COLUMBIA, Md. (WJZ) — The Howard County Council approved one of the largest financial deals to revitalize downtown Columbia on Wednesday night.

In a 4-to-1 vote, Howard County approved a $90 million tax increment financing deal for the Howard Hughes Corporation to develop the downtown Columbia area — the largest deal in Howard County’s history.

“Really, really important thing for everybody in Howard County, regardless of your income level, regardless of where you live right now, it’s going to be a good thing for everybody,” said Howard County Executive Allan Kittleman.

Located next to the iconic Merriweather District, the goal is to create an inclusive community for people to live, work and play.

The project will include hundreds of affordable housing units, as well as a parking structure to support the growing population.

“That’s a good idea, I think. Could use a work-over here. It gets a lot of traffic and a lot of people come here to shop,” said John Kucel.

“Put money in it and make it look great and add jobs, and build it up to do great things,” said Robin Andino.

In total, $2.2 billion will be invested in the transformation — a project that promises economic growth and further development.

“The more you put into it, the more you get out of it,” said Andino.

The historic deal also demonstrates Howard County’s commitment to invest in their future.

“Columbia is a great place to live, it always has been a great place to live. I’m glad the country has recognized that, but we’re going to continue to fight to keep that number one status,” said Kittleman.

The developers are still working with Howard County officials to figure out a clear timeline on when the project will be completed.

For details on the project, CLICK HERE.

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