Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Dunkin' Donuts is coming to Cloverly

Dunkin' Donuts
continues its rapid expansion in Montgomery County, and will also continue a new trend of converting former banks to Dunkin' stores. The newest location planned is at 15509 New Hampshire Avenue, in the Cloverly North shopping center in Silver Spring. This former bank space has a drive-thru, which hopefully will be put into use for donut-buying purposes in the not-so-distant future.

Monday, August 30, 2021

McDonald's adds Glazed Pull-Apart Donut to menu

has added a new item to its McCafe line of baked goods designed to go with coffee beverages. The Glazed Pull-Apart Donut is shareable, with donut holes attached to the center that can be torn off. McDonald's says it is a limited-time item, and will be available all day, not just for breakfast. 

The new donut has already appeared at some McDonald's locations in Montgomery County, and will be available at all McDonald's nationwide on September 1, 2021. How does it compare to Krispy Kreme? Watch my review to find out.

Friday, August 27, 2021

HAWK signals added to Bel Pre Road in Aspen Hill

Montgomery County Department of Transportation has installed HAWK crossing signals at three crosswalks along Bel Pre Road between Georgia Avenue and Layhill Road in Aspen Hill. The pedestrian-activated crossing signals are located at Tynewick Drive, Weeping Willow Drive, and Astrodome Drive/North Gate Drive. Here is a handy guide MCDOT has released on how pedestrians and drivers interact with HAWK signals under current traffic regulations:

Thursday, August 26, 2021

Armed carjacking in Takoma Park

Takoma Park police report that an armed carjacking took place at 12:25 AM this morning. A male victim parked his black 2012 Honda Accord (DC Tag #FEO979) in the 7600 block of Maple Avenue, and upon exiting the vehicle, was approached by two men. One of the men was wielding a handgun. He pointed the gun at the victim and demanded property, police allege, and then carjacked the Honda.

The stolen Honda was last seen on Maple heading towards Philadelphia Avenue. Police say the victim was not seriously injured.

Detectives describe the suspects as follows: (1) black male, medium build, last seen wearing a gray/black shirt and black pants, (2) black male, large build, last seen wearing a black shirt and black pants.

Anyone with information about this crime is asked to please call Takoma Park police detectives at 301-270-1100, and refer to case #210033253.

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Bike rack, catalytic converter stolen in Takoma Park

The City of Takoma Park police department says two valuable items were reported stolen from vehicles yesterday. A bike rack was removed from a car in the 8400 block of Piney Branch Road, and a catalytic converter was taken from a vehicle in the 6500 block of Allegheny Avenue. 

If you have any information regarding these thefts, or notice any suspicious activity, contact the police non-emergency number at 301-270-1100. Call 911 if a crime is in progress, or it is an emergency.

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Montgomery Hills retail building for sale

A high-visibility retail building is up for sale in Montgomery Hills, an area expected to experience redevelopment and growth in the coming years. 9309 Georgia Avenue has hit the market at an asking price of $1,200,000, according to the online listing. That price takes into account the redevelopment potential, should this parcel be assembled with adjacent commercial properties. 

Current tenant WIG is closing, opening the door to such redevelopment negotiations, or simply a new retail tenant. AMR Commercial, LLC of Bethesda is marketing the property.

Monday, August 23, 2021

2400 University Boulevard for sale in Wheaton

2400 University Boulevard in Wheaton is for sale. The 2-story property, which also has frontage on Elkin Street, is currently 100% leased. Tenants include Rivy's Hair Salon, Mi Familia Mercado Latino, and New Kam Fong restaurant. Investors may be interested to know rents for the current tenants are scheduled to increase next year. The asking price is $1,999,000, according to the online listing.
Elkin Street side of the property

Friday, August 20, 2021

Elan downtown Silver Spring condo conversion update (Photos)

The conversion of an office building at 700 Roeder Road into the Elan residential condominiums in downtown Silver Spring continues. There's still work to be done inside, but the developer is very actively marketing the property right now. 

A sign at the site states that you can request a tour, which suggests there may be one or more completed model units at this point. Pricing has now been announced, as well. Studios start at $199,000; 1-bedrooms in the high-$200,000s; and 2-bedrooms in the low-$400,000s.

Thursday, August 19, 2021

Hotel Silver Spring a stopgap between Sheraton and DoubleTree branding (Photos)

There's a "new" hotel in town, with a generic-sounding name. Hotel Silver Spring at 8777 Georgia Avenue won't be called that for long, however. Until recently a Sheraton, it will become a DoubleTree by Hilton hotel this fall, according to a front desk employee. The property was sold earlier this summer.

Renovations are underway, including exterior repainting. Interior upgrades will be completed by the end of October, the employee said. Fortunately, the fantastic architecture will remain, as this is my favorite building in downtown Silver Spring.

Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Armed carjacking at Silver Spring gas station

Montgomery County police were called to respond to a report of an armed carjacking at a Silver Spring gas station early Monday morning. The carjacking was reported at a gas station in the 8300 block of Colesville Road at 2:05 AM, according to crime data.

Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Montgomery County executive appears maskless in Montgomery College classroom

Montgomery County has been under an indoor mask order for several weeks. When County Executive Marc Elrich (D) was caught on camera without a mask in a classroom at Montgomery College on Monday, his critics pounced, calling it hypocrisy. Elrich was attending a "5G Bootcamp" at the community college with Congressman David Trone (D - 6th District).

Trone posted several photos of the event on Twitter. In all but one, Elrich is wearing a mask. But in the maskless photo, everyone but Elrich in the classroom is wearing a mask. "Rules for thee, and not for me," tweeted @justhefactsmo1, sharing Trone's tweet. "What's the ticket for doing this in the grocery store? $500?" asked @jensreesman.

Monday, August 16, 2021

Armed robbery in Wheaton

Montgomery County police responded to a report of an armed robbery at a home in the Wheaton Crest area of Wheaton early yesterday morning. The robbery was reported at a home in the 2700 block of Arcola Avenue at 12:09 AM Sunday, according to crime data. A gun was the weapon employed in the robbery.

Friday, August 13, 2021

Starbucks temporarily closes at 8777 Georgia Avenue in Silver Spring

One of the Starbucks in downtown Silver Spring has temporarily closed. The store at 8777 Georgia Avenue has a sign in the window stating it is closed temporarily, but does not give an explanation for why. The closest nearby Starbucks location is 915 Ellsworth Drive.

Thursday, August 12, 2021

Hook & Reel construction update (Photos)

The opening of Hook & Reel at Westfield's Wheaton Plaza mall is one of many events to be delayed by the impact of the pandemic. Work is now actually underway on the interior fit-out of the Cajun seafood boil restaurant. Walls, counters and what looks like a bar are taking shape inside the space, which is next to Party City.

Wednesday, August 11, 2021

Black Lion Cafe coming to downtown Silver Spring

Black Lion Cafe
is expanding to Silver Spring. The local business will open a new location in the Fenton Silver Spring apartment building at 8240 Fenton Street. Black Lion currently has a location at the Traville Village Center in Rockville.

Black Lion Cafe was named the best coffee shop in the entire state of Maryland by Yelp in less than a year after opening. Its fair trade coffee beans are imported directly from Ethiopia by the owners, who have five generations of coffee growing experience in that country. In addition to vegan pastries and fresh coffee beverages, you can also purchase packaged coffee, packed immediately after roasting using one-way valves for extra flavor and quality.

Tuesday, August 10, 2021

Petition urges M-NCPPC to repair Sligo Creek Golf Course parking lot

Silver Spring resident Alan Bowser has created an online petition calling on the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission to repair the parking lot at Sligo Creek Golf Course, located at 9701 Sligo Creek Parkway. The entrance driveway and lot's surfaces are currently in terrible shape, posing safety hazards for users, particularly those with disabilities. As of this morning, the petition was about to reach its initial 200 signature goal.

Monday, August 9, 2021

Indecent exposure in Wheaton Triangle

Montgomery County police responded to a report of indecent exposure and shoplifting in the Wheaton Triangle Friday morning. The incident was reported at a retail store in the 11200 block of Triangle Lane around 9:46 AM, according to crime data. 

Friday, August 6, 2021

Takoma Park pastor arrested for alleged sexual assault, rape of female church members

City of Takoma Park Police Chief Antonio DeVaul announced the arrest of a pastor of Iglesia Pentecostal El Fin Viene Church at 7523 New Hampshire Avenue. Pastor Erick Odir Vidal Fuentes, 37, of Hyattsville has been charged with 2nd degree rape, 4th degree sex offense and 2nd degree assault. The alleged victims are two female members of the church.

Takoma Park Police believe that there may be more victims, and request that anyone who believes that they are/were a victim - or has information regarding the sexual assaults - please contact Detective Charles Earle at 240-298-5500. Si usted solo habla español, por favor contacte nuestra Coordinadora de Victima/Testigos, Claudia Tolson, al 240-610-8284.

Thursday, August 5, 2021

PJ's Coffee of New Orleans remodeled in Silver Spring

PJ's Coffee of New Orleans
only opened in late December 2018, and it's already been remodeled. The shop closed from July 19 through August 2 for the renovation. PJ's is located at 8621 Georgia Avenue, in the Core apartment building.

Wednesday, August 4, 2021

Purse-snatching on Bonifant Street in Silver Spring

Montgomery County police responded to a report of a purse-snatching on Bonifant Street early Monday morning. The robbery occurred in the 900 block of Bonifant Street around 4:03 AM, according to crime data.

Maryland earthquake felt in Silver Spring, across DC region

UPDATE - 3:00 AM, August 4, 2021: The USGS now reports that the earthquake occurred at a depth of 3.4 kilometers. Latest USGS map pinpoints Clarksville, MD as epicenter, although it has not been officially named as such yet.

A 2.1 magnitude earthquake was felt in Bethesda, Rockville, Silver Spring, Derwood, and other parts of Montgomery County; Prince George's County, and Howard County at 2:11 AM this morning. The sound was audible here in Montgomery County, and was more noticeable than the shaking of the ground. According to the United States Geological Survey, the epicenter of the earthquake was 3 km from Highland, Maryland.

Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Longwood Community Recreation Center to close for ADA upgrades

Longwood Community Recreation Center
at 19300 Georgia Avenue in Brookeville will temporarily close so that the facility can be updated to better comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act. The center will close Monday, August 9, 2021. It is expected to reopen in winter 2022. 

Montgomery County is recommending the community utilize the Bauer Drive and Ross Boddy recreation centers during the closure. The Longwood project will include floor elevations, upgraded bathroom access, and mill work compliance, among other remediations.

Monday, August 2, 2021

Popeyes downtown Silver Spring update (Photos)

The interior fit-out of the future Popeyes at 8401 Georgia Avenue has been advancing at a snail's pace this summer, in relation to the typical fast food restaurant construction timeline. There are finally walls, but floors, counters and other elements are still to come. Popeyes' contractor has permission from the Maryland State Highway Administration to erect this scaffolding and overhead sidewalk protection along the busy state highway.