Developed in the 70’s, the Long Reach Village Center (LRVC) was once a hub for residents serving a variety of neighborhood needs. Various civic spaces were developed to support commercial uses and provide focal points for social interaction. With growth of newer commercial centers nearby, and changing market conditions, most of the LRVC experienced disinvestment and high vacancy rates. By 2014, the center faced decline due to increasing vacancies, poor maintenance and security issues. In response, Howard County passed legislation establishing the area as blighted and created a 19.1 acre Urban Renewal Area. As a result, the County purchased several properties, including the center, amounting to approximately 7.7 acres for redevelopment.
Throughout 2015, the County held five community meetings to engage the public in reimagining the LRVC. Over 150 people attended these meetings and provided input used to develop a 2016 Reimagine Long Reach Plan. In 2017, the County partnered with a private development firm to advance an Urban Renewal Project for the LRVC, which was approved by the County Council. Due to numerous acquisition and pre-development challenges, the development firm notified the County in June 2019 that they would no longer pursue redeveloping the LRVC.
After years of challenges, County Executive Calvin Ball is proud to announce a swift short-term renovation and long-term renewal. The goal of creating "A Vibrant Village Center For Today" will be met through a stabilization plan of maintenance, repair, beautification and placemaking.The work is already underway to generate renewed interest and excitement in the hub of Long Reach!
County Executive Calvin Ball presented his vision for Long Reach Rising in a work session of the Long Reach Community Association on Febraury 18th, 2020.
You can view the presentation video here and the powerpoint presentation here. The video of the live streamed event is available online. We welcome your feedback on the County's vision for a vibrant village center and invite you to provide your comments below.
As part of the Long Reach Rising leasing strategy, new tenants have already begun to arrive at Long Reach Village Center. View press releases announcing new tenants of the Long Reach Village Center below:
The County will deploy a community-based leasing strategy by preparing the ground floor retail and office suites to house a combination of non-profit and for-profit users that offer services, or are mission focused in:
Through the Long Reach Rising leasing strategy, the County has welcomed several new tenants that offer services, or are mission focused in Arts & Culture, including:
Through the Long Reach Rising leasing strategy, the County has welcomed several new tenants that offer services, or are mission focused in Education, including:
Through the Long Reach Rising leasing strategy, the County has welcomed several new tenants that offer services, or are mission focused in Economic Empowerment, including:
As part of Long Reach Rising, a commercial kitchen in a portion of the existsing retail space will meet a well-documented need for commercial kitchen stations that can be rented to different types of food businesses on an as-needed basis, including:
Existing space will be rehabilitated and improved to create a Long Reach Commercial Kitchen that offers prep stations for food businesses, classroom/educational space, and community meeting space.
Continued beautification of the exterior and shared areas. The following list of projects have either been completed or are in process for future completion:
The County-owned portion of Long Reach Village Center consists of the following:
Other properties located at the Village Center, not owned by the County, are: Columbia Association Arts Center, Stonehouse, a retail pad site, liquor store, gas station, and an interfaith center for religious use.
September 2017- June 2019- The LRVC Urban Renewal Project approved by the Council begins the zoning and land development review process, but is unsuccessful in completing the process due to challenges delivering the approved concept plan.
July 2017: CR98-2017 – The County Council approves a redevelopment concept plan as the urban renewal project for the LRVC July 7, 2017.
December 2016 - April 2017: Request for Proposals (RFP) – The County issued an RFP and selected a private development firm to redevelop the LRVC.
2016: Reimagine Long Reach Village Center Proposed Plan (Reimagine Plan) – The community-based plan documents the County’s objectives to revitalize the LRVC, potential land uses, and techniques the County may use to facilitate revitalization.
2015: Community Meetings – The County holds five community meetings throughout 2015 to engage the public in reimagining the LRVC. Over 300 people attend the series and guide development of the ReImagine Plan.
2014: County Acquisition – In October 2014 Howard County purchases a portion of the LRVC (excluding the former Safeway building). In February 2015 the County purchases the Safeway building resulting in county ownership of 7.71 acres in the LRVC urban renewal area.
2014: Council Resolution 22-2014 – Facing decline of the shopping center, and given concerns about vacancies, poor maintenance, security and impact on neighboring property values, members of the community request County intervention. On March 5, 2014, the County Council passes legislation finding that certain properties of the LRVC constituted a blighted area and finds that the rehabilitation or redevelopment of these properties is necessary in the public's interest. The legislation defines the boundaries of the 19.1-acre urban renewal area, authorizes acquisition of certain properties in the LRVC, and authorizes preparation of plans for redevelopment.
2012: Long Reach Village Center Community Plan (VCCP) - The Long Reach Community Association, aided by a panel of citizen volunteers, creates a Village Center Master Plan that was approved by the Community and filed with the Department of Planning and Zoning in 2012.
2009: Council Bill 29-2009 – CB 29-2009 outlines a process for Village Center redevelopment and creates the opportunity for Village Boards to create and file master plans.
Sarah Latimer, Planning Specialist
For Leasing Questions, Please Contact:
Melanie Bishop, Chief, Real Estate Services