Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Thayer Avenue Condos Reborn as Subsidized Housing

The long-moribund Silver Spring condo project at 814 Thayer Avenue, the former site of the National Association of the Deaf (NAD), has been reconceptualized by a new developer as an affordable housing complex.

The amended site plan was recommended for approval by Montgomery County planners earlier this month.  While the amount of public space has remained the same, at just over 40,000 s.f., new developer Landex Companies has dramatically upped the percentage of affordable housing units, in order to qualify for affordable housing tax credits.

"Before, the project had only allocated seven units [out of a total 52] as affordable," says Elza Hisel-McCoy, Program Manager at the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission. "Which was the minimum allowed.  Now they've upped that to forty-two units."  The remaining twenty percent of units will be rented at unrestricted market rates.

Architect Wiencek + Associates has also made significant improvements to the overall design, at least in Hizel-McCoy's opinion.  "Before, it was a scissoring facade, alternating floors so the building had a prow," says Hizel-McCoy.  "But now it's a triangle.  There's a single triangular area along the sidewalk - they've come up with a design that integrates the sidewalk and public space much more seamlessly than the previous design."

Landex acquired the 0.64-acre Thayer Avenue property on contract from the previous developer, 814 Thayer LLC (which was a joint venture between Banneker Ventures and Four Points, LLC) 18 months ago, according to Peter Siegel, CEO at Landex.

"We're hoping to close in August on construction financing," confirms Siegel.  "So we'd start construction in late August, with completion taking 12-14 months."

Maryland-based Landex Companies specializes in mixed-income developments, and manages over two dozen properties in Maryland.

UPDATE:  This project is a joint venture between Landex Companies and the Warrenton Group.

Silver Spring Maryland real estate development news


Anonymous said...

Really hope that front plaza doesn't just turn to dead space. Hopefully it's small enough that it won't be much of an issue.

Glad to see the affordable units, though. There are 1brs at the new Solaire a couple blocks away that are going for $2600 and a number of other high end builds under construction that I'm sure will be priced similarly. It's completely nuts how quickly the pricing is getting out of control. We'll look like NoVa in no time if we don't continue to make a concerted effort to maintain the diversity that sets downtown Silver Spring apart from other thriving neighborhoods in the region.

Anonymous said...

Agree with anon #1 about affordable units, just with they'd straighten-out that front facade. Grab the square footage and help build out the street wall!

Anonymous said...

I just moved across the street, and had no idea this was going to be another construction nightmare for me. The leasing office at Silver Spring Towers stressed how "quiet" my unit will be on Thayer Avenue. What a MAJOR disappointment. Construction in August through the hot autumn months when Southern Management will no doubt turn the a/c off, God help me!

Anonymous said...

I lived in Silver Spring Towers until a year ago - all units have nice, new windows so hopefully it won't be too loud for ya. I faced Fenton and basically couldn't hear anything from the street. Windows were so good that I turned the HVAC on probably a half dozen days in the 3 years I lived there (I don't understand why you'd complain about AC being turned off in autumn....). I'm shocked how quickly they expect to build this thing. I guess it is pretty small, though.

Anonymous said...

I would bet against them starting in August. Locking up financing in this economy takes time.

Anonymous said...

It is December. No ground broken yet...cooooome on, what's the hold up?

Anonymous said...

DEMOLITION NOTICE posted last week. That's the end of any idea of peace and quiet on Thayer Avenue. Silver Spring is becoming one big headache at one giant price tag. Too bad.

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