Columbia Real Estate Information

The town of Columbia is found in Howard County in the state of Maryland, Columbia was designed as a planned community that is comprised of ten different, self-contained villages. Columbia is a suburb of the city of Baltimore as well as a smaller suburb of Washington DC. The community was designed and opened in 1967 by James W. Rouse. He planed the community on the basis of human values, rather than just based on engineering and economics. Columbia was designed to eliminate standard city subdivisions, in order to rid of religious, racial and income segregation.

After purchasing properties from over 140 different landowners, the Rouse Company came to own 14,000 acres, roughly 10 percent of Howard County. In 1963, Rouse informed the inhabitants of Howard County about his intentions to build a new, planned city. In his plans, Rouse claimed that all the extra services needed to support housing would be paid for by property taxes on commercial property. Rouse’s plans also included schools, jobs, shopping, and medical services. During planning of Columbia, Rouse and his coworkers came up with such novel ideas for the time as interfaith centers, open classrooms, and a Health Maintenance Organization. Although Columbia was never incorporated into Howard County, it did receive some governing through the Columbia Association. The Columbia Association’s first manager was John Estabrook Slayton.

Currently, Columbia is the largest community in Howard County, Maryland with a population of nearly 100,000 people. Rouse’s original plans and ideas for Columbia can still be found in modern day Columbia. However, the community has come to resemble many other contemporary suburbs as well, with increasingly large private properties, and many brand name retail stores. The roads found in the town of Columbia are mostly named after famous works of literature and art. Fr example one can find many street names related to the works of J. R. R. Tolkien in the neighborhood of Hobbit’s Glen. The first village to be set up in Columbia was Wilde Lake.

Each village in Columbia is designed to give off a small-town feel to its inhabitants. Therefore, each village contains schools, a shopping center, a community center, recreational facilities, bike and walking paths, and homes. Four of the ten villages also contain interfaith worship facilities, which are run and maintained by many cooperating religions. Each neighborhood features a wide range of single-family homes, apartments, town homes, and condominiums. The villages in Columbia include: Wilde Lake, Harper’s Choice, Oakland Mills, Long Reach, Owen Brown, Hickory Ridge, Dorsey’s Search, Kings Contrivance, River Hill, and Town Center. Each village is subsequently divided into several smaller neighborhoods as well.