Howard County Executive Calvin Ball Notes Incredible Year of Progress in Ellicott City

Announced via press release yesterday:

Howard County Executive Calvin Ball Notes Incredible Year of Progress in Ellicott City

News today about The Phoenix Emporium acquiring Ellicott Mills Brewing Company concludes year of resiliency and economic vitality

The Phoenix Emporium announced new plans to acquire and merge with the Ellicott Mills Brewing Company on Main Street beginning in the new year. Howard County’s negotiation to acquire The Phoenix Emporium building is still being finalized as a part of the Ellicott City Safe and Sound Plan.

To date, Howard County Government has acquired nine of the 10 buildings it planned to purchase on lower Main Street. Six of these buildings will now have portions preserved. The next step is partial removal of the sections of the buildings over the stream channel. To complete this and subsequent renovation of these buildings, the county needs to undergo a federal Section 106 process to assess the historical impacts.

“We’re excited to see The Phoenix stay in Historic Ellicott City and merge with another Main Street business, The Ellicott Mills Brewing Company,” said Howard County Executive Calvin Ball. “The resilience of Mark, Timmy, and their staff emphasizes that there is something special about this community. Moving forward, we will continue to work with all the residents and business owners through our Ellicott City Safe and Sound Plan as we make sure Ellicott City is protected and preserved.

Ellicott City has seen great progress in 2019. Nearly 30 business opened or reopened in the historic town. The Safe and Sound plan is heavily focused on the economic vitality of Main Street’s businesses, providing relief for business owners and residents impacted by floods, and creating a more community-driven process for how decisions are made regarding Ellicott City.”

Ball announced the Ellicott City Safe and Sound Plan on December 28, 2018. The final plan selected in May will reduce flood waters on Main Street to less than a foot in a 100-year storm and approximately three feet in a storm the scale of the July 2016 flood. Safe and Sound Plan developments as reported by the media can be found here.

Additional efforts on flood mitigation and public safety improvements included in the plan have been made this year:


  • Two projects, the Quaker Mill Pond and the H-7 pond, are slated to start construction within the next year, while the Maryland Avenue and 8600 Main Street Culvert projects are anticipated to start construction in FY2021.
  • Rogers Avenue storm drain improvements are expected to be completed by the end of next month, weather permitting.
  • The County has acquired the property needed for the H-4 pond, taking 34 units out of the development pipeline and securing 11 acres for upstream flood mitigation.
  • Progress has been made on possible North Tunnel alignments. During the next year, Howard County will be studying to determine the subsurface conditions, including the location and nature of rock along each of the alignments, and another study to fine tune and select the best vertical and horizontal layout of the tunnel.
  • The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is conducting an independent study of our flood mitigation approach to ensure we are taking the best approach to protect Ellicott City.


  • Public safety remains County Executive Ball’s top priority and Howard County will be better prepared for future potential storms.
  • For the temporary emergency alert system, a third speaker array was purchased and installed in parking lot “C” and as a result, emergency alert tones are now four times as loud in this area. The Office of Emergency Management also worked with the National Weather Service to create a new designation for Historic Ellicott City. Now, when there is a flash flood warning that impacts the Tiber/Hudson Watershed, the National Weather Service will specifically list “Historic Ellicott City” as an impacted area, instead of Ellicott City as a whole.
  • An enhanced “Clearing the Waterways” debris clean-up protocol has already resulted in the removal of nearly 10 tons of debris so far this year.
  • Significant progress has also been made with private access points to allow the public to access private property and exit the flood plain during a flood event. This is particularly important on the lower end of Main Street where there are limited ways for people to get off the street if flooding occurs.

More information about the Safe and Sound plan can be found at


It is good to see progress on Main Street in Ellicott City.

Interesting that after the news yesterday came out “March 31st will be the last day of operation of The Phoenix Emporium at 8049 Main Street” that the statement above notes “Howard County’s negotiation to acquire The Phoenix Emporium building is still being finalized…”. I am hoping that there is not some sort of glitch that happens during those negotiations.

Scott E

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One comment

  1. Regarding your last paragraph: I don’t think 8049 Main is owned by the owner of the Phoenix. So while the business is moving out, the County is still negotiating with the owner of the building.


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