Takoma Junction Redevelopment Update
At its Dec. 7 business meeting, the Takoma Park City Council voted to allow 30 more days for a Letter of Intent to be negotiated and agreed to by the Takoma Park Silver Spring Co-op and the City’s development partner, NDC, regarding the Takoma Junction development. In the meantime, NDC has signed a Letter of Intent with the Ability Project to provide a second story, 6,000 sq. ft. space in the development for adults with special needs to have a supportive environment in which they can gather and relax.
To learn more about the content of discussions with the Co-op to date and where things stand regarding current plans and aspirations, residents may wish to view this presentation given by NDC President Adrian Washington: takomaparkmd.gov/ city-blog/takoma-junction-redevelopmentupdate. Residents are welcome to weigh in now and in the months ahead.
What are the City Council’s goals for the project?
The goals of the City Council regarding the Takoma Junction development project remain: improve the aesthetic appeal of the commercial district and be contextually sensitive and environmentally sustainable. The Council has repeatedly expressed its concern for the well-being of the Co-op, particularly its need for continuity of operations. And, the Council is looking at the long-term needs of the City’s taxpayers by putting a key property back on the tax rolls.
Where, exactly, will the Co-op be located?
There are two choices: the Co-op may remain in the building it is in and expand or not, or the Co-op could opt for relocating into a brand new building on the site of the City’s current surface parking lot. NDC has presented concept designs for either option. Moving into a new building adjacent to its current building has advantages in terms of the Co-op’s continuity of operations and the opportunity to occupy a space optimized for grocery use. However, the Co-op may not wish to pursue that option. To be clear: NDC remains open to an arrangement where the Co-op is the anchor tenant and retains their current space, while also addressing the Council’s overarching goals. NDC’s proposals do not include relocating the Co-op to a site away from the Junction.
What about traffic studies, and will the State Highway Administration allow a “lay-by” design for large trucks to unload in front of the Co-op?
While NDC’s traffic consultant has been active in the development of options, a real traffic study does not come until later when more information is known about a proposed site plan and potential uses. At the Mayor’s request, City staff confirmed that SHA has no objections to such a design in concept.
How will the process move forward?
The final design of the Takoma Junction project is a long way off — there is a whole Takoma Park community process ahead, as well as the site plan review process through Montgomery County. The Council will be weighing many aspects of the site plan, including design, parking, loading, community use space, and safety. As a City-owned property, the Council has final say, within the parameters of the County’s Codes.
How can city residents provide their input?
Comments may be submitted through the City’s website at takomapark.seamlessdocs.com/f/JunctionComments.