The Rockville Planning Commission on Wednesday approved plans to tear down the old Giant Food building in Town Center and build an office-retail project.
Chevy Chase-based JBG Companies plans to build a 25,100-square-foot building, with a Bank of America branch, retail and/or a restaurant on the ground floor, 13,600 square feet of office space on the second floor and underground parking.
The commission voted 6 to 1 on the preliminary plans to subdivide the property at 275 N. Washington St. Commissioner David Hill voted against the subdivision.
Hill said the city should not subdivide property in the second phase of Town Center redevelopment, when in the first phase—which included building Rockville Town Square—the city combined properties, The Gazette reported.
The part of the property fronting North Washington Street would be the site of the new building. The other piece could be sold by JBG to a builder specializing in building luxury senior housing.
Commissioners also expressed concerns that the project, which would be two stories tall, would look like a strip mall, The Gazette reported.
Developers said the project is not a strip mall. It will have features to tie it into the walkable retail, restaurant and residential district that is Rockville Town Square, developers said in earlier descriptions of the project.
JBG has submitted site plans for review by the city's chief of planning, The Gazette reported. The Rockville City Council on Monday will hold a hearing on a proposal that future site plans for Town Center should be brought before the Planning Commission instead of being reviewed solely by city staff.
Read more Rockville Patch coverage of Rockville Town Center redevelopment:
- Planners to Consider Mixed-Use Proposal for Giant Site in Rockville Town Center
- Choice Hotels Breaks Ground on New Headquarters
- Residents Ask 'What Now?' For Rockville Town Center
- Town Center Hotel, Residential and Retail Project Moving Forward
- Hotel Construction Begins, Parking Shrinks in Rockville Town Center
What do you think of the plans for the old Giant Food site? What's needed to make "Town Center II" a success? Tell us in the comments.