Update at 8:50 a.m. Friday – It’s not often that new condos just two blocks from a Metro station start in the low $200,000s.
To make that happen with its Octave 1320 project in Silver Spring, Rockville-based developer ProMark Real Estate Services took some unique steps.
First, the company chose to convert a Class C office building built in 1964 to residential, instead of the more costly option of demolition and new construction.
Then ProMark had its architect design smaller units with features such as nine-foot-high ceilings and sliding bedroom doors that make the condos look and feel larger. A one-bedroom in the building averages 500 square feet and a two-bedroom averages 800 square feet.
The goal from the outset of the project was to provide more affordable condo units than what is coming on the market in similar Metro-accessible areas, according to ProMark Director of Development Pete McLaughlin.
“We think there’s an incredibly underserved market of people who can’t afford a million-dollar condo in Bethesda who are looking to own,” said McLaughlin. “That’s really the project hypothesis right there. The price point we’re providing just doesn’t exist anywhere else.”
Sliding bedroom doors in a model one-bedroom unit at Octave 1320 in Silver Spring. Credit: Aaron Kraut
The 102-unit building at 1320 Fenwick Lane will be split between 69 one-bedroom condos and 33 two-bedroom condos, plus first-floor commons areas, basement storage space, a fitness center and a rooftop lounge.
Rob Eisinger, ProMark’s director of asset management, said the project is set to be complete in October.
It will be the second new condo project to come to downtown Silver Spring since 2007. Eisinger said 16 of the units have been sold.
The project is also in a section of town undergoing lots of changes.
The nearby Fenwick Apartments opened last summer on Second Avenue. In addition, a partnership between the Housing Opportunities Commission of Montgomery County and Lee Development Group will bring about 900 new apartment units and a new county recreation center to the Elizabeth Square property across from the Octave.
Until now, most of the redevelopment in downtown Silver Spring has been focused along Colesville Road and east of the Metro station.
“Maybe this area was just not really thought of for a while because of how much was happening on the other side of the Metro,” Eisinger said. “Now all of a sudden, everybody’s like, ‘Whoa,’ this is a really close-in area too that’s ripe for redevelopment.”
Correction: Due to a reporting error, this piece originally reported that Octave 1320 was the first new condo project in downtown Silver Spring since 2007. The Orion condo project opened in 2012.
Construction progress on the Octave 1320 condo project on Fenwick Lane in Silver Spring. Credit: Aaron Kraut
Floor-to-ceiling windows will be installed in this two-bedroom condo at Octave 1320, providing a view of the new Fenwick Apartments and downtown Bethesda. Credit: Aaron Kraut