Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Owen Brown Redevelopment

Owen Brown has some of the most dated housing stock in all of Columbia. That being said, it has very few rental complexes; two to be exact and one is still new.
Redevelopment in Owen Brown will be constricted to areas along Cradlerock that have struggled with crime and can't be modernized with major exterior facade over hauls. Other older Columbia Villages have more of this housing stock, therefore much more of their housing stock falls in the redevelopment category. Owen Brown's housing stock has gone stagnant and much of its housing stock needs a massive exterior face lift that will be discussed in another post. Now for the redevelopment of Owen Brown.
First off, will be the "Chimney's of Cradlerock. Their dated appearance and safety issues and lack of maintenance have put a damper on this "entrance to Owen Brown" when entering Cradlerock via Broken Land Parkway. There is also a lot of Section 8 housing that home owners in neighboring Communities are concerned about. In its place will be new Apartments/Condos known as "Owen Brown Crossing that will greatly improve and renew the appearance of Owen Brown when traveling on Cradlerock and Broken Land Parkway. This will also allow for affordable home ownership in Howard County in 25% of its units with the rest being market rate rentals. This surely will revamp outside interest in Owen Brown and East Columbia as a whole.The next development is privately owned town homes on Quiet Hours across from the Chimneys at Cradlerock and the East Columbia Library has long been the victim of loitering and spill over problems from other Communities. There are also lots of rentals here that have been neglected. The small size of these homes have made them less attractive to buyers where a larger could be found at the same price. Exterior facade improvements can't make the houses bigger.In its place will be "Dasher Green Pointe" which will consist of "stacked" two level town homes that are wider than what is currently there allowing for larger homes without compromising density with two homes where there used to be just one. These will be 65% Market Rate Home Ownership and 35% Market Rate Rentals.
Now we come to Greenleaf. This neighborhood has seen its share of crime over the years. The homes are some of the ugliest Columbia has to offer and the ones with separate basement Apartments have created problems with their upstairs neighbors. There have been lots of rentals here in the past adding to the blighted appearance. Landscaping is barren and makes the homes that much more prominent. During the late 1990s the drug trade raided this neighborhood. Pathways along here have become less safe as well.The redeveloped Green Leaf will be named "Broken Land Crossing" and although they're larger One Car Garage Town Homes there will be more units. The infrastructure will be completely redone and will stretch closer to Broken Land Parkway to further reiterate the new Owen Brown.The Cradlerock Mart and Cleaners replaced the long vacant High's Store. The High's Store left due to robberies and petty theft. This has been a blighted eyesore on Owen Brown for far too long. The Cradlerock Mart has also been the victim of robberies and has barred windows. We're not in West Baltimore people!Royal Farms would make a great replacement for the blighted Cradlerock Mart. Shown here is a Flagship Royal Farms Store that Owen Brown should follow when redeveloping the Convenience Store. The Day Care Center on Homespun Drive is the last part of Owen Brown that needs to be redeveloped, this is Elkhorn's Neighborhood. There should have been another pool and Elementary School here.I'm not proposing the New Building be a Goddard School but they should use this as a model.

Well, like I said there's not much in Owen Brown that needs redeveloping. Stay tuned for the Owen Brown Reinvestment Post that will cover more of Owen Brown and really renew Owen Brown.

1 comment:

Michael said...

I love your vision for Owen Brown. There is no doubt that someone will do at least half of what you propose but it will take time. As the crime increases and property values decrease, this village will be ripe for reinvestment and revitalization. Given the recent housing market activity, it may only be another 5-10 years.