Tower Companies Announces 3.8 MSF Iconic Blairs Urban Redevelopment Approval
Rockville, Md.—The Tower Companies announced today that The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission has approved the Preliminary Plan and Project Plan for the 3.8 million square feet, visionary redevelopment of The Blairs consisting of approximately 450,000 square feet for retail and commercial space, 3.4 million square feet for residential living, for a total of 2,800 new and existing residences and five acres of public parks. The plan won the 2013 Multi Housing News Award of Excellence for The Blairs Master Plan.
“My father, Albert Abramson, envisioned The Blairs as a vibrant community over sixty-years ago, and thanks to the Planning Commission’s support, his legacy will endure as we enhance this city-within-a-city, creating a vibrant hub of green living that will bring people together for a great urban experience,” said Tower partner, Jeffrey S. Abramson.
“The Blairs is going to be an outstanding project, with open space and greenery. When we do great projects like this, we need to trumpet our success. This is a project that any jurisdiction in the region would be very proud of,” said Montgomery County Planning Department Director, Gwen Wright.
The residences will be comprised of townhomes and residential towers, with rooftop courtyards and gardens, anchored by restaurants, a full-scale grocery store, hotel and office building, organically connected by large green spaces. The plan is replete with amenities such as terrace and urban parks, cascading water, bioswales and water retention features, lush green gardens, pedestrian walkways and children play areas. Adult fitness and dog parks, flexible public spaces for outdoors festivals and other special events further enhance the lifestyles. Residents and visitors alike can partake in outdoor cafes, people-watch in many of the hub’s sitting groves, stroll along pedestrian bridges and walkways, and peddle their bikes throughout the paths that abound this smart-growth community planned in Silver Spring, Md.
The collaborative designs of Master Architect/Planner Bing Thom of Bing Thom Architects, and artful city-builder and Landscape Architect, Alan Ward of Sasaki Associates’ along with Tower’s vision, contributed to the planning board approval. The project will transform the existing campus from its’ original 1950s auto-oriented community, to the eco-centric, transit oriented community, which is currently USGBC certified LEEDÒ Gold EBOM.
The Blairs is a 27-acre infill redevelopment project located within the Silver Spring Commercial Business District, bounded by Colesville Road, Blair Mill Road, East-West Highway and Eastern Avenue. The community is across the street from the Silver Spring Transit Metro Station, which includes the Metro Red Line, the future Purple Line, the MARC commuter rail and numerous Metro Bus lines.
The Blairs Master Plan project includes 20% use for public space and urban parks and 12.5% Moderately Priced Dwelling Units. Approval of the project plan and preliminary plan applications will allow for The Tower Companies to proceed to the site plan application stage. Construction on the site will be in multiple phases over a period of 20 years and is expected to begin the latter part of 2014.