Friday, October 5, 2012

what's up the pike: good buildings, bad buildings, and teenagers

Rendering, Boulevard at Newell
Coming soon to the corner of Newell Street and Eastern Avenue, we hope.
- Friend of JUTP Patrick Thornton sent us this rendering of the Boulevard at Newell, a proposed 7-story, 197-unit apartment building that would be located at 8001 Newell Street in South Silver Spring. The building has been a source of controversy in the neighborhood. While some residents look forward to the project, others say it should be a park.

Developer Comstock Homes has been working with architects at Torti Gallas and Partners, located here in downtown Silver Spring, to create a design that meets at least some of the neighbors' concerns. Considering that the property is already zoned for apartments and all of the parks and public spaces that currently exist in and near South Silver Spring, folks may find themselves with a building in their backyard. And in my opinion, you could be looking at a lot worse.

studio plaza render
This is hopefully not coming soon to Fenton Village.
- We've also got new pictures of Studio Plaza, a major new proposal in Fenton Village that could bring hundreds of apartments, new shops, offices and even a hotel to the block bounded by Fenton Street and Georgia, Thayer and Silver Spring avenues. In 2009, residents and businesses in the area were been supportive of the project, which would also include public amenities like a substantial new park, parking garage and a renovation of Mayor's Promenade, home to the bust of Silver Spring "Mayor" Norman Lane.

Three years later, developers Robert Hillerson and Fairfield Investment Company are back with a new architect and a new design, which is currently under review at the Planning Department. Neighbors on the East Silver Spring Civic Association listserve have referred to it as "ugly, ugly, ugly," but aesthetic preferences aside, the current design has major scale issues and turns Mayor's Promenade into an underpass. Check out this slideshow of new and old images of the project, and come back Monday for a full discussion of what this project gets right and what could be better. (Thanks to Karen Burditt for the heads-up.)

- Next Wednesday, the County Council will host a Youth Town Hall Meeting to hear from middle and high school students. It's great that our elected officials are willingly engaging young people on the issues they care about, especially if it prevents more anti-youth legislation in the future.

The meeting will be this Wednesday, October 10 at 7pm in the Third Floor Hearing Room at the Council Office Building, located at 100 Maryland Avenue in Rockville. For more information, check out this Facebook event.

- Want to know more about planning issues? Come out to the Fortress of Planning tomorrow for Planning Smarter, an open house hosted by the MoCo Planning Department. You'll get to see the "latest cool projects" (their words, not mine) county planners are working on and even meet a real-life planner! The kids can even build a city of their own using cardboard boxes. The open house will be from 10am to 1pm tomorrow at the Planning Department, located at 8787 Georgia Avenue in downtown Silver Spring.

1 comment:

jag2923 said...

Holy crap. I had seen all the ESSCA rumblings, but assumed they were just the normal whining. That rendering is truly awful. Have they not even bothered to come look at the area they're building in? What on earth is the point of having a giant plaza if you make sure exactly no one will wander down Mayor Lane?