will be 100% below Market Rate Home Ownership.
Brook Way, Interior renovations and changing the name to "The Berkshires of Columbia" was like putting lipstick on a pig. What's needed is an income mix for a development of that size.

The new development will resemble the new Partridge Courts both in layout and housing options. What's different is that in the new Brook Way will have an income mix. 55% market rate home ownership, 30% market rate rental, 10% subsidized home ownership and 5% subsidized rentals. The mix will spread across all housing types and nobody will know what their neighbor "financial situation" is.
Running Brook Condominiums, Just across Columbia Road sits a circle of condos that were once rental apartments. They have become unattractive and add to the sense of feeling unsafe.
In its place will be a mix of condos and town homes built around the site's existing unique infrastructure.
The "inner circle" will be condos facing inward to make a courtyard.
The "outer circle" will be town homes that make a half circle around the development. This will be a gated community.Running Brook Elementary/711/Pool/Phone Building. Running Brook Elementary is dealing with over crowding it hasn't seen since the early 1970s before more schools were built. By 2020 Running Brook may be home to upwards of 500 students with a current capacity of 405 It was barely 300 when I went there in the early to mid 1990s. This figure isn't factoring in the new Town Center development which may push the number of students up to 600.
Photo From
A 150 seat addition will be the order of the day. I will go in the back of the building and towards the pool where the expanded parking lot currently is. The front entrance will actually face West Running Brook Road now.The Verizon Phone Building has no place in a residential neighborhood and will be demolished and moved to Route 108 and Ten Mills Road next to the church. A brand new 711 will be built in its place with room for a second neighborhood business such as a Dry Cleaner. The current 711 building will be used a new locker rooms and storage for the pool. Adequate storage and up to date locker rooms is something the pool currently lacks. The Pool will be updated to look like Columbia's new pools like those found in River Hill, Hawthorn, and Dickinson.

Wilde Lake Tennis Courts,It's time for them to be replaced that's all I have to say.

Wilde Lake Middle,With the new Town Center development and its current projections Wilde Lake Middle and its capacity of 506 won't cut it. An addition putting it to 662 won't make existing class rooms larger or the halls wider, nor will it make the Cafeteria or Gym larger (all problems I dealt with as a student here in the mid to late 1990s when the there were 500 students) It's time for a new WLMS and maybe with a new building more Clemens Crossing Parents will send their kids here and not a private Middle School in between Elementary and High School.

Well that's it for the redevelopment of Wilde Lake!


Trevor said...

Close the tunnels??? I love those tunnels! We lived in Deering Woods for five years until this Sept, and the biggest thing I miss about our old home is the paths. Most of my walks took me through Wilde Lake, and when I wasn't going to the Lake itself, I almost always went through a tunnel or two.

When you say "unsafe," are you talking about structurally or something else? I never noticed any problem with them, aside from the occasional broken fluorescent tube.

And I know exactly where you got the photo for the proposed redevelopment of Faulkner Station. It's one block over from where we live now :-)

Anonymous said...

Good ideas, but as an owner of a condo in Partridge Courts, do you propose that someone buy my property from me before tearing it down, or what??

ColumbiaWorried said...

do you propose that someone buy my property from me before tearing it down, or what??

Yes, if needed. Tear it down along with with the other rental/section 8 housing. The key to preservation of Columbia is to eliminate the crime, loitering, and general worthlessnes that permeates many places in Columbia. Things will never be rectified until they are eliminated. Unless things change, this will become Laurel NW in the next 10 years or less. I'm certain no one saw the plight of Swansfield and Wilde Lake until it was too late, which of course it was.

Spence said...

All Property owners will be generously componsated.