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Montgomery County Council Approves Plan For 1,500 Units At Grosvenor-Strathmore Metro

A rendering of the plaza at Fivesquares Development's Strathmore Square project

A six-building, transit-oriented development, which would bring up to 1,500 new multifamily units to the area around the Grosvenor-Strathmore Metro station, took a big step forward Tuesday. 

The Montgomery County Council unanimously approved the Grosvenor-Strathmore Minor Master Plan Amendment, a framework that allows Fivesquares Development to move forward with its plans. 

Strathmore Square, as Fivesquares' project is called, would consist of six residential buildings atop retail surrounding a 1.25-acre open plaza. The density the county approved would allow Fivesquares to develop between 1,400 and 1,500 units. It would be built on the surface parking lot for the Red Line station and the surrounding eight acres. 

The project would also have about 40K SF to 50K SF of retail, Fivesquares principal Ron Kaplan said. The developer has installed pop-up vendors at the station to offer prepared food and other items to Metro riders. 

Kaplan said the unanimous approval, which he called unprecedented for a development plan of this size, shows the county's commitment to creating transit-oriented development around Metro stations. 

"This is a precious resource and the county would have been imprudent not to improve the density here," Kaplan said. "Our belief is, as we create a cultural center around Metro, people will choose to live here. We expect a high percentage of our future residents to be Metro riders."

Metro's board of directors authorized the plan in February and the Montgomery County Planning Board approved it in August. Following the county's approval of the Minor Master Plan Amendment, Fivesquares will now create the more detailed designs for its project and seek approval for its sketch plan, followed by the site plans for specific parcels. Kaplan said he hopes to begin working on a 412-space expansion to the Metro parking garage next summer and break ground on the project's first building in 2019. 

Montgomery County developers and officials will discuss the multifamily market and other topics at Bisnow's MoCo's Kings and Queens of the North event on Jan. 24 at Park Potomac.