State and county officials joined Federal Realty Investment Trust executives on Monday as the Rockville-based development company broke ground on the 3.4 million-square-foot Pike & Rose project.
Gov. Martin O’Malley and Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown joined Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett and Montgomery County Council members for the groundbreaking.
The mixed-use project will feature 1,500 residential units, 450,000 square feet of retail space, 1.1 million square feet of office space and a 250,000-square-foot hotel. It is located less than a quarter mile from the White Flint Metro station. It is scheduled to open in 2014.
The development, on 24 acres at the Mid-Pike Plaza site at Rockville Pike and Old Georgetown Road, is the first major piece of a sector plan that will transform White Flint. It was approved by the Montgomery County Council in March 2010.
The project is expected to create 138 temporary construction jobs and 550 permanent jobs once it is completed, while generating $1.1 billion in new tax revenue in its first 30 years, said Evan Goldman, vice president for development with Federal Realty.
An iPic Theater is planned as the anchor to the first phase of development. The high-end theater chain offers in-house fine dining, reclining seats, pillows and blankets.
Businesses in Mid-Pike Plaza are closing as demolition of the strip mall begins.
State officials used the groundbreaking to highlight planning initiatives launched by the O’Malley administration.
“Four years ago, together, we passed our Transit Oriented Development legislation so we could fight sprawl, cut back on pollution, and revitalize communities like White Flint—while at the same time, creating jobs and spurring growth," O’Malley said in a news release posted on his blog. "Today, we’re taking a big step toward reaching those goals.”
As part of the initiative, the Pike & Rose project is the first-ever to utilize the state’s Fast Track program for state permitting.
“This mixed-use, transit oriented development project shows that through innovative programs like FastTrack, we can expedite the business development process while maintaining standards for smart growth and environmental protection,” said Brown, who chairs the FastTrack initiative.
“Nowhere is a groundbreaking more important and more special to us than in our backyard, in Montgomery County,” said Don Wood, Federal Realty’s president and CEO.
Pike & Rose demonstrates the county’s and state’s commitment to get “well-thought-out development done,” said Wood, who rebutted Maryland’s reputation as a “business and development hostile” state, relative to the “business and development friendly” Virginia.
“That is nonsense,” he said, lauding the public-private partnership elements of the project.
O’Malley praised Federal Realty for the “great vision” behind the project.
“What this Pike & Rose development means is that when we grow in cleaner, greener, transit-oriented ways, we create jobs, jobs and jobs,” he said.
“It is exactly the kind of project that as a people we need to do more of,” O’Malley said.
Correction: The original version of this article incorrectly stated the total square footage of retail space in the Pike & Rose development. The project includes 450,000 square feet of retail space. The third paragraph has been corrected.