Montgomery County government is not going to proceed with a feasibility study for redeveloping the bus bay area in Wheaton, in the triangle between Reedie Drive, Georgia Avenue and Veirs Mill Road.
That's what Steve Silverman, director of the Department of Economic Development, told members of the Wheaton Redevelopment Advisory Committee at their January meeting.
"We've made a determination at this point to move on," Silverman said.
Last year, the Montgomery County Council approved $650,000 for various studies as part of the Wheaton redevelopment package, including the bus bay feasibility study.
The study's inclusion in the budget came after the council rejected a proposal for private developer B.F. Saul to build a platform over the bus bay--a proposal that County Executive Isiah Leggett had supported. The council instead chose a plan that focused on a new headquarters for the Maryland National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC) on Lot 13.
B.F. Saul withdrew from the plans, but the bus bay feasibility study left the door open for future redevelopment on the triangle piece of land owned by the Washington Metropolitan Transit Area Authority.
Jacob Sesker, the senior legislative analyst who was instrumental in shaping the new plan for Wheaton, told the council in April why he believed redevelopment should start with the Park and Planning office building on Lot 13:
“The bus bays are a significant site, but they are the most challenging and expensive redevelopment site in downtown Wheaton,” Sesker said. “The redevelopment of Parking Lot 13 and the town center, with an office building headquarters for Park and Planning, along with what is going on with the Safeway project, the Lowes building...will change the market downtown, and it may make getting a platform cheaper for us at some point in the future. It may not.”
More reading on this topic:
County Council Focuses Redevelopment on Park & Planning Headquarters