|Click any image to enlarge|
|Close-up aerial view of|
Wheaton Town Square;
the Armature is at left
Joining the RSC in the new public office building will be the building's owner, the Maryland National Capital Park and Planning Commission, the County Department of Permitting Services, the Department of the Environment, DEP's Solid Waste Division, and the RSC's Urban District office.
To connect the new project with Georgia Avenue and the Wheaton Metro station, a pedestrian entrance to the garage will be placed directly across from the stairs that descend from Georgia down to today's Lot 13. And an armature, which planners describe as a distinctive design element, will connect the project and Town Square to the Metro station. Also, the section of Reedie Drive that will run between the Town Square and public office building is proposed to be raised to their elevation so that it can be closed as part of the Square for events.
|What it will look like walking|
within the Armature
|Armature connection to|
Wheaton Metro station
|Project site in relation|
to Wheaton Metro station
The report doesn't say much about the impact of the lost parking may affect Wheaton Triangle businesses. 397 spaces is a significant increase from the number available today in Lot 13, but depending how many public employees in the new building drive, it's unclear just how many spaces will be left for shoppers and diners, or the crowds the renderings suggest will be attending the many public events in the Town Square (the residential building will have its own garage).
The planning department report acknowledges the project represents a significant change in character from the low-rise commercial buildings that currently dominate the Wheaton Central Business District. Renderings further dramatize the shift toward higher-density. When the project is completed, the high-rise Exchange across Georgia Avenue may seem less the "odd building out" in Wheaton.
Planning staff are recommending transmission of their comments to the Montgomery County Department of Transportation (I assume this is because they own and operate Lot 13) by the board.