Leggett Announces Next Phase in Smart Growth Initiative for the Life Sciences Corridor; Hines Team Selected to Lead Effort

Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett announced today that the Department of General Services has selected a team to develop the County’s former Public Safety Training Academy (PSTA) property – moving forward Leggett’s Smart Growth Initiative in the County’s life sciences corridor. The Smart Growth Initiative is redeveloping key County properties to support mixed use, transit-oriented, sustainable developments. The redevelopment team will be led by Hines, a privately owned firm involved in real estate investment, development and property management worldwide.

“The next step in the County’s Smart Growth Initiative is the redevelopment of the former Public Safety Training Academy property to create a transit-oriented community adjacent to higher education campuses,” said Leggett.

“This new center will be a place that generates high paying, quality jobs that will keep our economy competitive at both a national and international level.”

The Hines team includes:

“The Hines proposal was crafted to support the specific needs of the County’s critical life sciences industry, and it supports smart growth and sustainability,” said Chuck Watters, Hines senior managing director in the firm’s Washington D.C. regional office.

Hines’ project officer and Montgomery County resident Matthew Hurson added, “Our entire team is aware of the ambitious goals for this project and looks forward to a fully collaborative planning process with the County, the community and all stakeholders.”

“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to work with Hines and the entire Montgomery County community to lead the design effort on such a critical and large-scale project,” said architect and team member Stefanos Polyzoides. “We look forward to a collaboration resulting in a built environment where families are able to access their homes, work places and services without being tethered to their cars, reducing the environmental impacts associated with car-generated growth.”

The project is expected to include up to 2,000 housing units to serve a broad range of incomes and needs, along with stores, shops and work places.

“We are very excited to be part of this development, and look forward to offering the County’s citizens a broad variety of affordable housing options in a uniquely creative community,” said HOC Executive Director Stacy Spann.

The Smart Growth Initiative is a plan that leverages County assets and budgets to consolidate County properties to make room for mixed-use and transit-oriented development.

Proposed by Leggett in 2008, the goal of this project is to create clean and sustainable communities with mixed use development. Cost neutrality is an important goal of the initiative that is realized by acquiring properties when land value is low to meet important public needs and moving old, outdated facilities to sites zoned for them.

Included in this initiative is the relocation and consolidation of several Montgomery County facilities and departments to create space for the bioscience planning area as well as housing units to support its residents.

The properties include the PSTA.

For more information on the Smart Growth Initiative, see the County’s website. Information about Hines is available on the firm’s website.