By: Andrew Metcalf
A new park could be coming to downtown Silver Spring.
The Tower Cos., the developers of the Blairs project, have submitted a plan to the Montgomery County Planning Department to build a temporary park on a large dirt patch near the intersection of Eastern Avenue and Blair Mill Road.
The plan calls for an approximately 1-acre green space to be built behind the parking lot for The Blairs Shopping Center (known for the Giant grocery store). The park would sit in the shadow of The Pearl, a 500-unit apartment building under construction at the site.
Tower proposed temporary features for the park such as a wooden stage, playground equipment, outdoor fitness equipment, a mulch walking trail, landscaping, tables and chairs as part of the plan. The features would be accessible by residents of the development as well as the public. It would be built on the site of a future apartment building.
The developer is also considering adding an urban garden for The Blairs residents to the temporary park.
The county Planning Board is scheduled to review the park proposal at its July 14 meeting. The documents submitted to the planning board did not include a construction timeline. The local urban development blog Greater Greater Washington first detailed plans for the park.
The Tower Cos. received approval in 2013 to redevelop the 27-acre, aging residential community and retail center east of Colesville Road. The 20-year, approximately $650 million development plan calls for the construction of four high-rise apartment buildings, a hotel tower and a mixed-use building that would bring up to 2,800 residential units in new and existing buildings as well as 450,000 square feet of commercial space to the site. The developer also plans to build six permanent parks throughout the development.
In June 2014, the company began demolishing the four original Blair Towers to make way for the new buildings, a process completed last year before construction began on The Pearl.
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