Tower Companies to Overhaul Silver Spring Community with Addition of 1,400 Residential Units

The Tower Companies, a family-owned developer, will redevelop The Blairs, a community of apartments and parking lots located in Silver Spring, Md., into 1,400 new apartments, shopping, walking paths and green space.

Silver Spring, Md.—The Tower Companies, a family-owned developer, will redevelop The Blairs, a community of apartments and parking lots located in Silver Spring, Md., into 1,400 new apartments, shopping, walking paths and green space.

The Blairs community is located on 27 acres across from the Silver Spring Transit Station, which includes the Metro Red Line, the future Purple Line, the MARC commuter rail and numerous Metro Bus lines.

“When it was originally planned it was a suburb community with a very traditional suburban 1950s design,” Ed Murn, The Tower Companies’ director of development, tells MHN. “This new plan is transforming the existing community into a much more vibrant, mixed-use, transit-oriented community. We have the zoning to add another 1,400 apartment units and another 300,000-square-feet of commercial space.”

Currently, the complex consists of 1,371 apartments and a shopping center anchored by a Giant grocery store. Originally constructed in the 1950s and 1960s, The Blairs borders East-West Highway and Colesville Road in Silver Spring and Eastern Avenue in Washington, D.C.

The overhaul calls for four of the smaller buildings in the current complex to be torn down, with only the largest Blair apartment building remaining. Murn says the property will be transformed into a vibrant, smart-growth community through a new urban concept.

“There will be 10 new buildings built on the site with the redevelopment. Eight of the towers will be residential and one office tower will be about 200,000 square feet,” Murn says. “There will also be one hotel building of about 125,000 square feet with 125 rooms.”

The new residences will include townhouses and apartment towers as well as approximately 4.11 acres of open urban parks, such as Blair Park, Terrace Park and Postmaster Park, laced throughout the community.

It will include pedestrian and bike-friendly shared travel lanes and gathering places, connecting with the surrounding neighborhoods, all within a five-minute walk to the Silver Spring Metro station. The Blairs Master Plan will also include dog parks, fitness parks, new restaurants, and retail shops anchored by a grocery store, a hotel, office building and other amenities.

The first part of the plan calls for a 14-story, 260-unit apartment building that is scheduled to break ground in late summer of 2014.

According to Murn, Tower will develop these new spaces in an environmental friendly manner, offering a sustainable lifestyle for Montgomery County’s growing population.