The Montgomery County Planning Department on Wednesday posted the presentation made last Thursday night by the developer chosen by Metro to build on a surface parking lot at the Grosvenor-Strathmore station.
Fivesquares, the developer, and its architect Matt Bell from firm Perkins Eastman, showed initial ideas for the project, which will consist of five residential buildings with green space on the station’s existing surface parking lot for commuters.
The project will require the replacement of the surface parking lot’s 412 spaces in an expansion of the existing Metro parking garage also on the site. Fivesquares Principal Ron Kaplan said the developer envisions some ground-floor retail in the buildings but also classroom space for music students at nearby Strathmore.
Proposed development layout, via Montgomery County Planning Department, Fivesquares and Perkins Eastman.
The development is in a very early stage. The meeting Thursday, held in one of the lobbies at The Music Center at Strathmore, was the official kickoff for the Planning Department’s minor master plan for the area, which could result in new zoning. It’s unclear if Fivesquares is seeking a specific type of zoning or how many residential units the developer is planning.
The sketches in Thursday’s presentation show small retail and restaurant spaces next to the music classrooms, which could include roll-up doors for the spring and summer that will allow the music to be heard in the plaza. That section of the site could be known as Strathmore Square, Kaplan said.
“It’s an early thought about a way to activate that space and create a partnership with Strathmore,” Kaplan said Thursday. Kaplan was one of the principles in the development of Symphony Park, a luxury townhome community adjacent to Strathmore.
Rendering of how the project could look from Tuckerman Lane, with the existing Meridian apartment high-rise in the background. Via Montgomery County Planning Department, Fivesquares and Perkins Eastman.
The presentations also shows new walkways for pedestrians to access the Metro station, a “village green,” the location of the five residential buildings (including one near the intersection of Rockville Pike and Tuckerman Lane) and a Metro garage expansion that would wrap around the west and south sides of the structure.
The Planning Department is expected to host at least three more public meetings before coming up with preliminary suggestions for the mini master plan. The Planning Board must approve the plan; then the County Council will have final review and approval, which planners said they anticipate in summer 2017.
Fivesquares would then have to get the project approved by the Planning Board. Kaplan said the project likely won’t happen until well into the next decade.