In Eastern Montgomery County, Massive Mixed-Use Developments And A New Master Plan Prepare to Take Flight
1. In June, the Montgomery County Council announced it expects to vote on Thrive Montgomery 2050, the county’s proposed update to its general master plan, by the end of October. It would be the first rewrite of the area's land use plan since the 1960s. Bisnow last year explored the potential impacts of the proposal, including the goal of spurring more growth in the less-developed eastern portion of the county.
2. Percontee Inc. announced in September it was preparing to begin construction on the $3B, 300-acre Viva White Oak development. The long-planned mixed-use project in eastern Montgomery County would feature residential, retail, office and life sciences space. However, some remain skeptical of the project's future, including County Executive Marc Elrich, who is concerned that Viva White Oak will never attract enough commercial users to help it truly get off the ground.
3. Gwen Wright, who has served as Montgomery County’s top official for development and planning for the past nine years, announced last month she will be retiring at the end of the year. Wright was a key player in the development of Thrive Montgomery 2050.
4. Montgomery County renters have been bracing for rent increases this month after the council declined to extend pandemic-related rent protections in July. The protections had already technically ended May 15, but landlords must provide tenants three months' notice before they implement rent increases.
5. In March, an explosion at a mid-rise residential building in Silver Spring injured several residents and left dozens more without homes. The fire occurred at Friendly Garden Apartments, a building located at 2401 Lyttonsville Road and owned by Friends Non-Profit Housing, an entity registered to the same address in Columbia, Maryland, as ResidentialONE Property Management, according to Montgomery County property records.
6. A July Washington Post article on the desperate need for more housing across the globe pointed to some parts of Montgomery County as success stories, including Silver Spring and Wheaton. According to the article, when it comes to housing in these areas, "transformative steps have been taken to address aesthetic, three-dimensional design aspirations; to delineate the form and function of civic spaces and public streets; and to establish clear, rational architectural guidelines."
7. In July 2021, Washington Property Co. announced it had topped out Solaire 8200 Dixon, a 403-unit apartment tower in the Ripley District in downtown Silver Spring. The 26-story project, the tallest building in Silver Spring, is soon expected to deliver its first apartments, and the development will feature the area’s first food hall and city market.