Columbia Gateway
Gateway District aerial view. (Photo: Corporate Office Properties Trust)

Howard County has issued an Expression of Interest for a Master Plan intended to guide the transformation of Columbia Gateway Business Park into a premier Innovation District on the east coast.

The County’s pending General Plan Update, HoCo By Design, calls for redevelopment of the 1,000-plus-acre industrial and office park into a major hub for employment, entertainment and innovation. The EOI seeks a multi-disciplinary consultant team experienced with master planning efforts of this magnitude.

The planning area is primed for redevelopment into a mixed-use community, which will provide a full-spectrum of new housing opportunities and public amenities in a smart community that is ready to embrace new technologies like autonomous systems, clean and sustainable buildings and energy, as well as nature-based climate solutions.

“Redevelopment of Gateway will take advantage of the lessons learned from Downtown Columbia and meet the needs of businesses and residents,” said Cyndi Gula, chair of the Howard County Economic Development Authority. “By leveraging smart city technology as well as efficient planning techniques, we can continue to offer places to live, work and play essential to the economic strength of our community.”

The County’s Department of Planning and Zoning will partner with HCEDA, other agencies and the consultant team to refine and build on the overarching vision for Gateway laid out in HoCo By Design. This planning effort will inform future zoning, phasing and critical infrastructure development.

The Master Plan will build upon insights and concepts developed by the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory’s Institute for Assured Autonomy, a national center of excellence for artificial intelligence and smart autonomous systems. A Memorandum of Understanding between APL, the County and HCEDA in April of 2022 prompted evaluation of concepts around autonomous systems, clean and sustainable energy, population health and cybersecurity in a reimagined community.

A virtual pre-submittal meeting will occur on Wednesday, May 31, at 3 p.m.; proposals are due on July 5, before 10:59 a.m. Questions about the solicitation should be directed to Jennie Rittenhouse of the Howard County Office of Procurement. Her email is [email protected].