Tuesday, April 22, 2008

green buildings, harris teeter possible at b'ville town center

WHAT'S UP THE PIKE: Calverton Elementary loses sixth grade; Blair magnet students march on Rockville; Outcry over "official neglect" of rec centers in MoCo's predominantly-black neighborhoods.

BUT FIRST: Montgomery College unveils plans to expand its Silver Spring-Takoma Park campus TONIGHT from 7-9pm at the Charlene R. Nunley Student Services Center (at left) at Fenton Street and New York Avenue.

Both the Mid-County (pictured) and White Oak recreation centers, currently in planning, will be certified for their sustainable design. Renderings courtesy of Grimm + Parker Architects.

East County could be seeing a wave of green construction as two LEED-certified developments begin to take shape. Created by the U.S. Green Building Council, the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Rating Systems are a measurement of a project's energy-efficiency and sustainability. A scale of 69 points is used to rate buildings Certified, Silver, Gold and Platinum, the highest-possible standard.

Developer Chris Jones is shooting for a LEED Gold designation for his Burtonsville Town Center project, which would redevelop the forty-year-old shopping center at Route 198 and Old Columbia Pike. Eileena York of East County civic group Citizens Involved announced Jones's intentions during a candidate forum hosted by the organization April 9.

The 260,000-square-foot development, first submitted to Park and Planning three years ago, would have half as much retail space as Downtown Silver Spring in as many as eight buildings. High-end grocery store Harris Teeter has been rumored as an anchor tenant, but it is "unconfirmed," according to York.

Two weeks ago, Montgomery County revealed early plans for the White Oak Community Recreation Center, to be built near the corner of April and Stewart lanes. At 33,000 square feet, the facility would become the County's largest green building and one of its largest recreation centers. It and a new Mid-County Recreation Center are currently in the design stage; JUTP could not get a hold of Grimm + Parker, the Bethesda-based firm currently working on the projects, for additional images.


Anonymous said...

How many D.C. residents are attending Montgomery College Takoma Park? Are they paying out of state tuition? These new buildings are very expensive.

Thomas Hardman said...

heh heh.

Dan, did I or did I not mention something about an Arcology in Burtonsville?

Could this be the seeds?

Look at it this way:

You have the shopping center on the side where the Amish Market is (NW quadrant)... and opposite of that across US-29, you have a nice little slice of officeland behind the shopping center (NE quadrant).

Clearly there is the chokepoint of MD-198 crossing under US-29, making it rather difficult to get from the "Amish Market" quadrant to the "officeland" quadrant on the NE side.

All you really would need to start the seeds of Arcology (transportation, water supply, and waste treatment/disposal are already all there or very nearby) is to get around the chokepoint of MD-198/US-29. Why not bridge over Us-29 from northern ends of the lots in the NW and NE quadrants around the chokepoint? Then, you effectively have a traffic circle (or square) permitting circulation under US-29 on the south side, and over US-29 to the north, to towards the south on the west side of US-29, and towards the north on the east side of US-29. If you want to get really megalomaniacal, imagine that as the bottom loop of a spiral vehicular ramp like you see in parking garages...

Get out a google satellite map of the development, draw a few lines, figure other people are doing the same, guess where the money is to be made, and get there first.

Hold it! Aren't I supposed to be Slow Growth/No Growth? Well, I am. But if the Arcology is inevitable in our future, let's do it right and do it in the right place for the right reasons. All it will need to make it truly inevitable is to make workarounds about the chokepoint (whose idea was that, anyway) and run light rail from Baltimore to the District down US-29 and/or I-95 and/or the Baltimore-Washington Parkway. Run light rail from Rockville to Ft Meade as well, and Burtonsville Arcology -- or the potential for it -- is a done deal, so long as there's energy to bring in food and move out waste.

Of course, the people downstream on the Patuxent might not like it...

The rest is left as an exercise for the students.