Duball fails to receive recommendation for more residential units at Rockville Town Square
Duball LLC asked the Rockville Planning Commission earlier this month for permission to increase the number of units at its Rockville Town Center building from the approved 222 units to 400. The developer’s plan would maintain the look and size of the building, but decrease the size of units to squeeze more into the building. Duball’s President Marc Dubick told the commission that the additional units would lead to more people living in Town Center and in turn increase the commercial vitality of the nearby retail center Rockville Town Square.
Dubick mentioned several local businesses that have closed nearby. “By my calculation there are 27,000 square feet of retail closed. But maybe even more importantly, there has been over 30 retail tenants that have come and gone since the inception of the Town Square,” he said. “Maybe some of the closings can be attributed to poor operations or poor concepts, but it’s hard to believe the failure of 30 businesses can be attributed to just those causes. It is simply a fact there [are] insufficient customers…more residents are needed.”
Dubick also pointed out that new and expanding retail projects such as Pike & Rose in Rockville, Downtown Crown in Gaithersburg and Westfield Montgomery mall in Bethesda present significant competition to Rockville Town Square.
The commission voted to not recommend approval of the expansion. Duball now plans to ask Mayor Bridget Newton and the Rockville Council to approve its proposed expansion.
Bethesda startup M3D opens new factory in Howard County
It was a short ride for the mini 3-D printer company M3D in Bethesda. This week local founders Michael Armani and David Jones announced the opening of their new 12,000-square-foot factory and office space in Fulton in Howard County. The fledging company generated headlines when its Kickstarter fundraising campaign generated $3.4 million in April, at that time the largest sum ever raised on the crowdfunding website.
The Baltimore Sun reports Armani and Jones are shipping their first miniature 3-D printers this month and hope to be soon producing up to 1,000 per month and selling the printers at $349 each. The printers use a software program to create products out of plastic. A cell phone case takes about two to three hours to make, while a figurine takes from an hour to two hours, according to the Sun report.
EYA wins Gold National Housing Quality Award
Bethesda-based home builder EYA was one of two developers in the country to be awarded a Gold National Housing Quality Award by Professional Builder Magazine. The award is given to companies who excel in eight business categories ranging from construction quality to strategic planning.
“This is quite a feat, and I’m extremely proud that our team has achieved this distinct honor in the first year that we were evaluated for the NHQ Award,” EYA President Bob Youngentob said in a statement.
Correction: In the original version of this report we reported Duball went in front of the Montgomery Planning Commission. In fact, it was the Rockville Planning Commission. It has been fixed.