Friends of White Flint

Promoting a Sustainable, Walkable and Engaging Community

P.O. Box 2761

White Flint Station

Kensington, MD 20891

Phone: 301-980-3768

Email: info@whiteflint.org


Updates on Gables Residential Project

Posted on by Rebecca Hertz

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**Post is updated to correct information about the Western Workaround, VOB property, and the phases of the Gables Project**

 

In lieu of Gables Residential bringing their White Flint site plan to the Planning Board in the near future, Ed Meder, from Gables Residential, presented their plan to the White Flint Sector Plan Implementation Committee this past week. Gables first presented their sketch plan to the Planning board back in October 2013. Since this approval, many challenges have prevented Gables from moving forward with the plan.

One major challenge is the ability to change the shape of the property from a triangle to a rectangle. To change the shape requires high-trafficked streets have to been realigned. This realignment called the Western Workaround consists of reworking Old Georgetown Road and Executive Boulevard, and creating new streets to ease traffic. Right now, the land is owned by the County but the land is also being held by JBG, who holds a first right of refusal on the property. Though Gables does not own the property yet in which they need to make into a rectangle, they will continue to plan their project.

Another challenge this project faces is that we cannot built through the VOB property yet. As part of the White Flint Sector Plan process, it was insisted that all right of ways for streets would be dedicated by the property owners and no funding would be needed from the County. The County is working with VOB to dedicate the street.

In addition, another challenged faced by Gables is the funding for the shared parking lot.  This site is situated right next to the Wall Park/ Shriver Aquatic center lot. As part of Gables’ plan, the large surface parking lot surround the Aquatic Center will be taken away to create a larger open public space, adding to the existing Wall Park. Since the parking lot will be destroyed, parking for the Aquatic Center must be created elsewhere. That is where the Gables site comes in. They hope to create a shared parking garage with spaces for individuals using the aquatic center, residents of the Gables apartments, and visitors to the development. The county must first acquire funding for this shared parking lot project before anything can happen, but there is no CIP project or plan for this project yet. This project will not break ground until the funding for the parking lot is secured.

The Gables White Flint development consists of three different buildings: West Building, Center Building, and East Building. The West Building will have residential units. The Center building will have both residential and retail. And the East Building will be retail. Overall, there will be about 476 residential units. All the buildings will access to the parking structure, which will have close to 970 parking spots.

In addition, there will be two public outdoor courtyards, one courtyard will also house the pool for the residents. These outdoor spaces provide great areas for activities and programming to take place.

The goal is to make this area look and feel like a neighborhood. The buildings will be at medium scale with no overwhelming structures.  It is great for the White Flint sector to have a mix of scales in their buildings. The design of the buildings will also include familiar materials such as glass and brick, to also enhance the neighborhood feel of the area. Similarly, the design of the site could accommodate for future changes, allowing Gables to build extensions if need be in the future.

In addition, there will a Capital Bikeshare station in the development, which will attract more cyclists to the area. There will be good bikeway access to the area as well, with shared-use paths on both sides of the street that this project will face, Grand Park Avenue.

Although the western workaround and road realignment is included in the latest capital budget (CIP FY15-20 budget) for the county, the public portion of the garage is not so it may take a while before the project takes off. We look forward to all the changes that will come with project.

4 Responses to Updates on Gables Residential Project

Pearl Vogel says: July 24, 2014 at 7:39 pm

What is the status and time projection for the Senior Citizen facility planned adjacent to the Aquatic Center?

Lindsay Hoffman says: July 24, 2014 at 10:19 pm

Hi! The facility planned adjacent to the Aquatic Center is a large recreation center that will serve all age groups, but particularly have very robust programming for seniors. Here’s how the county describes it: “the project will include an approximately 46,200 gross square foot community recreation center. This building will include typical elements such as a gymnasium, exercise room, social hall, kitchen, senior/community lounge, arts/kiln room, game room, vending space, conference room, offices, lobby, restrooms and storage space in association with the development of the White Flint Community Recreation and Aquatic Center (Shriver Aquatic Center) and Wall Park.” The project is in the very early planning stages. It’s not yet been funded by the county – they say the timeline is dependent on other factors within White Flint redevelopment. We expect it’s going to be a big part of our advocacy over the next year or two.

Debra Millenson says: July 25, 2014 at 6:27 pm

As we talk about all the construction, is there any plan to preserve the large number of old growth trees — particularly in the area between the aquatic center and Old Georgetown Road.

Lindsay Hoffman says: July 27, 2014 at 8:28 pm

Hi! Yes – the plan is to keep those trees. A walking path will be integrated within them. Thanks for your note!