Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Falkland Apartments Plan Up for Review, Again

Today, Home Properties of New York, owner of the Falkand Apartments, finds itself once again in front of the Montgomery County Planning Department concerning the site plan for a multi-building, mixed-use development at the northeast quadrant of the intersection of 16th Street and East-West Highway near the Silver Spring CBD. The 9.7-acre site, split into three parcels, is within walking distance of the Silver Spring Metro and the MARC station.

In 1985, the area was denied eligibility for the designation in the Master Plan for Historic Preservation, but in 2007 all three parcels were found eligible and the Board “directed the Planning staff to initiate an amendment to that Master Plan,” according to the MCPD report on today’s hearing to approve the site plan. In 2008, the south and west parcels were added to the plan, but the north parcel was added to the Locational Atlas, which was created in 1976 and identifies potential historic sites.

That particular restriction called for the removal of the north parcel from the Atlas upon approval of the site plan.

"Faced with the challenge of weighing the benefits of historic preservation with those related to other planning objectives, the Board found that greater public benefit would be achieved through the redevelopment of the north parcel than by the parcel's designation in the Master Plan," according to the Staff report.

Being part of the Master Plan comes with eligibility for financial incentives for qualified rehabilitation and maintenance projects as well as certain protections.

The designation led Home Properties to revise their development plan and follow a few provisions, including 4.72 percent of the dwelling units to be subject to the County’s Workforce housing law for 20 years and the same amount provided for off-site Workforce housing.  Home Properties must beautify the stream on the South parcel, and all buildings must be rated LEED-Silver.

The proposed plan is for a 1.2 million s.f., mixed-use development that includes 70,000 s.f. of retail and 1,250 townhouse units with 12.5 percent MPDUs and 4.73 percent Workforce Housing units.

The project consists of four buildings, oriented to a perimeter public street or a proposed private internal street. The buildings on the East-West Highway include ground-floor retail.

The proposed development provides 65,091 s.f. of public use space, 20 percent of the lot area. This includes a public plaza, garden and pedestrian area.

Staff recommends approval of the proposed plan today.

Maryland real estate and development news


Anonymous said...

The are not 1,250 townhouse units. Only a handful are townhouses, the rest are flats in mid/high rise buildings.

Anonymous said...

The title needs to be corrected to Falkland.

Anonymous said...

God I hope they revise the site plan with spaces that will actually be pleasant and buildings that will beautify the street. Besides that, onward and forward!

Unknown on Jun 21, 2012, 11:03:00 AM said...

I agree with the comment regarding beautifying the street more. With the Fillmore and such, the area is clearly still growing in terms of attractiveness but something is still missing. City Place is a disgrace of a “mall” so better shopping options around there would be splendid.


Anonymous said...

West of the tracks (this site, as well as all the way down East-West) is sorely lacking as far as retail/restaurants. The Dim Sum place is okay, as is the sushi place, but that's it. Otherwise, 100% of the action in Silver Spring is on the East side. Don't know if we should just embrace that and enjoy all the vitality we see east of the Discovery building or if the goal should be a more balanced downtown Silver Spring.

Travis M. Andrews on Jun 21, 2012, 11:54:00 AM said...

@ Anon: Fixed up the title. Thanks!

@ Anon: The Staff report for the MCPD states that 1,250 of the units are multi-family and townhouse units.


Ben Ross said...

Also included in the project is a dedication of crucial right of way for the future Purple Line. Because of tight building clearances, it would have been very hard to build the Purple Line as originally planned on the north side of the CSX track. This dedication will save taxpayer money in the 8 or 9 figures.

Anonymous said...

Can someone explain this article? The plan went before the Planning Board for approval months ago, and it was granted. The board does not even meet on Wednesdays, and there is nothing on Thursdays agenda for this project? How is this up for review again?

Anonymous said...

Surely, if the developers are being seen by an empowered Board about this, there exist drawings which actually provide a sense of what's proposed? The plan shown suggests some diagonal moves, which could be dynamic or street-killing, depending on the three-dimensional manifestation.

The article, with its dearth of renderings, gives the impression that MoCo is interested solely in the numbers-- X number of 'work-force' housing units, X number of parkng spaces, etc. I assume and hope that MoCo's aspirations are a little higher than that.

randyb said...

The Scion Restaurant from Dupont Circle has signed a lease to open a sister Scion (along with a small Chinese noodle bar) in Home Properties other building west of the Metro tracks at 1200 East West Hwy. Permits are filed and construction should begin this summer. That should bring a big touch of class to the west end. You can check Scion's web site for a sense of what's to come. (My favorite President dined there in January....)

Anonymous said...

True, Scion is a big win for west of the tracks. Before that, the only addition I can think of in the last few years is a freakin' Papa Johns. Crazy considering the thousands of residents that have been added up and down East-West since 2006.

Anonymous said...

@ anon Jun 21, 2012 2:12:00 PM

and @ everyone else for that matter

The plan per the Montgomery Parks and Planning is formally called Falkland North 820120050

If you go to the website, and search for the Development Activity Information Center (DAIC), search the above plan number and you can link your way "related plans and reports". There all submitted plans are located. The Staff Report includes a ton of rendered 3D models of the proposed buildings and landscaping. This project is actually from a non-local architecture firm and when the Board passes this back in January, commented on how this will set a new bar for design in Silver Spring.

Anonymous said...

Anyone know how close this is to shovel ready? I've always had the impression that they were still a few years away (no financing in place, as far as I know, Harris Teeter hasn't signed on officially, etc.). If someone knows otherwise, I'd love to hear it.

Anonymous said...

at the hearing in January they said they were at a minimum a year away and probably further, and cited a long list of reasons this was not going to start before years end including leasing of retail, securing financing, and relocating residents.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the info.


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