On Tuesday evening, members of the Wheaton Urban District Advisory Committee met at the Mid-County Regional Services Center to share reports on various issues regarding Wheaton's downtown area. Here’s what was discussed:
- The committee chair, Jeannette Feldner, noted that Wheaton residents are worried about upcoming redevelopment, and that this offers a chance for WUDAC to step in and mold community perception. “We can work together to create a positive attitude about these changes,” Feldner said.
- Ana Lopez van Balen, the new director, spoke about the confusion between redevelopment and revitalization. Van Balen said that the Wheaton Redevelopment Advisory Committee should focus on redevelopment, and WUDAC should focus on revitalization.
- Pete McGinnity, of the Wheaton Redevelopment Program, reported that a preliminary plan and a site plan for 10914 Georgia Avenue will come before the Montgomery County Planning Board on October 20. That address is currently the Wheaton Baptist Church.
- McGinnity also reported that Alliance Residential Company has signed a contract with Avalon Bay Communities to buy a property at the corner of Georgia and Blueridge Avenues and build more than 200 apartments there. Alliance will talk about its project at the October 19 WRAC meeting.
- Westfield has obtained a demolition permit for the new Costco. “We’re going to get started right away,” said Matt Barry of Westfield.
- For Halloween, Westfield is hosting “Mall-o-ween” on October 29. Barry noted that the general outlook for retail at Westfield is “flat” for the upcoming holiday season, but that staying open later on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve this year should give sales a needed boost.