Another addition to Rockville Town Center could be coming relatively soon.
On Monday, representatives for the developer gave their pitch to the Rockville Mayor and City Council as to why they should approve their proposed apartment building, which will be located near the Rockville Metro Station.
While Monday night marked a public hearing for the planned development, only those representing the developer testified.
The developer’s plan is to add a seven-story, 240-unit residential building on the northwest corner of the intersection of East Middle Lane and MD-355. If approved, the building would become an addition to the Rockville Metro Plaza, a pair of office buildings located along Rockville Pike.
The proposed addition to the plaza would be mostly for residential purposes, with 240 multi-unit dwellings and 8,500 square feet of commercial retail space and a structured parking garage.
“They continue to own and maintain these buildings, and I think they’ve been a big success for the Rockville Town Center,” said Barbara A. Sears, who testified on behalf of the developer, Folger Pratt.
Currently, the spot for the proposed location is a parking lot, something that has concerned some members of the Council who want to make sure the developer builds an adequate parking garage along with the residential building.
While the proposed seven-story building would be for mostly for residential use, Folger Pratt originally planned for it to be a third office building – something that they were discouraged from building, given all the empty office space in the City and County.
While the proposal is to build a 270-unit building, the developer has requested that they keep previous approval for it to be a space for offices until 2024 if the market for office space arises.
In accordance with Rockville zoning laws, the proposed development will have at least 15 percent or 36 of its units be affordable housing. Of the 36 affordable housing units, 18 will be one-bedroom units, six will be studio units, nine will be two-bedrooms and three will be three-bedrooms.
Council member Beryl Feinberg questioned why the proposed development will have only three affordable and no market rate three-bedroom housing units, meaning that the property may not be optional for families
“You have no market rate three beds?” Feinberg said.
Representatives from Folger and Pratt said that market research showed that families with multiple kids prefer townhomes in the area that are of similar cost with more space.
While the Rockville Planning Commission has recommended approval for the project, a date for the Mayor and Council to approve or reject the proposed development hast yet to be scheduled.