WTOP: Montgomery Co. approves Strathmore Metro mixed-use development
By Jeff Clabaugh | @wtopclabaugh
Preliminary approval has been given to development plans for the Grosvenor-Strathmore Metro, a new residential community that will be built atop the Metro station's surface parking lot and surrounding eight acres.
WASHINGTON — The Montgomery County Council unanimously gave preliminary approval to development plans for the Grosvenor-Strathmore Metro, a new residential community that will be built atop the Metro station’s surface parking lot and surrounding eight acres.
Fivesquares Development LLC’s plans — called Strathmore Square — include a mix of buildings, small-scale retail, new pedestrian and bike paths, a public art and performance space and a large village green.
There are thousands of residents already around the Strathmore Metro stop, but Fivesquares principal Ron Kaplan tells WTOP there is currently very little to bind the community.
“There is no community. There is simply this disparate, often surrounded by parking garage, buildings and nobody sees each other,” Kaplan said.
“The one place people do go is the Metro, and yet there is no gathering place.”
Metro selected Fivesquares to redevelop the Grosvenor-Strathmore Metro station in 2014.
Fivesquares used the currently empty space for a pop-up vendor plaza for 13 weeks during the spring and fall to demonstrate the attractiveness of small-scale retail. Dozens of small, local businesses sold their goods and wares from an old 4,000-series Metro rail car that Fivesquares cut up to serve as booths for the pop-up businesses.
As part of the redevelopment, the first construction of which may begin next spring, Fivesquares is dedicating first-floor space in one of the buildings to a performance center for Strathmore, part of its larger vision to make Strathmore Square a sort of artist-centric destination.
“We want local artists and to really make this a cultural hub. Hopefully, some quiet, live music on the weekend, or on a Friday when you’re coming off the subway,” Kaplan said.
The Strathmore Metro station is bordered by Tuckerman Lane and Md. Route 355.
With Tuesday’s approval of the Grosvenor-Strathmore minor master plan amendment, Fivesquares will now begin the design process and continue seeking community input as it develops the site plan to present to the Montgomery County Planning Department for final approval.