What Is Going On At The Forest Diner Property? Going…Going…

Forest Diner Courtesy of Nicole Martyn & the Howard County Times

Forest Diner Courtesy of Nicole Martyn & the Howard County Times

A couple of years ago I wrote about Forest Diner and it’s impending demise. Well, here you go…

Going...going...

 

 

The signs says, “World’s Best Fried Chicken”.  Who hasn’t seen that claim on the marquee in front of the Forest Diner in Ellicott City, MD with the so out-of-place palm trees?  I bet a lot of you are asking, “Where will I get my favorite crab cake, hon?”, when the diner closes for good.  If you haven’t already heard, the Forest Diner and motel site has been approved for apartments and live-work properties. There have been several articles written about the project in the Howard County Times and the Columbia Flyer. The diner’s presence for the past 60 years will eventually slip into the twilight along with the spirit of the Enhanted Forest. In an article written by Jennifer Choi and Derek Simmonsen of the Howard County Times, diner owner Will Reich, 70, struck the deal with the condition that he could rent the property back for five years (2014). Soft Stuf will remain and actually expand. Whew!

The reaction by the community has been mixed from Facebook, Save The Forest Diner to the Hearing Examiner of Howard County, Michele LeFaivre quoted as saying,  “This is a really exciting project and it’s the kind of thing that the county wants to be happening along Route 40,” LeFaivre said. “I think this sort of sets a new standard for what the county should accept for redevelopment.” Whatever your stance, the street scape in Ellicott City is changing. When Ellicott City was recently voted as one of the Best Places To Live In America by Money Magazine, some of my acquaintances were a bit puzzled by all the brouhaha about our mottled little town was receiving. I believe that the forces in charge are making sure we live up to these high expectations. However; we must remember to “Dance with the lady you came with.”  If we lose that small town charm, we could head into an arena that will be tough to compete and stay champs. Remember that movie Dante’s Peak? That cozy little town got a little too big for its britches and we all know how that town ended up.

World's Best Fried Chicken

World's Best Fried Chicken

Now, we really don’t have a volcano staring down at us preparing unleash it’s wrath, but we do need to understand what really is at stake here. I am all for progress and growth.  I am also a person that relishes that small town feel.  Ellicott City does have that quirky little charm that belies most normal explanations.  I have lived Ellicott City for almost 20 years (I was born and raised in Clarksville, MD. Let me tell you about change!) and never a day goes by when I am driving down Route 40 and don’t think to myself, “Gee. What’s the big deal about this town?”  I then start to think about my friends, family, my clients, the awesome schools (Go ‘Stangs) and rekindle the appreciation for this beautiful eclectic  little borough I live in called, Ellicott City.  I just wish it was a bit warmer and the palm trees were indigenous to the area.

Look here for more blogs What Are They Building Over There? and about Ellicott City, the goings ons as well as other quaint spots around us. In the meantime, let me know what you think of this article. Also, contact me and let me know what you want me to find out about what is going on in your neck of the woods.  I look forward to hearing from you.

Chris Weymouth, REALTORChris Weymouth, REALTOR®

The Weymouth Group at Keller Williams Select Realtors
443-280-1922
Sources: The Howard County Times, The Columbia Flyer,  Forest Mills Zoning Order, Howard County Technical Staff Report, HowChow Blog