Residential units to replace Silver Spring post office
Development will include 300 units
Developers will build a residential building on land now occupied by a Silver Spring post office.
Nova-Habitat and Insight Property Group mixed-use developers, operators, and owners will build about 300 residential units on 1.78 acres now occupied by a post office at 8616 Second Ave. in Silver Spring, said Edward Novak, president of Nova-Habitat.
The post office will continue to operate in its current location during the approval process, Novak said. The United States Postal Service identified a location outside of the central business district to relocate its carrier operations and truck parking, he said. The postal service anticipates finding a retail location in downtown Silver Spring before vacating the existing location, he said.
Freda Sauter, who works for U.S. Postal Service corporate communications, was unable to provide information on where the post office would move by The Gazette's press time.
Nova-Habitat, based in Chevy Chase, and Insight Property Group, based in Virginia, plan to build a six-story mid-rise residential, multi-family apartment building with two floors of underground parking. Of the 300 units, 12.5 percent will be moderately priced.
The developers will host a pre-application community meeting with neighbors and interested parties at 7:30 p.m. May 18 at the Woodside United Methodist Church at 8900 Georgia Ave.
Nova-Habitat and Insight Property Group expects to submit a project application to the Montgomery County Planning Board in late May. The zoning and building permit approval process is expected to take approximately 14 to 18 months, Novak said. If all goes according to plan, construction will commence in late 2012, he said.
County taxpayers will benefit from the project, Novak said, because the federally owned post office does not pay property taxes. A residential building will generate upward of $500,000 per year in new property tax revenue, he said.
"And, most importantly, the Nova-Habitat/Insight team is fully committed to designing and building a project whose residents will add to the vibrancy of the community and will be an architecturally attractive and respectful addition to Silver Spring and nearby Woodside neighborhood," Novak wrote in an email to The Gazette.
On April 19, 2010, the United States Postal Service posted a request for proposals from interested buyers on the Federal Business Opportunities website, operated by the United States General Services Administartion. Proposals went through the Jones Lange LaSalle, a global real estate firm headquartered in Chicago, Ill. The developers finalized a contract with the postal service for the purchase and redevelopment of the property last month.