Sunday, July 18, 2010

The design for Mid-Pike Plaza

Hopefully, FRIT will have their sketch plan posted online, keep an eye out for it as a link from www.Friendsof
Here is a short text description that covers some of the points and questions made by community members during the July 14 sketch plan presentation. I hope that I don't butcher the plan with a clumsy description!

There will be nine blocks. Phase 1 is on the south end of the property, abutting Old Georgetown Road, and will comprise primarily 4-story buildings with a residential component above retail street-fronts. Since the plan for the sector modifies the current Old Georgetown/Executive Blvd intersection (the southwest corner of FRIT's property) so that Hoya Street will be opened to Old Georgetown Rd, Executive Blvd will no longer curve to intersect in that location and will be straightened through the current auto dealer sites so that it will continue through Mid-Pike Plaza (to be renamed...any nominations to send to FRIT?) and become the property's "main street" running north-south. The new streets that define the blocks will run roughly along the same driving routes that the current parking lot uses. The Exec. Blvd. "main street" will deadend at a T intersection at a large public plaza (the largest of 3 pedestrian/public plaza areas planned for the development). This public space will be larger than the plaza in Rockville Town Center in front of the regional library. For comparison, Rockville Town Center (also owned and developed by FRIT) is 13 acres, total. The public space will have lawns and pavilion shops, and can be closed off for large events (farmers' market, movie night, etc.) A hotel is projected to front this plaza. At the far north section of the property, The public space will be in phase 2, with the hotel in phase 3. Other public spaces will include a "raised street" with distinctive paving to delineate areas and uses, and another programmable space with a wide sidewalk. It is unknown if the paved surfaces will be pervious, but the engineers involved are aware that the community is asking for the most environmentally friendly designs possible. Most of the office space will be located closest to the southeast corner of the property, near the White Flint Metro station. The sector plan provides for an additional entrance to this station on the north end, catercorner from FRIT's property.

Parking and trucks- Parking will be along some of the streets and in 3 parking garages, which will utilize the red/green light technology used in Rockville to indicate where there are open spaces. It is unknown if there will be parking fees, but it is to be assumed that, eventually, all parking in the sector will be charged. The garages will be about 4 levels above ground. Some retail tenants may validate parking, and there will be ample parking for retail use, 3-4 spaces per 1,000 sq. ft. Office parking will be limited, as in the current Nuclear Regulatory Commission buildings, 2 spaces per 1,000 sq. ft. (approx. 3-4 workers). There will be 1 space per residential unit. It is calculated that residents of condos/apartments in the sector development will have fewer vehicles and will use buses, walk, bike, or use Metro more that in standard developments. Residential and office parking will be dedicated, not open to the general public for retail parking. Loading docks will be internal to each building, so that there will be no need for trucks to stop on the streets for loading or unloading.

Phase 1 will build the first part of the main street area at the south end, with residential above retail. Mid and high-rise buildings will be LEED certified (a certification process to rate "green" buildings). Due to stormwater management requirements and the need to reduce energy use, a number of the roofs will be vegetated. Phase 2 will complete the main street, with most of the retail space. Commercial (office) buildings will have bike racks and showers to encourage walkers and biker commuters. FRIT is negotiating with potential retail and commercial tenants, with the construction of high-rise office buildings dependent on leasing.


  1. Do you know if the Mid-Pike Plaza plans have been posted on-line? All I could find was the aerial photo? Thanks.

  2. No, they're not available yet. I have requested it, and FRIT will be working on that. Stay tuned. I'll post it when I have it. Also check local development page; I'll try to keep it up-to-date as well.

  3. any word on the office building complex that was to be built on the corner of Montrose and Hoya?

  4. I'm going to check on this. There was an application for development that was approved well before the parkway was engineered that depended on the construction of the parkway. That was the application that caused the county to have to either build the parkway or give up rights to the right-of-way. However, it is my understanding that such preliminary site approvals expire, and this one is well past 5 years. I think they have to resubmit plans, and I saw signs on the property that suggest that they have done so. Again, I'll have to check the development applications with MNCPPC to verify & will let you know as a future comment here.