Monday, September 16, 2013

This Wednesday: Wheaton neighborhood meeting seeking our feedback about new development in the Triangle

Wheaton triangle from Grandview Avenue.
I hope to see you at the public meeting this Wednesday, September 18, at Wheaton High School.  According to the county website:

"The Montgomery County Government is inviting the community to a meeting with Stonebridge Carras/Bozzuto, the selected developer for the Wheaton Redevelopment Program. At the meeting, the proposed development plan will be shared along with details on the scope of their project and ideas for design. The County would like the community’s feedback as preparations begin for the development of a contract with the developer."

So come to the meeting and share your preferences for downtown Wheaton!  The triangle in question is in the middle of our community so should be of close interest to all of us.
"Wheaton Triangle" is shown here.

As background: our county is moving forward with plans to redevelop the Wheaton Triangle.  This is the area just northwest of the Wheaton Metro station that is currently a large parking lot with meters.  I think having new buildings here will be a good thing since they may bring more people to the area and they have promised a new "town center" as part of the deal.  There will be underground parking so there isn't a loss of the parking lot.

As I wrote last winter, the new development should be person-oriented with businesses on the ground floor, or at least displays that are nice to look at.

There is a contentious history of this redevelopment project, as JUTP reports in this blog post, since the county made a good plan in 2010 and then pulled out to the community's surprise and annoyance.  Specifically, "the county made a deal with developer BF Saul in 2010 to build several million square feet of apartments, shops, and offices in downtown Wheaton, along with a town square. BF Saul had a website and public outreach team to gather feedback, but the deal collapsed when the County Council balked at the $39.5 million price tag of building a platform over the Wheaton Metro station so BF Saul could build office towers on top." 

I hope they get it right this time and build things that will be a boon to the community. We need things that will be open and vibrant after work as well as during the workday, and we need open space with grass, trees, and benches.
Panoramic view of Wheaton triangle from outside Vietnamese restaurant on Grandview Avenue.

1 comment:

  1. I'll be at the Fillmore on Wednesday (my first visit!) but I'm certainly hoping for some more restaurants. Don't get me wrong, I'm very happy with many of the restaurants we have in Wheaton. But, would it kill us to have an American restaurant a la Chef Geoff (though he skews Italian in some ventures), Matchbox (yes pizza, but also yummy food) or another restaurant that isn't a chain, but is delicious? I also speak for many when I say an Indian place would be good too!

    I think the problem is Wheaton is known for diverse foods, which is wonderful, but it doesn't necessarily grab those who are less-adventurous eaters. A (non-ethnic) bakery would be nice too. (Panera doesn't count.)

    With the new residential offerings, we're going to have to step up our retail game. I'd love to see Greenhill lower their rates a smidge so we have storefronts with businesses rather than storefronts with GREENHILL REALTY signs. 3.5 years later, I'm getting a little tired of it.

    I saw a new taco place is coming in next to El Pollo Rico; more of the same, but perhaps it will be delicious? Maybe it means Greenhill is getting with the program...though I don't know for sure, so I won't hold my breath.