The Takoma Metro Shopping Center, on the District's northeastern border at 6935 Laurel Avenue, NW, is undergoing design to add a new three story building next to the current structure. The site of the new building, formerly known as Lot 49 and which now sits vacant, should help satiate the retail appetite of the surrounding community. General Contractors were invited to submit bids on March 21st; the bidding phase will close April 24th in the hopes of a June start date.
Because the site serves as one of the main entryways into Maryland-DC, the current owners are seeking to increase the site's 'gateway' status by designing the new infill structure as a "billboard" for the neighborhood to "mark [their] arrival into the Takoma Park Community," according to Wnuk Spurlock Architects, which is designing the new building as a visual centerpiece of the block. According to Joseph Wnuk, Principal at Wnuk Spurlock Architecture "The one main goal was obviously to continue the current street facade, the other was because of its location, it should act as an introduction to Takoma Park. One portion of the building is a little higher and has much more emphasis, like a tower. We were not trying to duplicate any traditional style, we weretrying to do it in elements of this time and day. In terms of its context, its modernist, but we are sympathetic both in the scale and in the materials, of what's in the area."
Wnuk Spurlock will have to incorporate a historic building that occupies a corner of the site, at the intersection of Laurel and Eastern Avenues. The architecture firm refers to the development as an "integral component in completing the center's street facade." Owners of the shopping center have plans to operate a brand new restaurant out of the top floor, and some additional retail on the lower levels. The site was left vacant due to a fire almost 50 years ago.
In order to further accomodate shoppers, Wnuk Spurlock redesigned the parking lot, trying to make it easier both on the eyes and on our vehicles by making a few aesthetic upgrades, like a retaining wall to seperate the property from a neighboring lot, and reworking the flow of traffic to enter and exit from Eastern Ave.