- The Washington Times - Monday, July 2, 2001

Property Lines

Bozzuto Development Co. will redevelop the area around the Metrorail station in Wheaton, a key project in the plan to pump new life into the aging Montgomery County suburb.

The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority chose the Greenbelt developer to build housing and offices around the train station at its June 21 meeting.

Bozzuto plans 300,000 square feet of office and retail space above a bus station and kiss-and-ride lot on the western side of the Metro station. On the eastern side, it plans to partner with Montgomery County Housing Opportunities Commission to build 175 apartments.

In addition, Bozzuto will partner with Arlington developer Eakin/Youngentob Associates to build between 235 and 250 luxury apartments and 60 to 80 upscale town houses near the station.

The total project could cost between $95 and $115 million, according to John Slidell, Bozzuto Development's president. Construction on the first phase the project with Eakin/ Youngentob could begin next year, he says.

"What appeals to us about Wheaton are the demographics. People want to live in these close-in, urban infill areas," Mr. Slidell says.

The combined Wheaton-Glenmont area had 57,694 residents during the 2000 U.S. Census. Wheaton has about 30 office buildings that offer roughly 975,000 square feet, according to the real estate research firm CoStar Group.

The Metro project "fits in perfectly" with efforts to redevelop Wheaton, says Natalie Cantor, director of the Mid-County Regional Services Center, a Montgomery County government outpost in Wheaton.

The Wheaton Redevelopment Task Force has proposed more offices, restaurants and nightclubs in the unincorporated town and sprucing up older buildings.

Discovery cancels tower

Media giant Discovery Communications wants to scrap its plan to build a 320-foot steel tower at its new headquarters in Silver Spring, according to Montgomery County planners.

Instead, the company has proposed adding more office space to the $150 million project, which is now under construction, the Montgomery County Planning Board says.

The board is scheduled to review the change at its July 19 meeting.

Last year, Discovery canceled plans to lease a 320,000-square-foot office building, saying it wanted to maintain flexibility for the future.

That project would have been Discovery's third in Silver Spring. In addition to the new headquarters, the company has also renovated a former Caldor department store in the town.

Builders chosen

Reston developer Terrabrook has chosen three builders to start construction on the next set of homes in Clarksburg Town Center, a mixed-use project in upper Montgomery County.

Craftstar Homes, NV Homes and Miller & Smith will build 138 town houses and 21 single-family detached houses. The town houses are expected to priced between $200,000 and $300,000, and prices for the single-family houses will start around $300,000.

The Clarksburg project will mix housing, offices, stores and restaurants not unlike Terrabrook's signature project, the Reston Town Center in Fairfax County.

Earlier this year, Terrabrook chose the Porten Cos. to build the first homes in Clarksburg Town Center, a set of 23 single-family houses that are expected to sell for about $400,000 apiece.

In other news

Crypteck Secure Communications, a Chantilly computer security firm, will lease 40,300 square feet of office space at the Moran Technology Center near Washington Dulles International Airport. Local brokerage CB Richard Ellis arranged the deal.

• ECPI College of Technology will lease 32,000 square feet at the Dulles Towne Centre Mall. The private school is scheduled to begin classes at the site, which is owned by Lerner Enterprises, in August. Local brokerage CB Richard Ellis arranged the deal.

• Flowers Sent Today, a national florist, is building a 10,000-square-foot headquarters at 15405 John Marshall Highway in Prince William County. Construction on the $2 million facility is scheduled to begin this month and be completed in January. Wright Realty helped arrange the deal.

• Guardian Realty Investors of Gaithersburg has purchased 1140 19th St. NW, a nine-story office-and-retail building with 65,926 square feet. Terms were not disclosed. Tenants include four restaurants and two law firms. Guardian owns and manages 23 buildings in the Washington area.

• Local construction company L.F. Jennings has completed the first phase of Dulles Town Crossing, a shopping center in Sterling that will eventually have 800,000 square feet. AIG Baker is developing the project, which was designed by Bignell Watkins and Hasser.

• Northern Virginia builder Tucon Construction has started work on Prosperity III, a 78,246-square-foot medical office building at 8505 Arlington Blvd. in Fairfax. The building is scheduled to be completed this year. It is the third and final building in Prosperity Center, a 250,000-square-foot medical office complex that is being developed by Atlantic Realty.

• Chris Baker can be reached at 202/636-3139 or cbaker@washingtontimes.com.

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