Last night’s meeting was a bit different than the other five White Flint 2 planning meetings. (Those meetings, to refresh your memory, began in the summer and featured MNCPPC folks talking about various components of White Flint 2, including current businesses and residences in the area, the high-vacancy office area along Executive Boulevard, schools, transportation, connections, parks, and open spaces.)
At this meeting, the community — property owners, civic associations, HOAs, and community groups — did the talking. Here is a brief summary of their remarks.
Jordan Silverman who represents a group of Executive Boulevard developers, introduced himself.
Jay Corbalis of Federal Realty said they owned several properties in Montgomery County including Montrose Crossing and Federal Plaza in WF2. Jay focused his presentation on Montrose Crossing which has 363,000 square feet and 1,500 parking spaces. Federal Realty acquired the property in 2011 and has no active plans to redevelop Montrose Crossing. That said, they have done some long-range thinking about what they might do with the property. Perhaps in the future there will be high-density office space and retail along the Rockville Pike side. The center of the property might include ground floor retail and residences while a hotel might be located near the future Montrose Parkway East. Residential units are a possibility where Bob’s Furniture Store now is. Giant has a very long-term lease and isn’t going anywhere. There might be a total of 1,500 residences at this property.
Beth Delucenay of the Charles E. Smith Life Communities discussed their commitment to care for seniors. She also mentioned that how care is provided to the elderly has changed over fifty years so it is possible they may rebuild or reconfigure some of their property to better conform to modern standards of care.
Alan Kronstead of the Randolph Hills Industrial Park/Shopping Center won’t be doing anything for many years with his property and plans to meet with the Randolph Hills Civic Association to get their ideas for the property before sharing his ideas with the public.
Brian Hooker of the Randolph Hills Civic Association informed everyone that their association represents about 1,300 single family homes from Montrose Park, Randolph Farms, Franklin Park, and Randolph Hill. They view this as an opportunity to develop a sense of place and to have multi-modal access to the Pike District and metro. They want to have a town center at Randolph Hills Shopping Center, improve the intersection at Parklawn and Randolph, turn the Rocking Horse Road Center into a parkland/open space, and create a pedestrian bridge over the CSX tracks to metro. They cited new development, including townhomes at the Montrose Baptist Church site and the future commercial/residential redevelopment at Lohemann’s Plaza as one of reasons they need more park space.
John King of the Garrett Park Estate Civic Association asked everyone to remember three numbers: 1260 elementary students, 760 middle school students, and 760 high school students, all of whom would be new students in the WJ cluster when all the development in the cluster is built. He requested answers to the vexing question of how to provide land for one or two new elementary schools and a new middle school before the White Flint 2 plan is approved.
The Cherrington HOA would like an urban greenway buffer at the border of its property.
Christopher Koegel of the Luxmanor Citizens Association said they represent 800 citizens and 200 houshoolds in Luxmanor, Windermere and the Oaks. They have great concern about infrastructure, stating that they believe the current roads and schools do not adequately support current residents let alone new ones. He added that the size of schools currently exceed state guidelines for school and class size and that they are against more high-density development until schools and roads are fixed. He also said that they believe the utility infrastructure is not able to handle any new development and wants White Flint 2 to slow down.
The Crest of Wickford is curious as to what the big picture will do to their enclave of townhomes.
Amy Ginsburg of Friends of White Flint introduced the organization. She said Friends is a nonprofit composed of residents, businesses, and property owners. They are dedicated to ensuring the successful implementation of the White Flint 1 and 2 sector plans so we can transform our area into a walkable, transit-oriented, vibrant community. She urged everyone to read this blog and subscribe to their weekly eblast to stay informed, She also encouraged everyone to become a member of Friends of White Flint.
Finally, the Sierra Club advocated for reducing carbon emissions and for building affordable housing near metro stations.