Ground Broken on Major Merriweather Revitalization Project

A Maryland Department of Commerce press release (2018-04-30) announced groundbreaking of a major revitalization project in the Merriweather District in Downtown Columbia. A variety of state and local officials attended the ceremony. The mixed-use project will include a 12-story office building that will become the headquarters of cybersecurity firm Tenable. From the press release:

Governor Larry Hogan today joined Howard Hughes Corporation CEO David R. Weinreb, Tenable Chairman and CEO Amit Yoran, Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot, and Howard County Executive Allan H. Kittleman for the Merriweather District’s official groundbreaking ceremony in Downtown Columbia. The groundbreaking highlighted the construction of a new 12-story, 350,000-square-foot signature office building that will house the headquarters of Tenable, one of the nation’s fastest-growing cybersecurity companies.
“The Merriweather District represents the future of Maryland’s tech evolution, and as the future home of Tenable’s new headquarters, it also means hundreds of new jobs right here in Columbia,” said Governor Hogan. “Congratulations once again to Tenable, to the Howard Hughes Corporation, and to everyone involved in this exciting project. Thank you for ensuring that when it comes to cybersecurity, Maryland will continue to lead here at home and on a global scale.”
“We are thrilled to be able to continue the work started by visionary developer James Rouse in creating a planned city founded on the values of respect for people and for land,” said David R. Weinreb, CEO, The Howard Hughes Corporation. “As a company, we are committed to developing cities and neighborhoods in a way that allows people to live better lives while simultaneously building for the future. It is a testament to this commitment that Merriweather District has already attracted leading companies such as Tenable, MedStar Health, and Pearson Online.”
The Merriweather District is the first high-density, mixed-use neighborhood in the redevelopment of Downtown Columbia by Howard Hughes Corporation. In addition to the Merriweather District, the project will include two other neighborhoods, Lakefront District and Central District. At full buildout, Downtown Columbia will feature more than 14 million square feet of mixed-use development, including commercial office space, street-level retail, residential units, and hotel rooms, as well as cultural and recreational amenities such as public parks and trails. In addition to the new building, the Merriweather District will include One and Two Merriweather, a collection of Class-A, mixed-use office buildings.
“This project represents another step forward in fulfilling the vision to redevelop Downtown Columbia,” said Howard County Executive Kittleman. “We’re happy that Tenable is joining this vibrant business community and being a catalyst for the Hughes Corporation to add more residential and other amenities to truly make this a premier destination to live, work and enjoy Columbia.”
The Downtown Columbia Plan, passed by the Howard County government in 2010, facilitated the redevelopment of Downtown Columbia into a vibrant community where residents can live, shop, work, entertain, exercise, and enjoy cultural opportunities in an enriched natural setting. The project is expected to further the growth of Howard County’s vibrant cybersecurity corridor.
“The Merriweather District offers an outstanding location for Tenable’s new headquarters, as well as exceptional amenities for employees,” said Maryland Commerce Secretary Mike Gill. “We’re very pleased that the company decided to expand here in Maryland. Howard County is fast becoming a hotbed of cybersecurity.”

Baltimore Sun article (2018-04-30) provided some additional details:

The groundbreaking marked the next step in the development of a 391-acre area over the next 20 years, spearheaded by Columbia’s master developer the Howard Hughes Corp. and approved by the county after months of debate. …

The Merriweather District project, to be built in two phases with the first phase scheduled to open in late 2019 and the second phase planned for shortly after, is a high density, mixed-use development with 1.5 million square feet of office space and more than 2,000 residences, anchored by a 12-story, 350,000-square-foot office building that will house the headquarters for cybersecurity firm Tenable. …

Hogan and Kittleman were joined at the ceremony by Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot, state delegates Frank Turner, Robert Flanagan, Eric Ebersole, Vanessa Atterbeary and Clarence Lam and a state senator, Guy Guzzone. No Howard County Council members were in attendance. The council, which was invited, was at a previously scheduled budget work session that, according to chairwoman Mary Kay Sigaty, could not be rescheduled.

The article also noted that the Downtown Columbia plan has been a key priority for the Kittleman administration and has received $90 million in public financing.