Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Silver Spring Park (aka Moda Vista) Moves Forward

In the works since 2007, Silver Spring Park, formerly known as the Moda Vista Residences, is moving forward in the good graces of Montgomery County Planning Board after the board approved the developer's final Site Plan last week. Fenton Group, LLC's application offered a bet-hedging vision that includes office, retail, apartment, and hotel components. The local Silver-Spring firm, headed by Ulysses Glee, has some twenty years of residential development experience, but this ambitious project will be by far their most significant to date.

The one and a half acre site, a consolidation of seven lots located at the northwest corner of the block bounded by Silver Spring Avenue and Fenton Street, and popularly known as the former location of the Fenton Street Market, will make way for a 59,870 s.f., 60-foot-tall Fairfield Inn & Suites hotel with 110 rooms, a 28,170 s.f. office building, and a 58-unit apartment building. A total of 9,234 s.f. ground floor retail will be split between the hotel and office building, while the hotel and apartment buildings will share underground parking facilities. Developers explained that the retail spaces will likely house boutique-sized businesses.

To satisfy County zoning requirements, seven of the proposed apartments will be moderately priced (or MPDUs for jargon junkies), five will be reserved as workforce housing. The streetscapes fronting Fenton and Silver Spring Avenue will get a full makeover as proposed by the developer. Fenton has also committed to earn LEED Silver certification for each of the new buildings. LEED-lovers and the County Arborist might be upset that three trees exceeding 30 inches in diameter will be lost during the necessary bulldozing during construction, but don't fret, as developers are including 14 newly planted canopy trees and 22 mid-story trees as part of their landscape plan.

But these concessions weren't quite enough to please County planners, as the 20% on-site public-use space obligation still needed fulfilling. Fenton's proposed 8,543 "pocket-park" only satisfies 17% of that requirement; as a result, developers will hand over $152,728 to Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning to fund the design and construction of a new bike station at Gene Lynch Urban Park, adjacent to the nearby Silver Spring Transit Center.

Gordon & Greenberg Architects provided architectural designs for the new buildings, while Burgess & Niple shouldered all of the site planning work. Developers expect another six months to finalize construction plans and secure building permits, with construction completion anticipated to arrive 12 to 18 months after the optimistic Spring 2011 groundbreaking.

Silver Spring, MD Real Estate Development News


Anonymous said...

Great news for an otherwise egregiously underutilized lot (minus the awesome fenton street market which moved down the street to Veteran's Plaza). Community garden will also be constructed near the site - double win!

Critically Urban on Nov 9, 2010, 5:33:00 PM said...

Architecture in this plan is pedestrian, at best, but larger projects and more unique architecture are all planned for this area. They can't all be groundbreakingly iconic.

Anonymous said...

Building itself isn't the best (though certainly not bad), but the plans for ground floor retail, the park, and street landscaping are all really great news. This block can definitely support and absorb the new retail.

Anonymous said...

Just what Silver Spring needs, a good background building. Unfortunatley, they don't teach urban manners the way they do social manners, and every architect seems to want to be the "special" kid. Great cities are composed of 90% background buildings, and this one works very well. Humility is an undervalued quality amongst architects.

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't worry about this building being in the background for quite a while. Given the scale of the other existing developments in the surrounding few blocks, this project will dominate and be anything but background. There are several other large planned mixed use (mostly apt/condo)projects within a few blocks, plus the new library and (hopefully)Purple Line. All these things combined will make for a very animated streetscape and visually interesrting neighborhood...one in which "background" buildings like this can exist just fine.

Anonymous said...

Looks awesome. Just wish the socialist east silver spring neighborhood association wasn't so annoying and needy. No wonder developers are so short with these people. They delay and complain about developments and yada yada yada. This place (and the previous one for that matter) will be great for the area. Just let the the developers develop!!!

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