The Howard Hughes Corporation announced that five new businesses will be relocating their offices to Downtown Columbia by the end of the first quarter. The companies include Advarra, Ames Watson, Applied Network Solutions, Insperity and Olive AI and are leasing over 50,000 square feet of office space in the growing Merriweather District.

“We are thrilled these five dynamic businesses, all leaders in their fields, have chosen Downtown Columbia as the location for their new offices,” said Greg Fitchitt, President, Columbia, The Howard Hughes Corporation. “Columbia is rapidly becoming the vibrant ‘third city’ in the Baltimore / DC corridor. The growing number of companies choosing to move their offices to Downtown Columbia demonstrates our success in creating an innovative built environment that is a burgeoning regional hub for culture and commerce.”

6100 Merriweather Dr. Photo courtesy Merriweather District Facebook.

Howard Hughes has been working diligently to support their business partners on return-to-office strategies that keep employees safe and comfortable as industries have faced temporary displacements from work environments due to COVID-19. Downtown Columbia’s Merriweather and Central Districts promote an accessible and exceptional quality of life. Capitalizing on its strategic proximity to Washington, DC, and Baltimore, MD, Downtown Columbia is attracting companies with the opportunity to offer expansive office solutions with brand new facilities and top-of-the-line safety features, set within open green space. Employees can realize the dream of a true “live-work-play” ecosystem centered around health, wellness, and community.

“We are pleased to be part of the innovative and tech-forward community of the new Merriweather District,” said Scott Uebele, President of Advarra Research Services. “This move to 6100 Merriweather will provide access to the growing, vibrant cultural life and walkable urban amenities of Downtown Columbia while greatly enhancing our work environment as we attract, retain and grow careers of employees while focusing on our mission to accelerate the advancement of human health.”

Demand for office space in Downtown Columbia continues to grow exponentially in response to strong leasing momentum, both within Merriweather District’s brand-new trophy office building 6100 Merriweather Drive and its new retail and residential developments. These office deals bring the building to over 63 percent leased. Downtown Columbia is excited to welcome these five new tenants to the neighborhood:

  • Advarra, the premier provider of IRB, IBC and compliance consulting services who has been instrumental in the development and approval of the vaccines for COVID-19, will occupy 27,130-square-feet within 6100 Merriweather beginning in March.
  • Ames Watson, a private equity firm that purchases, transforms and partners with companies to create long term value, relocated to 3,866-square-feet within 6100 Merriweather earlier this month.
  • Applied Network Solutions, a technology company specializing in network and cyber domains, will occupy 5,102-square-feet of office space in 70 Corporate Center beginning in March.
  • Insperity, a human resources and business solutions provider, will occupy 12,540-square-feet within 6100 Merriweather in March.
  • Olive AI, a company that builds Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Robotic Process Automation (RPA) solutions for healthcare organizations, began occupancy of 2,977-square-feet within One Merriweather in February.

“Our company’s move to 70 Corporate Center will provide our employees with a modern urban feel, giving our current team and future team members access to the abundance of walkable amenities that Downtown Columbia offers,” said Chris Dunn, CEO & President of Applied Network Solutions. “We are pleased to stay committed to Columbia and excited to be part of Howard Hughes’ redevelopment of Downtown Columbia.”

The announcement of these new office tenants follows HHC’s recent unveiling of a new 7-story, 510,000-square-foot residential development, Marlow, solidifying the next phase of growth for the Merriweather District neighborhood. Marlow will feature 472 residential units and 32,000 square feet of retail at its base, placing residents and visitors in the center of the Merriweather District’s walkable neighborhood of offices, shops and restaurants.

The announcement of Marlow builds on the success demonstrated by Juniper—the Merriweather District’s first residential building—since its delivery in the first quarter of 2020. At full build-out, the redevelopment of Downtown Columbia will include 14 million square feet of new development on 391 acres of land. Merriweather District will make up 4.9 million square feet of the total mixed-use development and will be concentrated on 35 acres set within the 100 acres of forests, streams and restored wetlands, with the storied music venue Merriweather Post Pavilion anchoring the cultural vibrancy of the growing district.

About Downtown Columbia

A development of The Howard Hughes Corporation, Downtown Columbia is located at the center of Columbia, MD, one of the first master planned communities in the U.S. founded by legendary developer James W. Rouse in 1967. Conveniently located between Washington, DC and Baltimore, Columbia is comprised of 14,000 acres including ten completed residential villages and a deep pipeline of commercial development opportunities within its Downtown. The underdeveloped core of Columbia became the subject of an extensive five-year process that culminated with the passage by the Howard County government of the Downtown Columbia Plan in 2010, a guide to creating a vital area in which residents can live, shop, work, entertain, exercise, and enjoy cultural opportunities in an enriched natural setting. At full buildout, the redevelopment of Downtown Columbia will include three new and reconfigured neighborhoods—Merriweather District®, Lakefront District and Central District featuring more than 14 million square feet of residential, office, hotel, retail, cultural, and public uses including public parks, trails and more. Named #1 Small City in America by Money Magazine in 2016, Columbia has been named the #1 Safest City in America three years in a row by WalletHub.