Planning Board To Consider Silver Spring Redevelopment on Site of Condemned Office Building

Proposal calls for 83,000-square-foot complex with housing, work space


Published:

850 Sligo Avenue

ANDREW METCALF

A proposal to transform the site of a condemned Silver Spring office building into a mixed-use development with housing and work space is headed before Montgomery County planning officials on Thursday.

The county Planning Board will discuss a recommendation to approve early plans for an 83,000-square-foot project at 850 Sligo Ave. near downtown Silver Spring. The county last year condemned the eight-story office building at the address, and the project plan calls for repurposing the structure and adding new development on the adjoining surface parking lot.

The developer, Moonlight Inc., wants to build about 85 multifamily units and about 6,900 square feet of nonresidential space, according to a staff report. The D.C.-based company bought the property last year for $4.25 million from Tran Group.

The height limit for new construction on the roughly half-acre property is 60 feet, according to a zoning rule. Planning staff have reported the existing office building, which is more than 90 feet tall, was grandfathered and exempt from the rule.

Elevation plan for development at 850 Sligo Ave. (click to expand). Credit: Moonlight, Inc.

Planning staff point out the project could create a more gradual transition between the Silver Spring business district and the single-family homes bordering the property. The new building could step down to a lower height near the homes to create this visual effect, according to the staff report.

Some surrounding residents are have voiced concern about building heights allowed on the site and are asking for 25-foot heights on the east side, nearest their homes, according to planning staff.

Others are worried about noise, dust and safety during construction and about whether the architectural design and building materials will complement the look of the neighborhood.

The board is scheduled to vote on the sketch plan application filed by Moonlight.

Diagram of site layout for 850 Sligo Ave. (click to expand). Credit: Moonlight, Inc.

Bethany Rodgers can be reached at bethany.rodgers@bethesdamagazine.com.

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