Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Silver Spring's Contracting Galaxy

RST Development, Silver SpringThe Galaxy in Silver Spring is at last underway, at least in name. RST Development began excavation work on the site last month to make way for the apartment building that will soon rise at 8025 13th, just west of Georgia Avenue on the Silver Spring-Washington DC border, but now as a smaller, subsidized version of the original project.
Clark Construction, RST Development, Silver SpringInitially planned and approved by the county as a 328-unit, 700-parking space condominium, the project has spiraled downward in scope over the intervening four years. The ultimately prevailing design is a 195-unit rental apartment building with 113 market rate units and 82 subsidized units reserved for occupants making less than 60% of the Area Median Income (AMI). RST began sales for the Galaxy, then a condominium, in 2006, which ended unsuccessfully in 2007. By early 2008, with the condo market in Silver Spring moribund, A.R. Meyer's & Associates' designs for the approved condo project shrank to a more modest 241-unit complex with 430 underground parking spaces - with some as public spaces - was rebranded as an apartment building. But the shrinkage continued and - any port in a storm - the developers took advantage of public dollars by amping up the affordable housing component, and earlier this year RST submitted an application for $40m in tax exempt bonds, nearly $3m in Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC), and an additional $5m from the county's Housing Initiative Fund.

The Galaxy is RST's third project on the site, but the first new construction. In 2004, RST converted the vacant, 15-story office Galaxy condos Silver Springbuilding around the corner into Gramax Towers, a-182 unit apartment complex also heavily subsidized by the state with 153 subsidized units. A year later RST began the renovation of the Williams and Willste buildings, two abandoned office buildings next to the Galaxy site, which it converted into the Aurora Condominiums. Developer Scott Copeland of RST declined to talk to DCMud for this story.

Silver Spring Maryland real estate development news


Tired of subsidies said...

Greeeaaaat, let's give RST more state money because they can't build something people want to live in.

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