Home Properties is set to unveil their Falkland Chase redevelopment plans later this fall. The proposed development site is 9.7 acres of land at the northeast corner of 16th Street and East-West Highway in Silver Spring. The recently revised plans call for the currently standing 180 garden apartments to be demolished in order to make way for an urban infill, multi-building complex totaling some 1,250 rental apartments upon completion. The developers had first proposed stacking over 1,000 units into a single high rise, but smartened up when they realized such a large building would not go over well with the surrounding community. Last week the Montgomery County Planning Board approved a 60 day extension of the Project Plan Review phase, meaning developers will now present their plans to the Board on October 13th. In the works since 2006, just last year the developers caved to pressure from local preservationists and designated two parcels of the Falkland Chase Apartments complex as historic. But that hasn't stopped the developers from moving forward with their massive redevelopment of the northern portion of the property.
Master-planning was done by Shalom Baranes Architects. Four separate buildings (two of which rise 12 or 13 stories), connected by pedestrian pathways, will surround pockets of green space and landscaped courtyards featuring a swimming pool, pond, and water fountain. Nelson Byrd Woltz shouldered the landscape design work. Over 150 units will be designated as moderately priced, serving those making 50-65% AMI, while at least another 59 will be reserved as workforce housing. Also divided amongst the four buildings is the proposed 70,000 s.f. of retail space, with the 20,000 s.f. anchor space set to become a major grocery store. Although nothing is official, Home Properties expects to wrap up negotiations to bring Harris Teeter to the development shortly. The other retail venues will likely feature a mix of restaurants, dry cleaners, and convenience stores. A four story (half below grade, half above) 1,600-space garage will satisfy the parking needs of future residents and shoppers.
Sustainability will be a major factor given the project's proximity to the fragile Rock Creek watershed. Developers have committed to earning at least a LEED Silver Certification, and have promised to recycle as much of the construction waste as humanly possible. Several green roofs, rain gardens, and infiltration beds and cisterns will assist in collecting and processing storm runoff.
The review process is bound to shed light on some public criticism, as at least a few neighbors will be upset with the scope of the project. Developers are pushing to the ceiling on all the zoning specifications, proposing the maximum 3.0 FAR, 166 units per acre, and 143 feet in building height.
Detailed architectural renderings have not been released, although designers describe their material palate as consisting of the usual brick masonry, metal, cast stone and glass. The contemporary facades will also feature a variety of balconies, bays and exterior spaces.
Silver Spring, MD Real Estate Development News