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Columbia Real Estate

A planned community located in Howard County, Maryland, Columbia was conceived to be a 100,000-person development complete with jobs, schools, shopping, medical services, and all the amenities of a large city. Today, Columbia consists of 10 separate villages and has a population of 99,615 (as of 2010).

History & Development

Columbia was the brain-child of James Rouse who wanted to give the city a small-town feel and did so with the village concept. Ten separate, self-contained villages each made up of several neighborhoods make residents feel like they live in a small town.

Street names in Columbia take their names from works of literature and art. For example, Hobbit’s Glen, a neighborhood in the village of Harper’s Choice, gets its street and road names from the works of author J.R.R Tolkien who wrote Lord of the Rings. Each village will have its own schools, recreational facilities, churches, and more.

Best Places To Live

Columbia, located between Baltimore and Washington, D.C., has been awarded several honors as one of the best places to live in the U.S. Money magazine has named Columbia, and neighboring Ellicott City, as high as No. 2 on their list of the Top 100 Best Cities To Live Within America. Just last year, Ellicott City and Columbia were ranked No. 8 on the list.


The HCPSS operates the public schools in Columbia. Of the county’s 12 high schools, seven serve Columbia. There are no universities or 4 year colleges in Columbia, but there are multiple college-leveled programs are available from the likes of Loyola University as well as Johns Hopkins University. The Howard County Library system is consistently rated among the best in the nation. Two of the county’s six libraries are in Columbia.


In developing Columbia, recreation was a key concept the Columbia homeowners association builds, maintains, and operates a wide variety of facilities. There are three lakes for sailing, fishing, and boating. The association operates 23 outdoor pools, 6 indoor pools, 2 water slides, along with an ice rink, an equestrian center and much more.

One of the area’s biggest attractions is Merriweather Post Pavilion, a well-known outdoor concert venue featuring live national acts throughout the spring and summer. There are multiple performing arts organizations in Columbia including Toby’s Dinner Theatre, which has produced the area premiers of several musicals.


When Columbia was designed, a large area was set aside for other industrial purposes. Originally, a General Electric plant was located there and was the city’s largest employer. With the closing of the plant in 1990, the federal government has become one of the biggest providers of employment to residents of Columbia.

The Department of Defense and National Security Agency both have facilities within the Columbia area. Many Columbia residents will commute to their government-held positions in Washington, D.C., due to its proximity.

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