Silver Spring project brings green space to transit
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Moderate and high-density urban environments are more appealing when residents can connect with nature through access to green space. Transit-oriented developments (TODs), best designed around public spaces that provide surrounding neighborhoods with an identity, offer an opportunity to create parks.
That’s the central idea behind a redevelopment plan for 27 acres in Downtown Silver Spring, Maryland. Proposed are 2,800 residential units, office space, retail (including a grocery store), and a hotel. The $625 million project yields 100 units to the acre one block from the Metro station, in the form of urban blocks with a series of outdoor rooms.
Currently the site is an anomaly downtown — a superblock that Greater Greater Washington columnist Dan Reed called “a suburban relic.” It includes a strip mall with a Giant store, residential high rises, and a large surface parking lot. The block forms a barrier to neighborhoods southwest of downtown walking to Metro and other amenities. There are 1,400 residential units currently in The Blairs high-rise development, many of which are preserved in the new plan.
The project could start as early as 2014 — but will likely take at least 20