Redevelopment of Former Police and Fire Academy on the Drawing Board

Redevelopment of Former Police and Fire Academy on the Drawing Board

Mixed-use Rockville project could include college student housing, elementary school

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A map of the former public safety training academy site.

Rendering via Montgomery County Planning

The county has filed a project application that would transform the former police training academy in Rockville into a mixed-use development.

The plan calls for a mix of townhomes and condominiums, and an eight-story building that is being considered for student housing near Universities of Shady Grove.

Condominiums would be five stories and townhouses would have garages at the rear. The property is owned by the county, which is spearheading the project in conjunction with developers Great Key Montgomery LLC, with Steve Lebling, of the Lebling Companies, according to Planning Department staff.

About one-third of the condominiums and student housing would be affordable housing, required by county law.

One alternate design includes 67,000 square feet of retail space, while the second option includes less retail and nearly 500 housing units.

County representatives from the Department of Permitting Services did not return multiple phone calls seeking comment.

Developers have submitted a concept plan, which is not subject to approval or denial by county staff, but receives official review and comments from applicable agencies for recommendations, Planning Department staff said.

The site once housed the county’s public safety training academy, used for county police and firefighter training, which moved to Gaithersburg in 2016. The buildings on the former site have been demolished with parking lots and building foundations remaining.

The facility was moved as part of a countywide effort to consolidate county services and free up land for housing development near transit centers, Planning staff said.

Additionally, the plan includes pedestrian and bike lanes and public green space.

A new public elementary school could be combined with a park at the northern portion of the 51-acre site, if needed, according to planning documents.

“The Concept Plan … illustrates a form of development that responds to the market, provides a continuation of residential development from the Travilah neighborhood to Key West Avenue, (and) integrates an appropriate amount of retail uses.” the project application says.

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

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