The 182-acre Crown development in Gaithersburg is far from the farm it once was.
Downtown Crown, one of four neighborhoods under construction at the site close to the intersection of the Intercounty Connector and I-270, is now a bustling mixed-use neighborhood anchored by a Harris Teeter and activated by a dozen restaurants.
Nearby, townhouses are occupied in Crown West and the first of dozens of single-family homes is under construction. The homes represent the first phase of what will be a major new residential area in Gaithersburg. The development is being coordinated by Westbrook Properties, which bought the site out of bankruptcy in 2009. Eventually more than 2,200 homes and apartments are planned to be located in downtown and the surrounding areas coined Crown West, Crown Central and Crown East.
Westbrook sold the 20-acre downtown portion to JBG Rosenfeld Retail and the Buzzoto Group in 2012 for $28 million and proceeded to build more than 500 apartments and 260,000 square feet of retail on the site. KB Home, M/I Homes, Pulte Homes and Ryland Homes are developing the surrounding residential areas.
On Friday afternoon, the development celebrated its new restaurants at a charity event to benefit the National Institutes of Health. Attendees sampled small plates from restaurants including Ruth’s Chris Steak House, Coastal Flats, Venti Tre, Paladar Latin Kitchen and La Madeline Country French Café.
Robert Zeiller, executive vice president of Westbrook Properties, was on hand for the event. He said his company liked the development’s proximity to the ICC and I-270 as well as to the county’s technological corridor.
“It’s difficult to find a large piece of land like this [in the county],” Zeiller said.
Earlier Friday, Zeiller was joined by officials from the county, including County Executive Isiah Leggett and Gaithersburg Mayor Sidney Katz, for a ribbon cutting to celebrate the now nearly complete Downtown Crown.
“It’s wonderful to see all that is here just two years later,” Leggett said in a statement. “The transformation from vision to successful reality is striking. Crown is becoming a wonderful place to live and Downtown Crown is becoming a great attraction for people from not only Montgomery County but surrounding areas as well.”
Some of the first townhomes under construction and some completed in the distance at Crown. Credit: Andrew Metcalf
Coastal Flats was busy on Friday afternoon. Credit: Andrew Metcalf
The Cadence apartment buildings at Downtown Crown, right, and Friday's event under the tent. Credit: Andrew Metcalf
Downtown Crown's features include artisitic details like the crab on the right and landscaping like this fountain. Credit: Andrew Metcalf
Old Town Pour House is among one of the restaurants and retail spaces yet to open. Credit: Andrew Metcalf
County and development officials hold a ribbon cutting for Downtown Cronw. Provided photo.
A map of the Crown plan. (click to expand)