Photo: The parking garage is located next to United Therapeutics’ headquarters in Silver Spring. Credit: Andrew Metcalf
United Therapeutics plans to demolish a parking garage on Colesville Road where the road enters downtown Silver Spring later this year to make way for an unusual six-story office building.
Avi Halpert, vice president of corporate real estate at the Silver Spring biotech company, said in an email Friday the company plans to start taking down the parking garage at the intersection of Spring Street and Colesville Road this fall, as long as the company receives the proper permits from Montgomery County.
Halpert said the demolition will take about three to four months and construction of the new 121,000-square-foot building will begin immediately afterwards. The company plans to finish the building about two years after starting construction, according to Halpert.
The building has an unusual architectural design that incorporates curved glass facades and ‘net zero’ environmentally-friendly features. The features enable the building to produce its own energy from renewable sources on site such as more than 2,500 solar panels and a geothermal heating and cooling system, according to plans submitted to the Montgomery Planning Department.
A rendering of what the new United Therapeutics building will look like at the intersection of Spring Street and Colesville Road. Via United Therapeutics
The building will also serve as a welcoming of sorts to downtown Silver Spring for motorists traveling south on U.S. Route 29. The site is located at the downtown area’s northern edge.
“We are immensely excited about the project and what it will mean as a gateway into Silver Spring,” Reemberto Rodriguez, director of the Silver Spring Regional Center, said. “All our advisory groups have enthusiastically embraced this project.”
The county is selling the parking garage property to United Therapeutics.
Esther Bowring, a spokeswoman for the county’s Department of Transportation, said there is an approved agreement between the county and company in place, but it hasn’t been finalized. She said when the deal is completed, the county will vacate the garage and notify the garage’s users that they won’t be able to park there anymore. The garage contains 49 parking spaces, but could have hundreds more if the second and third floors of the aging garage weren’t blocked off.
The new building will feature 10,000 square feet of retail space, 110,000 square feet of office and lab space and an 11,000-square-foot plaza for public use. Plans for the plaza along Colesville Road include landscaping, a water wall, a shallow surface pool, benches and interactive media displays showing the energy generated by the building. A private 152-space underground parking garage is also planned.
The public use space design at the proposed building. Credit: United Therapeutics
The site is located adjacent to United Therapeutics’ headquarters near the intersection of Cameron and Spring streets. The company primarily develops products to treat high blood pressure and other cardiovascular conditions and diseases.