Center Maryland: John DeWolf, Best of 2014 and Developer to Watch in 2015

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Center Maryland’s Best of 2014 and Developer to Watch in 2015:

John DeWolf

Senior Vice President
The Howard Hughes Corporation
Downtown Columbia

In 2011, The Howard Hughes Corporation dispatched John DeWolf to Maryland with a daunting task: to blow the dust off of the community-led Downtown Columbia Master Plan and deliver the “New City” Jim Rouse always envisioned.

Three years later, DeWolf has put together the pieces to implement an urban live/work/listen and play district as the centerpiece of Rouse’s original planned city. His Texas-based company is pulling out all of the stops to give DeWolf the tools to build an exciting urban landscape containing a mix of corporate office buildings, major retail and entertainment districts, apartment towers and a hotel.

It will include 5.3 million square feet of commercial space and 5,500 residences. The first new apartments, in the 380-unit Metropolitan next to the Mall at Columbia, offer luxury and convenience with retail on the ground floor.

It’s a hint of what’s to come.

So is Columbia’s Petit Louis on Lake Kittamaqundi – an off-shoot of the popular Roland Park Country French restaurant of the same name, run by gourmet entrepreneurs Cindy Wolf and Tony Foreman.

DeWolf also has re-purposed the Frank Gehry-designed former Rouse Company headquarters. Now, the iconic lakefront building is home to Howard County’s first Whole Foods supermarket, a wellness retreat and spa, and sumptuous office space.

Along with his inventive, high caliber Vice-President of Development, Greg Fitchitt, DeWolf has been able to overcome years of indecision to improve and restore the Merriweather Post Pavilion. The amphitheater that Rolling Stone and Billboard magazines already call one of the best in the nation, will receive a much-needed makeover and the sort of reinvestment required to continue bringing the nation’s best acts.

At The Crescent behind Merriweather Post, a connected, new urban streetscape will arise amidst medical facilities and office space that could attract more of the country’s best doctors and medical institutions that currently and quietly thrive in Howard County.

Meanwhile, the company is proceeding with a speculative, 200,000-square-foot building to meet demand from cyber security contractors. DeWolf sees Columbia’s downtown as a major job and residential center.

Clearly, 2014 has been a productive year for DeWolf with other master plan projects underway in New York City and Virginia. But here in Maryland, DeWolf has set the stage for a makeover of Downtown Columbia that will not only transform the heart of Howard County into Maryland’s most desirable community – but he may also be creating one of Maryland’s most exciting 24-hour cities.

Source: Center Maryland

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