Monday, February 25, 2008

Funding Time for Silver Place


Today, the Maryland- National Capital Park and Planning Commission (MNCPPC) sat together with the County Council’s Planning, Housing and Economic Development committee, to discuss a two-stage financial package for funding SilverPlace. The County Council Committee voted 3-0 in favor of funding the first stage, a set of design charrettes that will facilitate community input for the overall design. The second half of the finance package will fund final design and construction of the project - MNCPCC is requesting $4.9 million in total funding from the county for its interest in the property.

If all goes according to plan, the first design 'charrette' - a roundtable discussion, to you and me - should begin this Spring. MNCPCC expects the community input stage to last until the end of the year, when they would request the second stage of funding. According to MNCPCC, "The design phase could take up to 10 months." Our guesswork indicates the final design could be submitted as late as 2009.

Silver place, located at 8787 Georgia Avenue in downtown Silver Spring, will be a mixed use project (see prior post) encompassing a nine-story, 150,000-s.f. office tower, which will house the new 120,000-s.f. MNCPPC headquarters, and a residential component housing 358 units, 91 of which will be rental units - the remainder will sold as condos. Preliminary plans also call for some retail and copious public gathering space. Currently, the site houses a large surface parking lot and the current, three-story, MNCPCC headquarters, which has become so overcrowded that the organization needs to rent out suites for its staff. Developers will build the new project in phases so that planning staffers won't be out of a home until their new one is finished.

Torti Gallas
is designing the master plan for the site, working alongside a group of development firms, who appropriately call themselves SilverPlace LLC: a combination of Harrison Development, Spaulding and Slye, and Bozzuto Group.

3 comments:

ward8sown on Feb 25, 2008, 9:42:00 PM said...

Dear DCmud:

I am a resident of Congress Heights. Over the past ten years, I have been closely following the amazing redevelopment of Washington DC and am very happy that DC is well on its way of finally becoming a world class city like it should have always been. Downtown, the baseball stadium area, southwest waterfront, DC yards and Poplar point are just to name a few. But, the area that peaks my interest the most is Ward 8, and its future. There are many projects in the pipeline, like Skyland, that we can get exited about. Also, projects that were recently completed, like Giants (and soon to be Asheford Court), is something we can all be proud of. Nevertheless, the project that is of most importance to me is the redevelopment of Saint Elizabeth’s west campus. St Eve’s east campus is being planned to perfection by the DC government and is set to include office, housing and retail. Although, it would be the icing on the cake if they were to relocate the entire UDC campus on the site and also relocate SE Community Hospital to serve as a teaching facility for UDC students as well as serving the community. The problem with St Eve’s west campus is that the exact opposite, as far as planning, is being done. Building a new headquarters for the Dept of Homeland Security is shortsighted and without any benefits to Ward 8 or the city as a whole. There will be 11,000 DHS employees on site when completed, none of which will mingle in the local community for shopping or dining, WE ALL KNOW THAT! This very valuable and, potentially lucrative land, if carefully planned, could transform Ward 8 into the new DC financial powerhouse, instead of DC’s red headed stepchild. Let us take a look at three prime examples: 1. The Verizon Center area 2. The baseball stadium area 3. The new soccer stadium/Poplar Point. Those three areas, with a professional sports arena serving at the center, have turned their respective neighborhoods into its own entertainment hub unrivaled anywhere in the city. With that being said the only logical plan for St Eves west campus is an entertainment district, complete with office/hotel/retail/residential, with a new 100,000 seat professional football stadium (built by Dan Synder) for the Washington Redskins. With a reconfigured South Capital street built running through the west campus, this could be the new southern gateway leading to downtown DC. Just think, Ward 8 could soon be home to NFL playoffs, the Super Bowl, NCAA final four, World cup soccer and mega-music concerts. DC ‘Senator’ Elanor Holmes Norton, is an icon in this city that is loved and respected for all that she does for DC, but she is wrong on her support for DHS at St Eves. Please help her reconsider! I have pictures of a scale model (extremely low budget) of the future Ward 8 that I would like to send you. If you can respond to tell me how much you love the idea (or how crazy I am) it would be appreciated. Thank you.

David on Feb 26, 2008, 10:18:00 AM said...

Ward8sown, I would love to see your your pictures (we love pictures), and I definitely don't think you're crazy. In fact, your thought process is logical - it makes sense. Let's take a look!

Ken on Feb 26, 2008, 9:43:00 PM said...

Does Dan Snyder WANT to put a stadium there? I don't know the answer to that, but its an important question. One could argue (see my writer's objectivity at play here) that W8 has gotten bupkis, whether or not its deserved, and that they should be thankful for getting 11,000 federal employees that will consume at least some services in the neighborhood and put the land to use. Some of those employees will no doubt live in the neighborhood too. Such an infusion is likely to instigate other development, which will naturally follows demand and profit.

And two points: EHN isn't a Senator, and your comment is the longest paragraph ever written on this blog, even by our longwinded and verbose staff. Congratulations on the distinction.

 

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