Wednesday, June 9, 2021

Kensington Crossing shopping center design discussed at virtual meeting


Drive-thru restaurant space to be bank instead

There won't be a drive-thru fast food restaurant at the future Kensington Crossing shopping center at 10619 Connecticut Avenue and Plyers Mill Road. Disappointed residents were informed at a virtual meeting last night that the drive-thru spot on the property is likely going to be a drive-thru bank instead.

“It's hard to imagine Kensington residents clamoring for [a bank] there, no less anywhere, as banking moves [to] digital more and more," one resident said after the announcement was made during the presentation. Attorney Bill Kominers represented the applicant for the proposed development at the meeting, and Scott Wolford represented the architecture firm, Zavos Architecture+Design, LLC of Frederick.

The design is a notch above the typical strip mall. A change in the design's massing has replaced a central paseo with one, continuous structure. The applicant wants to build up to Connecticut Avenue, as opposed to placing parking in front there, to "activate the streetscape" and "give a rhythm up and down Connecticut Avenue." 

Parking will instead be on the east side of the property, and there will be one "right in, right out" curb cut. Access and circulation plans were developed in concert with an adjoining property owner.

A resident implored the architect to "please consider the aesthetics of Kensington" in the design. Another resident suggested including design elements of the former gas station in the new building. Wolford said the location is outside of Old Town Kensington, and therefore there was more freedom in the design stage for the architects to diverge from those older aesthetics.

Outdoor space proposed in the original proposed design will now have an overhead canopy with skylights. The applicant hopes this will give a three-to-four season use of the space for outdoor dining and gathering purposes. Sustainability features will include a light-colored roof and high-efficiency HVAC units.

While there was disappointment that the drive-thru structure won't be a restaurant, the applicant expects there will be several in-line restaurants as tenants at Kensington Crossing. None were confirmed as of last night, however. Tenants in talks with the developer include a veterinary clinic and a bank; the latter requires a drive-thru for its business model.

New site plan design now shows central
canopy for outdoor dining space

Delivery of Kensington Crossing will not take long if all goes well. Should the site plan receive approval from Montgomery County, the shopping center could be up and running as soon as next spring, Kominers said.

1 comment:

  1. Traffic is already a nightmare at that corner. That needs to be fixed.