The Howard Hughes Corp. broke ground on 10285 Lakefront in December, moving forward with the next phase in the revitalization of Downtown Columbia’s urban core.

The four-story, $458 million state-of-the-art medical office building is the first building to rise in the Lakefront District under the Downtown Columbia Plan.

“As we welcome notable partners including our lead tenant, the Orthopaedic Associates of Central Maryland, we continue to see the vision for the rejuvenation of the Lakefront District take hold and deliver a community anchor for all who will live, work and shop in the area,” said Greg Fitchitt, president of the Columbia Region for Howard Hughes. Knowing that 10285 would be located next to the iconic former Rouse Headquarters designed by Frank Gehry — now occupied by Whole Foods Market —  HHC worked with Studio Red Architects to ensure it would complement Gehry’s architecture in alignment with preservation guidelines.

From left, Lakey Boyd (Columbia Association), Howard County Executive Calvin Ball, Greg Fitchitt (Howard Hughes), Howard County Councilwoman Deb Jung, and Steve Maddock (Orthopaedic Assocaites of Central Maryland) break ground for the new 10285 Lakefront building in downtown Columbia. (TBM / George Berkheimer)

“I’m pleased that the renderings of this building show that it incorporates elements of the nearby Rouse building,” said Howard County Councilwoman Deb Jung, whose 4th District includes the Lakefront District. “I’m especially pleased that (it) will also complement the natural beauty and recreational enjoyment of Lake Kittamaqundi … and I look forward to increased connectivity and accessibility between Merriweather District and the Lakefront, linking Columbia’s important activity centers with each other.”

Green amenities

According to building specifications provided by Howard Hughes, 10285 Lakefront will provide covered patient pick up and drop off space, flexibility to accommodate tenant generators,

multiple gurney-sized elevators, and parking that includes both surface lots and 160 covered garage spaces.

Acknowledging the recreational trails that connect with the lakefront, the medical office building will provide bike storage space along with on-site showers exclusively for the use of tenants. It will also feature electric vehicle charging stations, an indoor environment with a green

wall to promote health and wellness, all-electric service with no gas or boilers, and no outdoor irrigation, which will minimize water consumption.

Other features will include outdoor gathering spaces, a permanent public art installation, and a boardwalk-style public terrace offering expansive lake views.

According to Fitchitt, Howard Hughes is targeting LEED Gold certification for the project. LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is the U.S. Green Building Council rating system for a building’s sustainability and resource efficiency.

Expansion and diversity

Lakey Boyd, president and CEO of the Columbia Association, said the new building will be a welcome addition to the framework and infrastructure her organization provides to the community.

“I see Lake Kittamaqundi as our welcome mat for Columbia, and we have taken a more concerted approach during my tenure in activating the lakefront more, and in different ways … to ensure greater diversity in programming and ensure a sense of belonging and community for everyone here,” she said. “We welcome the new addition, the new investment, and the new people that this development is going to bring to our lakefront.”

Steve Maddock, CEO of Orthopaedic Associates of Central Maryland, said his organization has leased 23,500 square feet on the fourth floor of 10285 Lakefront.

Established 53 years ago in 1969, Orthopaedic Associates provides musculoskeletal care, pain management, podiatry, X-ray services, physical therapy and neuromedical services.

“We presently see more than 1,500 patients per week at our existing location and we don’t fill our full demand, that’s why this opportunity was so terrific for us,” Maddock said. “Our current location only offers 15,000 square feet. We’re looking forward to what this is doing for our overall expansion and to being part of all the great things that are going to be happening on the Lakefront.”

The second and third floors of the building each offer 23,500 square feet of available space, and the first floor offers 15,000 square feet.

Continued growth

HHC’s development plans for the Lakefront District include up to 3 million square feet of overall redevelopment, including 1.3 million square feet of office space, 281,000 square feet of retail space, and 1,284 residential units.

At full build out, the redevelopment of Downtown Columbia will include three neighborhoods – Lakefront District, Merriweather District and Central District – and will feature more than 14 million square feet of residential, office, hotel, retail, cultural, and public uses including public parks, trails and other amenities.

“We’re delivering on the vision for the 30-year, $5 billion downtown Columbia Plan, which is a continuation of the vision created decades ago by Jim Rouse and the founders of Columbia,”Fitchitt said.

Since 2014, Howard Hughes has invested more than $1 billion delivering more than 1,600 apartments in five new buildings, 650,000 square feet of new Class A office space in three buildings, and created spaces for more than 20 new restaurants and retailers throughout

downtown. “After many years of thoughtful planning and consideration, the revitalization of the Lakefront is gaining momentum, and this is a big step forward,” Fitchitt said.

HHC plans to finish the shell of the building during the fourth quarter of 2023 and is targeting project completion by July 2024.