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Silver Spring's Falkland Chase redevelopment up for approval

November 17, 2010 - 08:52 AM
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Falkland Chase
Developers propose to build four buildings to house 1,250 apartments (Image: Courtesy of Home Properties, Inc.)

There is finally some movement on the massive redevelopment of the Falkland Chase apartments off of East-West Highway and 16th Street in Silver Spring.

The Montgomery County Planning Board will take up the preliminary plan during a Thursday hearing.  Developer Home Properties, Inc. has proposed to build four buildings with a total of 1,250 multifamily units, likely apartments, that will replace the garden-style apartment buildings currently on the site. Those garden-style buildings, which house 110 units, will be demolished to make room for the high rises.

The site is adjacent to the future Purple Line and within walking distance of the Silver Spring Transit Center. And the proposal calls for 75,000-square feet of retail space and 1 acre of public park land.

"We want a mix of retail that will be useful to residents," Home Properties' vice president of development Michael Eastwood said at a Silver Spring Urban District committee meeting last month. (There have been rumors of a Harris Teeter tossed around).

The Urban District Advisory Committee did send a letter in support of the project, but there have been previous rumblings over the developer's plans, in particular from preservationists (the current development dates back to 1937). The Montgomery County Council eventually did designate two parcels of the project as historic but allowed development on the northern part.

Another sticking point was building height, but earlier this year developers agreed to move away from the original plan of building one high-rise for some 1,000 units.

Now with the potential addition of so many apartments to Silver Spring, the need for more car-sharing spaces in the area seems even more pressing.

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  1. Thayer-D Thayer-D

    Daniel Morales

    Nov 17, 2010 - 12:27:43 PM

    A fantastic opportunity for Silver Spring to spread it's center misses the mark. I am thoroughly in favor of the increased density at the heart of Silver Spring, but it's a shame the architecture and planning will do nothing to encourage people to walk. One of the faults of the original architecture is being repeated here, and that is that the building retreats from the street. Every enthusiast of smart growth knows that beyond density, one needs to encourage walking, and by designing buildings in the park, the pedestrian experiance will be no better than the original. Buildings in walkable downtown locations ought to abut the street to provide a street wall from which retail and other distractions enhance the pedestrian experience. The slashes in plan, while graphically compelling, never seem to translate in three dimensions, and I'm afraid that the architecture will be as cold and detached as the plan implies. I encourage the development, but bemoan the missed opportunity in creating vital streetscapes downtown.

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