Contact Us

Plans For Elizabeth Square Aquatic Center Presented To County


Downtown Silver Spring took a big step toward introducing a major new neighborhood amenity last month when plans for an aquatic center at the Elizabeth Square redevelopment were presented to a County Council committee last month.

The plan for the 120k SF building consists of a 56k SF aquatic center, a 28k SF fitness center and a 26k SF community center (with a 7k SF lobby), according to Bethesda Magazine.

Its construction comes with a $55M estimated price tag to be paid incrementally over the next six years. The aquatic and fitness centers would be completed in 2019 with the community center coming in 2021.

This forwards "the idea to put a mix of programs in the buildings that allow, or force, people to move throughout the buildings so young and old interact," one of the project's goals, according to KGD Architecture principal Tom Donaghy, whose firm designed the space.


The full plan involves renovating the existing 16-story Alexander House and demolishing the existing 10-story Elizabeth House, both owned and operated by the Housing Opportunities Commission of Montgomery County. The latter building currently houses 160 affordable units for seniors and was one of the first projects to offer this exclusively. It will be converted to mixed-use in the project’s final phase. The partners allocated the first two levels of the buildings to public use to capture density bonuses under county zoning laws.

Two high-rises will fill the Elizabeth House site, one 15 stories tall with 267 units of senior housing, the other 19 stories with 274 family-size apartments. The plan received unanimous approval from the Montgomery County Planning Board in 2015 and at the time was estimated to cost around $200M. 


The Elizabeth Square Project, a public-private partnership between Lee Development Group and HOC, is on the block bordered by Fenwick Lane, Apple Avenue, Second Avenue and the railroad/metro tracks.