Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett and the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (Metro) today announced that a development team led by B.F. Saul has been selected to develop mixed-use projects in downtown Wheaton and the Wheaton Metrorail station area. In addition to B.F. Saul, the development team consists of architect, Torti Gallas and Partners, Inc.; and civil engineers, Loiederman Soltesz Associates, Inc. “Selection of the B.F. Saul team for the Wheaton redevelopment project mirrors the successful strategy Montgomery County employed with Silver Spring,” said Leggett. “This highly qualified development team will work with community stakeholders to develop and execute a redevelopment concept that will change the face of downtown Wheaton.”
With only 8.2 acres of land publicly owned, the project will entail leveraging private property, as well as integrating with existing businesses such as Westfield Wheaton. The development team will work with Montgomery County, Metro and the Wheaton community to develop a project concept plan. Montgomery County and Metro anticipate that such outreach will lead to an agreement that will grant development rights to the B.F. Saul team.
B.F. Saul has been active in the Washington metropolitan area for more than 100 years. The firm has experience in ownership, development, and construction of commercial real estate. It also has large property management, leasing, and insurance departments. The B.F. Saul Company and related entities own and manage over $1.5 billion in real estate development, comprising over twelve million square feet. The majority of the properties are located in the Washington, D.C. area.
Wheaton was recently announced by Governor Martin O’Malley as one of the first projects in a new state Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) program, which supports good examples of TOD with financial tools, funding, tax credits and other incentives. Thus far, the Maryland Department of Transportation has supported the Wheaton TOD efforts with $200,000 in planning funds.
Wheaton’s New Downtown Community Workshop
Around 200 community members attended the November 17 Community Workshop for Wheaton’s New Downtown, held in the auditorium at Crossway Community, 3015 Upton Drive, Kensington, MD 20895. So many people participated in laying out a dynamic, detailed vision for Wheaton, building on ideas from the past, as well as bringing fresh ideas to the table. The development team of B.F. Saul; architects Torti Gallas and Partners, Inc.; civil engineers Loiederman Soltesz Associates, Inc. and Chesapeake Public Strategies will shape a project concept plan to introduce to the community next Spring.
The development team will continue to meet with community members and groups to seek feedback. Their public outreach activities will culminate in another community workshop in the spring of 2011, where they will present their concept plan for Wheaton.