March 8, 2021

Media Contact: 

Scott Peterson, Director of Communications, Office of Public Information, 202-277-9412
Amy Gowan, Director, Department of Planning & Zoning, 410-313-4340

ELLICOTT CITY, MD –Today, Howard County is announcing that it is seeking to rezone the historic Ellicott City Courthouse Complex and is issuing a Request for Information (RFI) for creative reuse concepts for the four associated properties. Howard County will vacate its current Circuit Courthouse located at 8360 Court Avenue in Ellicott City, MD, this summer and relocate to a newly developed state-of-the-art Circuit Courthouse, creating a unique reuse opportunity of the County-owned Courthouse and adjacent properties. 

 “We have a unique opportunity to repurpose our nearly two century old Courthouse complex in Ellicott City, and reimagine how this space can be utilized and serve our residents, businesses, and visitors,” said Howard County Executive Calvin Ball. “This is an exciting time for Ellicott City and for our community who truly treasures this town and all that it has to offer.”  

The properties include the Circuit Courthouse located at 8360 Court Avenue, the former Detention Center or Old Jail House, the office building located at 3716 Court Place and the parking lot (269 spaces) used for the Courthouse. The Ellicott City Watershed Master Plan, which was adopted by the County Council in December 2020, calls for a mixed-use development at the courthouse site with an emphasis on pedestrian and open space connections.     

“This is an exciting step in implementing the Ellicott City Watershed Master Plan,” said Amy Gowan, Director of the Department of Planning and Zoning. “Building upon guidance from the Master Plan, we will further explore future possibilities for these properties that support the economic importance of Main Street.” 

As the first step in the rezoning process, the County will host a pre-submission community meeting on March 31st at 6:00pm. Interested parties can register here.     

Simultaneous to the rezoning process, an RFI is being released to inform and plan for an anticipated Request for Proposals (RFP) for reuse of the complex. The responses to the RFI are due to the county on or before April 13. Once received, the County will engage the public to share the results of the RFI and solicit feedback in advance of releasing the RFP. For more information about the RFI, please click here.   

The County’s objectives for the Request for Information (RFI) include the following:  

  • Identify market interest and opportunities in the reuse of the Properties,  
  • Inform the rezoning process underway by the County for the Properties,  
  • Explore ownership structures (e.g., retention, sale, ground lease, etc.),and   
  • Determine if the Properties shall be addressed collectively or individually.  

For more information, please visit


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