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BETHESDA, MD-The $450-million mixed-use project of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority and developer LCOR Inc. takes a step forward with the two organizations’ recent submission of its plan to Montgomery County for approval. WMATA originally conceived the 32-acre plan, named White Flint East for its location on the east side of Rockville Pike, in 1997 and chose LCOR to be its partner in the endeavor the same year. LCOR is developing the property under a long-term land lease from WMATA.

White Flint East will encompass 1.2 million sf of office space, 1,400 apartment units, 212,000 sf of retail space as well as an 80,000-sf below-grade area designated for a movie theater. RTKL Associates is on board as architect for the retail development, Hellmuth Obata & Kassabaum is designing the office element, and Dorsky Hodgson and Partners is the architectural firm behind the residential segment. Altogether, the development will consist of 2.8 million sf and could take as long eight years to reach full completion. The start date for construction will be partially determined by the timing of county officials’ decision on the project.

“Montgomery County will conduct a public hearing in terms of the rezoning of the site,” WMATA manager of property planning and development Alvin McNeal explains to GlobeSt.com. The area is currently zoned for single-family residential use. “They will do that in conjunction with the Montgomery County Planning Board,” he adds. “Once that’s done, LCOR can apply for building permits and begin construction.” McNeal speculates that it could take the county a minimum of 18 months to two years to complete the process entailed in approving the project. When construction does begin, the plan is to build the retail portion first and then work on the residential and office spaces. White Flint East will be WMATA’s largest joint development.

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