Rockville Council Approves $650 Million Housing, Commercial Project

Rockville Council Approves $650 Million Housing, Commercial Project

Bethesda developer’s Shady Grove Road community includes hundreds of homes and apartments

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Rendering of a building scheme at The Grove planned in North Rockville

Rockville City - The Grove

Plans to transform a dated Shady Grove office park into a thriving, North Rockville community hub have been set in motion.

The Grove – Rockville, a mixed-use development on 31 acres at the crossroads of Shady Grove, Gaither and Choke Cherry roads, will bring hundreds of townhouses, more than 1,000 multi-family dwelling units and a combined 560,000 square feet of commercial and retail space.

The $650 million project, expected to be done in three phases, received approval from the Rockville City Council earlier this week.

Mayor Bridget Newton said the project will also be required to align with the newly resurrected Corridor Cities Transitway, a 15-mile bus rapid transit route from Clarksburg to Rockville that has been on the drawing boards for decades. The commuter line would end at the Shady Grove Metrorail station, about a mile from the new development.

“My understanding is that under [County Executive Marc] Elrich, the alignment to the Corridor Cities Transitway has been changed to Shady Grove Road to revitalize the area,” Newton said.

If the developer, Bethesda-based Lantian Development, receives all necessary approvals by city officials, construction could begin in a year, Rockville planning official Jim Wasilak said.

The project’s design includes east and west sections.

The east section will front Shady Grove Road and include 1,036 to 1,336 apartments, 390,000 square feet of commercial buildings and 170,000 square feet for shops and restaurants.

A hotel and active adult facilities or a nursing home for seniors are under consideration for some of the space, according to a city planning memo.

Older office buildings off Shady Grove Road could be replaced. (Charlie Wright photos)

The west section will include 330 townhouse units with garages facing alleys that are adjacent to the neighboring King Farm community.

The first phase of construction includes retail, including a grocery store, multiple-family residential units and some townhomes. The second phase includes commercial construction, the last phase of the multi-family units and townhomes. The third phase will complete construction of the townhomes.

Two entrances to the development are planned for Choke Cherry and Gaither roads near the Shady Grove Road interchange with Interstate 270.

In all, 6.2 acres will be devoted to open space with opportunities for recreation, including a network of sidewalks and trails.

A main street will run through the middle of the pedestrian-oriented development and a central focus will be a large green field, aptly named “Central Green.”

Two children’s play areas and 173 trees are also slated for the site, which is now home to seven office buildings and large surface parking lots.

Gaithersburg High School, about two miles to the north, would be the designated school cluster for the community.

After a 4-0 vote Monday night, the mayor and council joined the developer and audience members in a round of applause.

“Once again we would remiss if we didn’t thank you for your partnership,” Newton told the developer. “I know it’s also been a long process, but you have listened, you have worked with us, our staff and the community in King Farm and Ingleside, and we do appreciate that.”

Lantian CEO Bob Elliott said, “We hope to make something great for Rockville.”


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