Large Mixed-Use Development Plan for Rock Spring Heads to Planning Board
Project approvals date back to 1990s.
Developers have been hoping to build out the site -- a project known as Rock Spring Center -- dating back to the 1990s. At one time, plans included building retail, institutional and office space, luxury residential high-rises, a 157-room hotel, a 90,000 square foot wellness center and a community center.
But only the first phase of the original plan – the Avalon Bay apartment complex – was realized. A downturn in the economy and a series of legal battles between the owners of the lot and the original developer, the Penrose Group, stalled out the project.
Now, a new developer – DRI Development Services, Inc. -- is coming back to the planning board with a plan that amends some of the original approvals. The proposal they outline is for a mixed-use development that would include 210,000 square feet of retail, nearly 550,000 square feet of office space, 90,000 square feet of entertainment facilities including movie theaters, a 200-room hotel and 161 residential units. The development would be located along the intersection of Rockledge Drive and Rock Spring Drive, and calls for a new grid of private streets to serve the buildings.
The community center is no longer on the table for the site, though the plan calls for the developer to set aside community recreation space. The county continues to look for a site for the planned North Bethesda Community Recreation Center.
The plan is the second item on the Planning Board’s Thursday agenda. The meeting starts at 9a.m. To weigh in on the project, you can sign up to testify before the board. You can also watch the meeting online after the hearing via the Planning Board’s website.