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Council Discusses Knox Village Project

Representatives from Toll Bros. came to the Council Worksession last night to talk about the Detailed Site Plan review for a mixed-use project, tentatively named, Knox Village, containing 445 residential units (1,575-1,582 beds), 11,909 – 12,325 square feet of retail space and a two-level parking garage. The total density of the project is 72 dwelling units per acre.

In addition, the applicant is requesting that Rossburg Road be closed and the right-of-way vacated in order to better utilize the site. This 6.2 acre property, known as the “Knox Boxes” is currently improved with 24 duplex buildings located on 48 platted lots. The applicant proposes to demolish these existing structures. One multi-family structure, located at the intersection of Knox Road and Guilford Drive, belonging to another property owner, will remain.

The property is zoned M-U-I (Mixed-Use-Infill) with a DDOZ overlay (Central US 1 Corridor) zone. The Central US 1 Corridor plan also referred to as the Sector Plan identifies the subject property as located within two character areas. The property north of Guilford Drive is designated in the Walkable Node (University), while the portion of the subject property south of Guilford Drive is located in the Corridor Infill character area.

The property is exempt from the requirement of filing a Preliminary Plan of Subdivision, however, the applicant will need to obtain approval of a minor final plat once Rossburg Road is vacated. The Planning Board hearing is scheduled for November 7, 2013. The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC) Technical Staff Report is not yet available.

The development consists of three parcels. Parcel 1located at the intersection of Knox Road, Guilford Drive and Hartwick Road, will consist of two multifamily buildings (Buildings A and B) and a 490 space parking garage with 314 bicycle parking spaces: Building A is proposed to be 6-stories high with an internal courtyard, 233 dwelling units and 8,712 square feet of retail space.

The courtyard will contain a swimming pool and deck, open lawn area/volleyball court, outdoor TV, a fire place, a large screen for movie projections, and outdoor clubroom expansion areas with seating, dining, built-in grills and a bar area. Building B is also proposed to be 6 stories high with an internal courtyard, 121 dwelling units, including 12 townhouse-style units that will clad the parking garage, and 3,613 square feet of retail space. Note: City staff was recently informed that the retail space figure may be reduced.

A small courtyard for Building B is intended for more passive activities. It will include a water feature, an open lawn area, seating areas with dining, built-in grills and bar area, an outdoor TV, a fire pit and library extension areas with seating. Located between Building A and B is a 66 foot wide landscaped sidewalk that the applicant refers to as “mews.”

A grand staircase has been designed into the mews which will provide amphitheater seating which can be used as a gathering area for students to lounge and study. The north side of the mews terminates at Knox Road and the south side terminates in a civic green area that is part recreation area and part bioretention. Parcel 2, a triangular parcel located at the intersection of Hartwick Road and Guilford Drive consists of a 5- story multifamily building with 57 dwelling units and a 4-story townhouse building containing 8-two over two townhouse units. Parcel 3, located on the southern leg of Rossburg Road (a dead end), consists of two 4-story buildings, one containing 4-two over two townhouse units and the other containing 5 two over two townhouse units.

I will post some renderings of the project later today. Please stay tuned..

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