Hey, Oakland Mills! And friends of Oakland Mills and all people who want to see Oakland Mills be successful and forward-thinking and cutting edge! Who would like to see Oakland Mills attract millenials and families with kids? Looking for an outside the box idea that will go over well with the target demographic?
Know that one acre-large empty space at the village center next to the Thai restaurant? What about if that empty space..... became a maker space? What's a maker space, you ask? And how do you make one? Here's how!
What makes this a great proposition for Oakland Mills? The first reason: location, location, location! Oakland Mills is conveniently located in the heart of Columbia, a place near and dear to the real estate community, and in close proximity to Howard Community College, dozens of technology companies and defense contractors, the future artists' village at the Inner Arbor, the Howard County Library, in the middle of five public schools, and much more! Second, this would be an idea that I believe Howard County's nonprofit community would support and fund! Third, if I'm Allan Kittleman, I LOVE this idea, because there's also an economic development component to this project.
And fourth, the unique topography of the one acre lot makes the potential future Oakland Mills makerspace expandable! It could be built to start small and then get bigger as demand and funding increase. Fifth, and last, this makerspace was already an approved use of the former Exxon lot by the community in the 2007 Master Plan. Although a more artisanal use was envisioned, I think adding a design and innovation bend to the site would go over huge in this community. How many people of all ages and walks of life would want to reserve space in this unique facility!
And the sixth, and maybe bestest reason to create the makerspace-- to build it, you don't need to displace a soul! Can we community say the same thing about an expanded ice rink or swimming pool? Are those things needed? They are! But why not go with a concept that is truly novel to the community, and would be a much bigger attraction to the village, by potential investors in the village?
Seriously-- this can work. All we gotta do is make it happen. Wanna REALLY reinvent Oakland Mills? This is how that happens.
Let's be careful out there.