GGP and Sigaty Meeting

There’s lots of scary news out there about GGP these days.  The fact is that they have over a billion dollars of debt coming due in the next few weeks and the capital markets are so screwed up that extending or refinancing the debt might not be possible.  So, don’t be surprised if they file for bankruptcy protection.

BUT….  Anyone using this as a reason to delay the process of evaluating and approving this plan doesn’t get it.  First, this is a COMMUNITY plan and a COUNTY effort, regardless of who the developer(s) might be.  Howard County needs a new downtown and we can’t abandon that effort due to GGP issues that we can’t control.

Frankly, the prospect of the Columbia properties being sold off in pieces should create even MORE URGENCY to get them pulled together within a binding general plan.  Having parcels sold off one by one to be developed without regard to an overall plan would be terrible for the County.  So let’s use the GGP uncertainty as a reason to speed things up, not slow them down as the opposition will surely try to do.

Katie, Mac and I met with Councilwoman Mary Kay Sigaty today.  She is 100% behind getting a general plan in place sooner than later and agrees that the GGP issues create even more urgency.  She’s also been reaching out to young people (high school and college ages) trying to keep them informed about the plan.  We talked about the many ways we can help each other reach our respective audiences through vehicles such as our videos.  We’re fortunate to have such an impressive advocate of a new downtown on the County Council!

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Columbia 2.0 is a thriving grass-roots organization whose mission is to support the Next Generation of Columbia Town Center.

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