Long Reach Village Center

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!

Long Reach Rising

LRVC CE Quote

 

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.



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Aerial LRVC low res

Announcements

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:

 

 

Leasing Strategy

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:  

 

            
                                                                                      

 

Arts & Culture

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:

  • African Art Museum of Maryland, one of three in the United States focused exclusively on African art. Founded by Doris Ligon in 1980, the African Art Museum of Maryland is dedicated to the encouragement of broader understanding and awareness of the diverse cultures and artistic expressions of the people of the African continent.
  • Andersen-Becker & ManneqART, operated by Lee Andersen. Andersen-Becker Inc, a 25 year old company that produces art clothing designed by Lee Andersen, will be creating a new fabric store and opening their fourth Factory Store in the Long Reach Village Center. They provide internship opportunities for local students and also donate materials to local artists. ManneqART, a 501c3 Non-Profit Organization for Education in the Arts looks to engage a community committed to embracing the arts.
  • Roll Up N Dye, a tie-dye studio owned by Erin Cassell, winner of the 2017 Howard County Change Maker Challenge. Roll Up N Dye holds tie-dye parties and facilitates team building workshops for all ages.
  • Howard County Arts Council, a longstanding institution in the County devoted to nurturing local artists and arts organizations, furthering the public’s appreciation of the arts, and ensuring that the arts are accessible — regardless of age, ability or economic status.

Education

Through the Long Reach Rising leasing strategy, the County has welcomed several new tenants that offer services, or are mission focused in Education, including:

  • Every Kid Can Cook, a nonprofit working to improve the mental, academic, emotional and physical well-being of youth through culturally inclusive culinary nutrition education, leadership opportunities and programming.
  • Power 52, whose mission is to break the cycle of poverty, unemployment, under employment, and incarceration in our urban communities across the nation through economic empowerment and clean energy access.
  • Head Start, programming for early education. Head Start and Early Head Start programs support the comprehensive development of children from birth to age 5, in centers, child care partner locations, and in their own homes. Head Start services include early learning, health, and family well-being.

Economic Empowerment

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:

  • Commercial Kitchen offering prep stations  and retail space for food businesses such as food trucks, caterers, and local entrepreneurs. In addition to food prep and sales spaces, the commercial kitchen space will offer classroom and community meeting spaces.
  • Roving Radish, whose mission is to promote healthy farm to table eating habits while creating a sustainable market for our local farms.

Commercial Kitchen

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:

  • Food Trucks
  • Caterers
  • Bakers
  • Local Entrepreneurs

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.

Exterior Improvements

Continued beautification of the exterior and shared areas. The following list of projects have either been completed or are in process for future completion:

  1. Power washing of building walls and soffits;
  2. Repair of trim and soffits; painting of steel columns;
  3. Restoration of all exterior lighting and painting and repair of light poles;
  4. Power washing sidewalks; painting of parking lot striping, curbs and steel bollards;
  5. Repair of storm drains;
  6. Cleaning of courtyard drains;
  7. Trimming of trees, bushes and weeds;
  8. Painting of wood panels below windows;
  9. Clean window exteriors at all storefronts;
  10. Replace canvas awnings;
  11. Secured an office for the security guard
Existing Conditions

The County-owned portion of Long Reach Village Center consists of the following:

  • 12,923 square feet of office space, which is currently 15% occupied
  • 36,741 square feet of ground floor retail space, which is currently 23% occupied
  • Approximately 53,000 square feet of vacant flex space that was used as a grocery store

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.

Planning History

2009 to Present

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.

Staff Contact

Sarah Latimer, Planning Specialist

slatimer@howardcountymd.gov

410-313-4364


For Leasing Questions, Please Contact:

Melanie Bishop, Chief, Real Estate Services

mbishop@howardcountymd.gov

410-313-4418

Resources