$100 million hotel, mixed-use complex coming to Rockville -- Gazette.Net


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Construction is set to begin this year on a new mixed-use development project in Rockville Town Center on East Middle Lane, the site of a former indoor shopping mall.

The $100 million development will include about 40,000 square feet of retail space, 485 apartments, a 140-room Cambria Suites hotel and 1,000 parking spaces.

During a news conference Monday, County Executive Isiah Leggett (D) said he will ask the Montgomery County Council for a $4.16 million conditional grant from the county’s Economic Development Fund for the project. The request includes a $980,000 commitment from the city of Rockville, Leggett said.

“It is a project that I think is long overdue, and one that I think will generate a great deal of revenue for both the city and the county,” he said.

Leggett said county and city investment is crucial to ensuring the development takes place, and said the project will generate $10.18 million in revenue for the county and nearly $3.8 million for the city during the next 15 years.

The county’s grant requires the developer to meet certain performance requirements, said Peter Bang, COO of Montgomery County’s Department of Economic Development.

Under the deal, the developer must obtain a use and occupancy permit from the city and the hotel must be open by 2016. Additionally, at least 20 percent of the project costs must come from vendors in the county. If the developer does not meet these conditions, some or all of the grant will be converted into a loan, Bang said.

The development site is at the corner of East Middle Lane and Monroe Street in front of Regal Cinemas. The former site of Rockville Mall, it is now a surface parking lot.

Duball of Reston, Va., which is developing the site, plans to add a street down the middle of the property and build in two phases. The company also developed the Lionsgate condominium and retail complex in downtown Bethesda and is developing the 415-acre Wildewood Master Planned Community in St. Mary’s County.

Construction of the downtown Rockville project is set to begin by the end of the year on the first building, which will include Cambria Suites, 263 apartments, 17,000 square feet of retail space and parking. The second building has been approved for more housing and retail, Duball President Marc Dubick said.

Of the 263 apartments in the first building, 40 will be moderately priced dwelling units, with half of those initially marketed to seniors, Dubick said. The rest will rent at market rates.

The property is across the street from construction on Choice Hotels International’s new headquarters. Michael Murphy, senior vice president of upscale brands for Choice Hotels, which owns the Cambria Suites brand, said the company had hoped to have a hotel near its new headquarters.

“It was a passion of our CEO, Steve Joyce, to have our flagship brand, our flagship hotel, right outside the front door of the corporate office,” Murphy said.

Cambria Suites are luxury hotels geared toward business travelers. Murphy said in today’s prices, rooms would start at about $180 to $200 per night during the week and $150 on weekends.

Choice Hotels, now in Silver Spring, plans to move into its new headquarters in April, about the same time as it breaks ground on Cambria Suites, Murphy said.

ewaibel@gazette.net