Friday, September 24, 2010

Falkland Chase To Begin Review Process

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


Anonymous said...

A+. Some people think this section of Falkland Chase should stay the same, but the fact of the matter is that this real estate in DTSS demands higher density. Onwards and upwards!

Daniel on Sep 25, 2010, 8:59:00 AM said...

So what happens to the people who live there now? Because every other new building that's popped up in DTSS is a stupidly expensive "luxury" apartment, so it's not like they can just all move to other places in the vicinity. Is there some sort of plan for this?

Anonymous said...

Well we're talking about displacing 180 people - a very very small number when considering the whole of downtown silver spring. Plus, we're talking years down the line, so anyone that wants to stay at Falkland Chase long term I'm sure will move into one of the many building not being torn down.

Anonymous said...

Not to mention there are still a number of affordable options in DTSS - not all units are The Veridian. Just the other week people (not me) were complaining about how the Argent opened as "affordable," middle-income housing.

Critically Urban on Sep 26, 2010, 11:44:00 PM said...

The extensive--and I do mean EXTENSIVE--process that deemed the other two Falkland Chase properties as historic (for now), included discussion that the current residents, who only own, not rent, will be able to move into apartments in the other two Falkland Chase parcels while the new development is built. They will get first stab at new apartments when they're finished. If they qualify for affordable housing, then obviously they will be able to take advantage of a brand new building.

Anonymous said...

Daniel Libeskind called. He wants his geometry back.

Anonymous said...

people wake up. why is that the liberal elitist believe that the foundation of our country that 'all men are created equal' is used to justify that it's ok to look on the other guys' plate to determine whether you should be happy or not. Ridiculous, stick your nose to the grindstone and make your own way - take responsibility for yourself. in plain english, grow up

Anonymous said...

another "shards of glass" master plan from the modernist hacks Shalome Baranes. What happened to the lovely pedestrian friendly plan? Guaranteed the development will be cold and uninviting, thus loosing cash for the landlord. Please re-consider and build with somebody that actually takes pedestrian wishes in to account.

Anonymous said...


(Seriously, what?)

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