2015 | News

First Look at Plans for Artist Studios, Affordable Housing at Former Silver Spring Police Station

Artspace will ask for a zoning change next week in front of Montgomery County Planning Board

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The Minneapolis-based arts organization picked to take over Montgomery County’s former 3rd District police station in Silver Spring plans 30 artist studios, 1,500 square feet of retail, 68 apartment units and 11 town homes on the site.

Artspace, which Montgomery County picked in March to develop the site of the former police station at 801 Sligo Ave., will go before the county Planning Board next week for approval of a rezoning requested to complete the project.

Initial concept plan for Artspace's artist studios, affordable apartments and town homes on the former 3rd District police station site in Silver Spring, via Montgomery County Planning Department

The county opened the new 3rd District police station in June 2014 in White Oak. The three-story former police station on Sligo Avenue has been vacant since that time and the property is zoned residential.

The county agreed with Artspace’s plan to develop the artist studios and housing. The 68 units will be split along a three-story building on the north side of the 2.3-acre site and a four-story building on the west side of the site. Artspace is asking for a commercial-residential mixed-use zone with a maximum building height of 65 feet to accommodate the project.

The existing vacant police station structure on the site, via Montgomery County Planning Department

Planning Department staff recommended the Planning Board approve the rezoning when the case goes before the board Dec. 17. Artspace also will have to get approval to rezone the site from the county’s Office of the Hearing Examiner and the County Council.

All 68 apartment units will be meet the county’s criteria for affordable housing, with rents for efficiency, one-bedroom, two-bedroom and three-bedroom units set at or below 30 percent to 60 percent of the area’s median household income.

The 11 town homes on the eastern side of the site on Grove Street will include four affordable units and seven market-rate units.

A public open space will separate the apartment buildings from the artist studios and there will be a pedestrian walkway on the western side of the site to connect Sligo Avenue and Silver Spring Avenue.