Columbia Market Study

March 7, 2016

Columbia Market Study Analysis

Partnership Approach:

Columbia Association, in collaboration with the Howard County Department of Planning and Zoning and the Howard County Economic Development Authority jointly conducted the Columbia Market Study.

Final Report:

The result of a year-long study and public process, view the Columbia Market Study which is a  final report that identifies current market conditions and future potential opportunities for Columbia’s village centers, and the relationship of the centers to other areas in Columbia.

The report includes recommended implementing strategies that can help to strengthen, revitalize or reposition Columbia’s village centers and includes specific recommendations for each village center. It also addresses the former GE Appliance site, and portions of the Dobbin Road and Snowden River Parkway areas—abbreviated as “GEDS” in the report—and provides valuable information about development and redevelopment potential for these areas that can be used in future Howard County planning and policy-making.

Readers Guide

For those with an interest in a particular village center, it is recommended that review begin with the final report, which includes the overall study findings and village by village recommendations in the context of the study. For those seeking detailed analysis, the village specific appendix provides additional information.

Columbia Market Study Final Report

Appendices: These supplemental reports include extensive data analysis and documentation of market conditions.

News & Events:


The primary goal of the study is to better understand the market potential for each village center and the relationship of the centers to other competing commercial areas. This knowledge base will be key to identifying strategies and tools that can help revitalize and reposition the village centers, particularly some of the older centers.

For the GE Appliance, Snowden River Parkway and Dobbin Road corridors, the market study will provide valuable information about development and redevelopment potential in this area that can be used by Howard County government in the future to plan for the corridors long-term success. That plan, to be developed as a separate and future effort, would guide development so that it is consistent with a well-planned evolution of Columbia and avoids adverse impacts on Columbia’s village centers.


The study began in Fall 2013 and was completed in November 2014.

About Our Consultants

The study was conducted by Retail and Development Strategies LLC (RDS), and led by its Managing Principal, Tom Moriarity. Moriarty was CA’s first speaker in CA’s successful Community Building Speakers Series, and addressed the community on Minding the Store: Retail Realities in Commercial Centers. Moriarty has over 30 years of experience in mixed-use development, commercial area management, downtown revitalization strategies, retail programming and historic preservation. He has a special focus on redevelopment/revitalization of commercial districts. The RDS consulting team and Folan Consulting.

General Information:

Contact Jessica bellah via email:

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