Thursday, January 14, 2010

Ripley District Moving On Up


Silver Spring's Ripley District, once home to a derelict strip of parking garages and auto body shops, has had its share of growing pains in the current economic climate, but signs of progress are sprouting up in the form of construction and design reviews for area projects. The Ripley District, a triangular parcel of downtown Silver Spring between Bonifant Street, Georgia Avenue and the B & O Railroad, is one of Montgomery County's reinvention projects in an effort to bolster the growth of Silver Spring. Planned residential and commercial projects are in various stages of development, one building is almost finished, others are waiting on the sidelines.

The County approved designs for the Midtown Silver Spring residential building in September 2008, but developer Home Properties is back with altered plans, a new project name - Ripley Street North - and a new architect - Shalom Baranes Architects. The team submitted amended plans earlier this month. The developer expects to go before the Planning Board shortly after their February meeting with the Design Review Committee. The new plans, though still tentative, would increase the total number of residential units by 50 to 396 and, of the total, 49 will be moderately priced. Though the team has made several adjustments to areas including public use space and building setbacks, the planned structure maintains a 5.0 FAR density rating.

According to Elza Hisel-McCoy a Coordinator within Montgomery County Planning Department's Development Review Division, depending on the comments from the Design Review Committee, the Planning board could review the project six weeks to two months thereafter. More information will be available once the DRB makes recommendations and the Planning Board staff issues a review, likely to come this spring.

Hisel-McCoy added that another planned residential project, the Lessard Group-designed 1150 Ripley, formerly know as 1050 Ripley, has all of its approvals, but there have been no signs of forward motion so far. The approved Washington Property Company plan is for a 306,000- s.f. residential building that will include 318 rental units including 48 moderately priced dwelling units and 7,000 s.f. of commercial space. Evan Feldman, a Development Manager for Washington Properties, indicated that the team is working on financing right now, but expects to begin construction in April of this year, despite the lack of a general contractor. Once construction begins, Feldman expects the first units to be available in 18 months and the entire project to deliver in 21 months.

For some actual progress in the district, Division One Architects, the minds behind the Lacey, have been working on a brand new headquarters building for ALC, Inc., which will sit on the southwest corner of Ripley Street at Georgia Avenue. The three level building includes a ground floor restaurant and walk up office space with green features like a sodded roof and north and east oriented facades to capture all that natural daylight. The project should deliver by April or May of this year.

The County's efforts to re-brand the Ripley District are crawling along, but the development movement so far looks promising for the future.



Silver Spring real estate development news

4 comments:

Eric on Jan 14, 2010, 3:25:00 PM said...

Even though I've seen the design that used to be Midtown Silver Spring, I SO preferred the Kettler design to this one. The two 20-story buildings had a better quality look and look better than a building like this that is wider than it is tall. Has the same effect as the Veridian by JBG, which is good-looking, but should've been broken up into two or more towers.

Here's the original design for Midtown SS:
Original Midtown Silver Spring Design

Anonymous said...

Eric, the building shown in the post isn't the Home properties new version of midtown silver spring, but of the smaller building proposed for the other side of tilley across from the midtown site. Anyone have any images of what shalom baranes has designed for the midtown site? Like Eric, I really liked kettler's plan, but also hope that having a starchitect like baranes on the project will (finally) bring some more quality multifamily architecture to silver spring

Anonymous said...

I meant to write the other side of Ripley, not "tilley" (stupid iPhone autocomplete feature)

farshad farahi said...

2FAR,
Bravo Division 1 Architects, fantastic job, I'm hundred percent supporting your design.
The same time, I'm criticizing the 1150 ripley project.
I'm wondering, when this past-ward and expired post modern architecture will leave DC area. An Architectural style which was finished in 80, because is revivalist and looking to the past and has artificial stupid revision and look to the past which 100 years ago was over.
I think the capital city needs some new blood and creative mind for architecture, otherwise it will be behind the time and other capital cities of the world.As it is.

 

DCmud - The Urban Real Estate Digest of Washington DC Copyright © 2008 Black Brown Pop Template by Ipiet's Blogger Template