The Dirt: October 2015

The last month has seen pretty significant changes for the area. The Silver Spring Transit Center opened and four people’s brains literally exploded – just in time for Halloween and the Silver Spring Zombie Walk. While we’ve got some important infrastructure completed, we’re also seeing some new pieces breaking ground with Progress Place’s new location behind the fire station. This is the beginning of a major development of the area east of Georgia Avenue, termed the “Ripley District”. Progress Place is scheduled to finish November 2016, which means that they could start development in that area around that time. Pyramid Atlantic is tentatively moving to Hyattsville in April next year (Boooooooo!), which means that parcel could start development into Ripley II as soon as next Summer? Maybe? I don’t know how these things work.

Correction (10/22 1:43PM): Pyramid Atlantic is not currently part of the parcel to be developed into Ripley II. Everything else on the block is. (h/t Bob)

Author’s Note: ย I’m thinking of making The Dirt bi-monthly, as new things are happening constantly, and by the time this comes out, info is out of date. It would be shorter, but more often. Let me know what you think.

Glenmont MetroCentre Townhomes – I actually got some dirt outside the Silver Spring CBD this time around. Be proud of me. Ground has been broken on these town homes on Layhill Road near Glenmont Metro station.

Paul S. Sarbanes Transit Center (8404 Colesville Road) – Grab your hardhats! The Paul S. Sarbanes Transit Center is finally open. With construction beginning in 1928, Montgomery County was able to rapidly finish this project up in record time. An exceptional piece of architecture, the transit center has already demonstrated breakthrough techniques in design that give the illusion of emerging cracks on the underside. Expect many architectural design awards for the 2015 year.

Kaldi’s Social House (918 Silver Spring Ave) – Kaldi’s has undergone significant renovation to greatly expand the space. A wrap around bar takes center stage with dedicated outlets so working on your laptop or charging your phone is convenient. The downstairs is still under construction, but food and beverage is in full operation. The owner hopes that the downstairs renovations will be complete within a month and a larger menu will be rolled out. The expansion also has a rooftop, adding one more aerie for residents, but no date is set for opening.

Progress Place – Ground has been broken on a location behind the fire station on Georgia Avenue for the new location of Progress Place. Home to Shepherd’s Table and Interfaith Work’s Community Vision, the facility is set to replace their old location in the “Ripley District”, the neighborhood between Bonifant and Silver Spring Avenue on the west side of Georgia Avenue. The opening is part of a land deal between Montgomery County and Washington Properties.

Sheger Spring Cafe (8120 Fenton St, 900B) – Sheger Spring Cafe is now open having celebrated their grand opening. A new Ethiopian restaurant featuring a bar and serving alcohol, this is the latest addition to change the face of the Fenton Street/Silver Spring Avenue intersection. If one more person mentions Ethiopian populations in the greater DC area, and doesn’t mention Silver Spring, Dan Reed is going to beat them senseless.

Ellsworth Place Mall (8661 Colesville Rd) – The video screens have been mounted at the corners of Fenton Street and Ellsworth Drive and Colesville Road. Dave & Buster’s has signed a lease for a location in the mall. Just Up The Pike has a great article on the jumbotrons.

Correction: Dave & Busters has not yet signed the lease, but all things look good. Adjustments inside are proceeding as if a lease is signed. (h/t Mike D – not of the Beastie Boys)

ShopHouse (935 Ellsworth Dr) – Just Up The Pike has quoted me as saying “Silver Spring has got fast casual on lock.” We have yet another fast casual restaurant coming in. Much to many people’s disappointment, FroZenYo has closed. It will eventually be replaced with ShopHouse, a fast casual SouthEast Asian spot brought to us by the founder of Chipotle.

City Sports (8510 Fenton St) – City Sports in downtown is closing. Take up to 40% off on items until the shop closes.

Pete Tan
A DC Native, people say I'm rude and abrasive; I say I'm passionate. I've been working in marketing since 2005. My brothers and I paid Geppi's rent through the 80s and 90s. My relief at an indoor wavepool never materializing in Silver Spring is balanced by my disappointment that City Place has dozens of shuttered storefronts. I love what you've done with your hair.

12 COMMENTS
  • Bob
    Reply

    “Pyramid Atlantic is tentatively moving to Hyattsville in April next year (Boooooooo!), which means that parcel could start development into Ripley II as soon as next Summer? Maybe? I donโ€™t know how these things work.”

    The entire block is being redeveloped EXCEPT the Pyramid building, unfortunately. The deal fell through between Pyramid and the county because Pyramid was supposed to give the county a slice of their parcel so the public right of way could be expanded to fit a street/sidewalk as wide as you can see with the new construction on Ripley.

    Instead of following through with the deal, Pyramid sold to a private developer. To boot, that private developer is some random guy and not Wash. Properties – who owns the rest of the block and is redeveloping. Instead, the public will be stuck with Pyramid’s stub of a sidewalk and surface parking lot for decades to come.

    So we went from Pyramid getting free space in the library + usable sidewalk on Ripley + redeveloped surface lot to…Pyramid moving out of county + tiny sidewalks and surface lot staying put. Yay…

    1. Pete Tan
      Reply

      I an always count on you, Bob, plus, you write with such enthusiasm. I’ll update the post. Thanks!

  • Kathy Jentz, WDCgardener
    Reply

    HI – I don’t think biweekly (bimonthly is every-other-month) is too often – actually, wouldn’t mind weekly at the rate SS is growing and changing.

    1. Pete Tan
      Reply

      Thanks, Kathy. We’ll look into the possibility of weekly. That sounds like a lot, so no promises.

  • Mike D.
    Reply

    I was on a tour with the owner of Ellsworth Place yesterday. Dave & Buster’s lease is not yet signed, but very close and they are proceeding as though it’s a done deal, installing interior directional signs, etc. T.J.Maxx is set to open Nov. 11, we were told. Other stuff is slowly coming along.

    1. Pete Tan
      Reply

      More great info, Mike. Unfortunately, we do not verify our knowledge before posting.

  • Woodsider
    Reply

    I’m a big fan of the Ripley district redevelopment, but I’m not sure having the old Pyramid building with surface parking is being “stuck” for years if the new owner is creative. As Georgia Ave. gets built out, I think we will crave non-highrise space. You are right that the former owner screwed themselves out of including the parcel in redevelopment and now is stuck with a small site. What if the building was converted to restaurant an the outdoor space not used for parking? If done right, that could be a very sweet space (think beer garden) for the soon to explode millennial population in all the new highrises.

    1. Pete Tan
      Reply

      I also think that Pyramid is a pleasant looking building, Woodsider, so I agree it’s not a total loss that it stays. I’m not sure how Denizens would feel having another beer garden just four blocks away.

  • Woodsider
    Reply

    It’s called competition

  • Bob
    Reply

    I agree that the Pyramid site COULD be nice, but the new(ish) owner has been trying to market the building (unsuccessfully, for a couple years now) by highlighting the 22 parking spaces on site. My fear is that a medical/dental office or the like will eventually move in and we’ll just continue to have a funky, deadening surface lot on our main CBD artery. The lot will be a “missing tooth” in what would otherwise be a continuous, vibrant block of street-front retail.

  • Bethany
    Reply

    Late comment, but I love the idea of more Dirts ๐Ÿ™‚

  • NOM NOM Boris
    Reply

    Whaa Frozenyo closed? Thats crazy and I totally missed it ๐Ÿ™ it was always so packed. Though I am super excited for Shophouse as I am a big fan of the one in Dupont. Its crazy how many places have closed down in Down Town area.

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