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Jun 17 08

Montgomery Planners to Present SilverPlace Concepts to Planning Board Following Conclusion of Community Workshops

by Valerie Berton

SILVER SPRING, MD – After nearly a week of community workshops involving the public in the design of SilverPlace, the proposed new headquarters for the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission’s Montgomery County staff, developers hope to create plans for a two-tiered office building fronting Georgia Avenue, about 300 residences and a spacious public garden populated with mature oak trees.

That’s the report SilverPlace planners will deliver to the Montgomery County Planning Board on Thursday, part of a summary of the five days of workshops – also known as charrettes – held June 3-7.

More than 100 people, including many from the nearby Woodside neighborhood, collaborated to design a plan that meets the goals established by the Planning Board when it decided to replace its aging headquarters and, at the same time, create a model development mixing homes, offices and open space. Among its goals are superior environmental design and the construction of affordable housing units.

The charrette team – Torti Gallas and Partners, Smith Group and Michael Vergason Landscape Architects – incorporated the participants’ concerns about open space, trees and building height into their proposed new design. After considering 40 design concepts, the team and participants winnowed down ideas to a proposed 135,500-square-foot park and planning headquarters, about 300 housing units with underground parking, and a village green showcasing existing mature oak trees.

The headquarters would include low-rise offices and hearing rooms on the corner of Georgia Avenue and Spring Street with a taller, set-back office building rising to 90 feet near the Crowne Plaza hotel. The main entrance on Georgia Avenue would invite visitors into a sun-filled atrium connected to the board’s hearing room. A “green” roof would include a garden.
The proposed residential buildings fronting Spring Street would be four stories and compatible with existing homes across the street. They would rise in height next to the existing Montgomery County parking garage.
Developers would extend and enhance a small internal road, Planning Place, as a pedestrian-friendly lane that would connect Georgia Avenue and Spring Street. Residential buildings would face both sides of the new lane.

The design team will continue to work to add definition and technical detail to the SilverPlace plan.

Montgomery County Planning Board

Status report on SilverPlace community design workshops

Thursday, June 19 – approximately 3 p.m.

Montgomery County Planning Board Auditorium
8787 Georgia Avenue
Silver Spring, Md.

Jul 6 07

Planning Board Schedules Public Information Meeting on New Headquarters Project

by Valerie Berton

Silver Spring, MD — As Montgomery County planners continue to work on an
agreement between the agency and the development team selected to build
SilverPlace – a proposed mixed-use development project that includes a new
headquarters for Park and Planning – staff will hold an informational community
meeting at 7 p.m. Tuesday, July 10.

The mixed-use development is proposed to include affordable
housing units, retail space and the headquarters, which would replace the
agency’s current old, cramped quarters at the corner of Spring Street and
Georgia Avenue in downtown Silver Spring.

So far, the Planning Board has selected a development team
to design and construct the project. No
decisions have been made about the design, specific location or height of the

Tuesday’s meeting is to keep the public and surrounding neighbors informed of the Project’s progress and future timeline. To learn more, go to

WHO: Park and Planning staff and SilverPlace, LLC

WHAT: Community meeting about SilverPlace

WHEN: Tuesday, July 10 — 7 p.m.

WHERE: Park and Planning Headquarters, 8787 Georgia Ave., Silver Spring