2021 | Development

600 homes could replace former public safety training academy in Rockville

Planning Board to consider application on Thursday

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A map of the proposed development at the former Montgomery County public safety training academy.

via Montgomery County Planning Department

The Montgomery County Planning Board on Thursday is expected to give approval to a plan to redevelop the former public safety training academy into a mixed-use community with more than 600 new homes.

The four-phase project, if approved, would bring 630 residences and some retail space to the now-vacant, 45-acre site, which is along Great Seneca Highway between Gaithersburg and Rockville.

The county vacated the public safety training academy in 2016 and moved to a new location in Gaithersburg. The buildings on the former site have been demolished with parking lots and building foundations remaining.

The site is owned by Montgomery County, which is spearheading the project in conjunction with developer The Elms at PSTA, LLC, according to Planning Board documents.

Documents show there would be 298 apartments split among four buildings about 5-stories tall. One apartment building, at the intersection of Medical Center Drive and Blackwell Road would have about 1,740 square feet of ground-floor retail space.

The project would also include 276 townhomes and 56 two-over-twos, which are similar to townhomes, but smaller.

About 30% of the new homes would be designated as affordable housing, higher than the 12.5% required by county law. Thirty two-over-twos, 24 townhomes and 135 apartments would be designated as affordable housing, according to Planning Board documents.

Plans include about 6 acres of public, outdoor open space including a 3-acre urban park, a civic green and several toddler playgrounds. There would also be two pools and a club house.

The project is expected to be built in four phases over 10 years. The first phase would include the four apartment buildings.

The second phase would include 112 townhomes, some of the two-over-twos and a pool. The third phase would include 69 townhomes and the remaining two-over-twos. The final phase would include the remaining 95 townhomes.

Planning Department staff members have recommended approval of the project.

Caitlynn Peetz can be reached at caitlynn.peetz@bethesdamagazine.com