Silver Spring's downtown will soon be the heart of an Art and Entertainment District as Montgomery County swaps a shuttered JCPenney for the Fillmore Music Hall, inspired by the original Fillmore in San Francisco. Courtesy of Live Nation music company and Lee Development Group, the venue will sit on Colesville Road between Georgia Avenue and Fenton Street, across from the AFI Silver Theater and down the street from Discovery Communications. In an interesting swap, Lee, which owns the building, will build the new music hall for the county, and both the state and county will contribute $4 million toward construction. The developer will give the Fillmore property (valued at $3.5 million) to the county in exchange for land use allowances on an adjoining property at 8615 Georgia Avenue, currently planned to include a hotel and office buildings.
The Fillmore will be a historic reuse project, maintaining the exterior of the old department store that has been vacant for almost 20 years. The new theater could have capacity ranging between 500 and 2,000, depending on the type of performances. The design for the project is by Hickok Cole Architects which is also behind the design for Lee's planned hotel and commercial buildings at Georgia Avenue, which will back up to the Fillmore.
The project planned for Georgia Avenue will bring a 12-story Class A Office Space and a 14-story 3 Star Hotel to the 72,000 s.f. of land. The developer indicated the team was deep in the planning stages for the commercial and hotel project and had not yet been through any Planning reviews.
In November, the County approved the exchange, with assurances to the developer that the County will pay the developer for any costs it might incur resulting from interceding zoning changes that affect the office and hotel project. The exchange is an aberration from the normal process by which a developer's plan is approved contingent on community benefits. In this case, Lee is building the theater (the community benefit) and promising to give away land without prior project approval for the proposed hotel and office. To offset the risk of not receiving approval and having to adjust designs for the commercial development, Lee received promises from the County that it would pay development costs due to any new regulations imposed on the Georgia Avenue Property.
Construction for the music hall could begin by the end of this year, setting the Fillmore Music Hall for a grand opening in late 2011. The County expects a $700,000 yearly profit from the venue.
Photo by Lizzie Turkevich. Silver Spring real estate and development news