Wednesday, March 29, 2006

News Round Up...

No time for silly introductions -- there's too much to cover today...

From the Something's Better Than Nothing Department: The vacant grocery store on Route 40 has a new tenant: CarMax. The building, which was built six years ago but never occupied, will likely face the wrecking ball, as car dealerships generally have different space requirements than grocery store. Councilman Chris Merdon wanted to see "restaurants and high-end retailers" on the site. Does he realize this is Route 40 we're talking about? It's not exactly prime real estate for Crate and Barrel or Pottery Barn. As I said, something's better than nothing.

More confusion over the Belmont "arrangement": Howard County Blog #1 has a post by an anonymous correspondent (there's more than one of us?) regarding the Belmont development deal. According to the post, developer Chip Lundy's involvement in the deal was well known publicly and "the only place (college president Mary Ellen Duncan) implied it was a "gift" was in front of the Delegation." Although the deal was public information, the specifics were never released, at least until the Sun got a copy of the contract last week. I agree with HCB1's correspondent, however, that the deal, regardless of whether the parties were up front about it, is "sticky." More from the Sun here.

GGP names replacement: Following news yesterday that General Growth vice president Dennis Miller is stepping down, the Sun today reports that a replacement has been named. Former Rouse Company senior vice president Douglas M. Godine will fill Miller's shoes, which should assuage some fears that GGP would bring in somebody who knew absolutely nothing about Columbia. Godine worked for Rouse for 20 years overseeing the company's "leasing, marketing and land sales in Columbia from 1961 to 1978." At least he's got history here. We'll have to wait to pass judgment, however.

Merriweather snags a big one
: Specifically, the HFStival. It's kind of fitting that WHFS, a station that was left for dead last year but has since been born again, is hosting its biggest concert -- indeed, one of the biggest productions in the mid-Atlantic -- at Merriweather Post, which was also once considered dead but has likewise recovered.

Three new parks in Howard County: Good news. Nothing to add.

From the That's Surprising Department: The Howard County Association of Realtors released a study showing that the real estate industry makes significant contributions to the county's economy. In other news, local blogger Hayduke released a study showing that he's always right.


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