LDG, HOC Partner on Redevelopment Project in Silver Spring, Md.

Lee Development Group and the Housing Opportunities Commission of Montgomery County have announced a partnership to redevelop three parcels in the downtown area of Silver Spring, Md., into mixed-use and transit-oriented affordable housing.

Silver Spring, Md.—Lee Development Group (LDG) and the Housing Opportunities Commission (HOC) of Montgomery County have announced a partnership to redevelop three parcels in the downtown area of Silver Spring, Md., into mixed-use and transit-oriented affordable housing. The parcels for the project, dubbed Elizabeth Square, include HOC’s existing Elizabeth House and Alexander House apartments, as well as LDG’s Fenwick Professional Park.

“It’s certainly not the picture that comes to mind when you think of affordable housing,” says Stacy L. Spann, HOC’s executive director. “Our partnership with Lee Development Group is a first-of-its-kind public/private initiative. With Elizabeth Square we’re looking to change the paradigm of how we connect clients to high-quality, amenity-rich housing Montgomery County—and hopefully elsewhere—as we demonstrate this model can be successful.”

The Elizabeth Square project will be rolled out in multiple stages, the first of which will include the demolition of the outdated Fenwick Professional Park that will be replaced by ground-up construction of a new Elizabeth House building. This phase will add an additional 117 affordable housing units to the existing 160 units, which will be transferred to the new structure from the original 1960s-era Elizabeth House—currently a low-income seniors community. Roughly half of these units will added to HOC’s base of dedicated affordable housing units, according to a press release issued by LDG.

This phase will additionally include several amenities including the pool, fitness center and 10,000 square feet of Class A space for Holy Cross Hospital’s wellness center. Construction for this phase is expected to begin in 2016, pending the approvals process.

The ensuing phases will include a modernization of the 16-story, 312-unit Alexander House, which was originally constructed in 1992. Affordable housing units will total about 40 percent in the building and there are plans to create 10 studio lofts for working artists as well. The final phase aims to replace the current Elizabeth House with an intergenerational, mixed-income multifamily building.

“We are truly excited to be part of this innovative collaboration,” says Bruce Lee, president of LDG. “We joined with HOC for this project because we are confident that Elizabeth Square will elevate the vision for HOC’s affordable housing, while bringing new community to Silver Spring that will be attractive to retailers, residents and the surrounding neighborhood—at the same time addressing the need for more affordable homes.”

The project and preliminary plans were submitted to the Maryland National Capital Park and Planning Commission this summer.

Pending a smooth approval process, the completed Elizabeth Square will total about 771,000 square feet and will be comprised of expanded affordable and market-rate housing, ample public space that will include a street-level cafe, an educational bistro. The community will be located about two blocks from Silver Spring Transit Center.