The Ellsworth Apartments in Silver Spring is set to break ground in late April or early May, said Karl Alt, Development Project Manager of The Foulger-Pratt Companies. The apartment complex, positioned two blocks from the Silver Spring Metro, will offer residents a courtyard, fitness center and pool. It was originally billed as a luxury condo development.
The 217,655 s.f. building will be built to LEED-Silver certification levels and will offer 222 market-rate apartments and 19 low income units. Alt said the project will take over the entire block from Ellsworth Drive to Cedar Street to Pershing Drive and Veterans Drive. SK & I Architectural Group, the firm behind View 14, Union Row Flats and Arlington's Lofts 590, is steering the project's design. Foulger-Pratt is responsible for both development and construction of the project.
Foulger-Pratt Development Executive Briggs Bunker said the apartment exterior closely resembles the drawing above, despite that the project has been retraded as rental apartments. Of course it's still being dubbed as luxury residences. "The materials used in each unit are what make it a luxury rental," said Bunker. "Marble counter tops in each unit, for example." The common spaces are also what the developers consider a notch above: "Not many rental buildings have a common courtyard, a pool, a fountain, two areas for outdoor barbecues, and an outdoor fireplace." The building will also feature a fitness center, a game room and cybercafe.
The Ellsworth is one of the few projects in Silver Spring to move forward without substantial subsidies for affordable housing, which Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett has made clear is a staple of real estate development. Projects like The Argent, an affordable housing project developed by Perseus Realty at 1200 Blair Mill Road that opened last year, have been able to move forward with local and federal grants for below-market housing, while Galaxy will rise at 8025 13th Street, with 113 market-rate apartments and 82 subsidized units designed by A.R. Meyers & Associates.
So while the proliferation of development in the suburb just north of the city may offer some sunny optimism regarding the housing economy, the roll out remains slow, with projects often scaled down and subsidized. Development of the Ellsworth, in that light, is a sign of more faith in the market forces.
Silver Spring, Maryland real estate development news