What now is mostly a parking lot and a few stores could become a residential and commercial hub, giving White Flint residents easy access to shops and entertainment.
The Montgomery County Planning Board will take a vote Thursday on site plans for a Mid-Pike Plaza, which includes as many as 493 residences and as much as 341,800 square feet of commercial space.
The public will have a chance to comment on the mixed-use development.
The 6.77-acre site sits just northwest of the intersection of Rockville Pike and Old Georgetown Road. The property is home to a strip mall with Toys “R” Us, A.C. Moore, Chipotle and other retailers.
The redevelopment is part of revitalization projects in White Flint, an area expected to become a modern retail and commercial hub in the county. The overarching plan includes transforming Rockville Pike into a boulevard with trees, improving the pedestrian and bicycle environment and creating a mixed-use residential and retail sector near the White Flint Metro station.
Natalie Goldberg, a member of the Garrett Park Estates/White Flint Park Citizens Association and the White Flint Implementation Advisory Committee, said she thinks the Mid-Pike Plaza plan does a nice job of implementing mixed-use development.
“I think the developers have reached out to the community, been very open in seeking community opinions,” Goldberg said. “I’m in favor of it.”
Her citizens association sent a letter to the planning board asking to include in the approval language that ensures the developer will maintain pedestrian and bicycle access to major roads during construction, Goldberg said.
Paul Meyer, also an implementation committee member, said he will testify Thursday in support of the plan. Meyer lives in The Wisconsin, 5809 Nicholson Lane, in the heart of the White Flint redevelopment area. Mid-Pike Plaza’s developer Federal Realty, he said, did an exceptional job of reaching out to community members.
Walking to the entertainment venues, shops and restaurants appeals to Meyer, he said.
During construction, he hopes public infrastructure will be built at the same pace as private buildings. And a light rail or rapid bus transit system from downtown Bethesda to White Flint could boost patronage.
If the planning board approves the site plan, the developer will begin to pursue permits with the Montgomery County Department of Permitting Services.
Obtaining permits takes different amounts of time for each applicant, said Nkosi Yearwood, a county planner. Construction may begin once the developer receives the necessary permits from the county and state.
Evan Goldman, vice president of development at Federal Realty, said in an email that the company is looking forward to the planning board hearing.
The developer’s plan is to break ground this summer and finish the first phase of the project in 2014, he said.