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Hickory Ridge Village Center redevelopment moves forward

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Hickory Ridge Village Center redevelopment moves forward

A plan to redevelop Hickory Ridge Village Center could go before the county’s planning board as early as April as Kimco Realty continues the county’s multi-step approval process for the revitalization of Columbia’s village centers.

The $70 million project, which has drawn community opposition and mixed reviews in public meetings, would add a 230-unit apartment block and re-orient retail in the village center, which opened in the early 1990s.

Kimco’s design and architectural choices got a green light from the county’s Design Advisory Panel Wednesday, after the group of architects, which does not formally approve or reject projects, recommended changes to better match the new center with the feel and look of the surrounding community. The panel applauded Kimco for its revisions.

The latest plan scaled back the apartment building by 75 feet, boosted setbacks on Freetown Road by 18 feet and matched the current Giant Food’s facade to match the surrounding community in response to recommendations by the panel in late December.