Crown developers have already paid more than $1 million in permitting fees to the city of Gaithersburg as work continues to ramp up.
Built on the former location of Crown Farm on Fields Road at Sam Eig Highway, the Crown development will include 320,000 square feet of retail and commercial space and over 2,000 residential units.
Rob Robinson, the city of Gaithersburg’s lead of long-range planning, said building permits are rolling in for the Harris Teeter grocery store and model homes in the residential section of Crown.
According to Gaithersburg Director of Planning and Code Administration John Schlichting, the city has brought in over $1,185,788 million in building permit fees from nine retail and mixed-use structures to be built in the Crown community.
That total is not unusual with a project this big, Schlichting said. If the same buildings were constructed on county land outside the city of Gaithersburg, the fees would be much higher because the county’s fees are higher, he said. As it stands, Schlichting said, he expects revenue generated by present and future building permit fees from the Crown community to be the highest the city has ever seen brought in by one project.
At a meeting on Jan. 2, the Gaithersburg Planning Commission approved a site plan amendment that put a final stamp on the facade design on residential units in one of Crown’s four neighborhoods.
The Bozzuto Group is developing homes in Neighborhood 1. Robinson said workers have broken ground and started building in that area.
“2013 is going to be very exciting,” Robinson said. “Now we’re actually going to see construction really ramping up.”
Now that the developers for Neighborhood 2, MI Homes and Sunbrook Partners, have received design approval, Planning Commission Chair John Bauer said he expects them to take the next step and submit a building permit application. Neighborhood 2 is located in the middle third of Crown, from the intersection of Fields Road and Rio Boulevard to the intersection of Fields Road and the newly-built extension of Decoverly Drive.
The retail and commercial part of the community, Downtown Crown, is part of Neighborhood 1. Construction is underway for the retail district.
Krista D. Iaconi is a development manager for the company handling retail businesses in Downtown Crown, JBG Rosenfeld Retail. She said about 50 percent of the community’s retail space has been leased out.
Since Crown’s groundbreaking in October, restaurants Chop’t, Yogiberry and Paladar Latin Kitchen and Rum Bar, plus Georgetown Square Wine and Beer, have signed leases.
“We’re also continuing to have discussions and negotiations with other tenants, especially fashion tenants,” she said.
JBG Rosenfeld Retail expects the businesses to hold their grand openings in the first quarter of 2014.