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Duffie, Willco Propose 800-Unit Project In Wheaton

A rendering of Wheaton Gateway, an 800-unit project planned by The Duffie Cos., Willco and the Housing Opportunities Commission of Montgomery County.

A major new residential project is slated for the Wheaton area in eastern Montgomery County

A joint venture of The Duffie Cos., Willco and the Housing Opportunities Commission of Montgomery County is scheduled to present Wheaton Gateway, an 800-unit project, to the community Thursday evening, Bethesda Magazine reports

The team posted the plans on the project website ahead of the presentation, which is being held virtually at 7 p.m. The team is currently going through the sketch plan process, and it aims to begin construction by 2023. 

The project sits at the intersection of University Boulevard and Veirs Mill Road, across the street from the Westfield Wheaton shopping mall. It is about a half-mile from the Wheaton Metro station, the penultimate stop on the eastern branch of the Red Line.  

The development site, composed of five adjacent properties, currently houses a Lindsay Ford dealership with a large surface parking lot. The properties along University Boulevard previously housed a Mattress Firm and an Ambassador hotel, which have both been demolished.

The Housing Opportunities Commission acquired the properties in multiple transactions from January 2019 to July 2020 totaling more than $12M, property records show. 

The proposal calls for up to 800 units, roughly 30% of which would be set aside as affordable housing, with units ranging from one to three bedrooms. It also calls for about 50K SF of commercial space and underground parking. 

The project would be built over three phases, with the first phase consisting of about 325 units and 25K SF of retail. 

The Duffie Cos., founded in 1953, is also the developer behind the two-building Hillandale Gateway project in Silver Spring. Willco, which hired a new CEO in September, also has 4M SF of development planned in Montgomery County's White Flint area.