The Wheaton Revitalization Project
In Conversation with Casey Anderson, the Montgomery County Planning Board Chair
Wheaton is experiencing a resurgence thanks to a Revitalization project that is well underway. We talked with Casey Anderson to hear about the changes happening now and what’s on the horizon for Wheaton.
We are excited that M-NCPPC will have a new headquarters in Wheaton. Tell us about the plans and time frame for the move.
We love Wheaton and can’t wait to move into our new offices. We hope that our arrival – along with several other county government agencies – will help focus attention on Wheaton’s strengths as a location for business. We expect to make the move late in the summer of 2020, so a little over a year from now.
With the new home being headquarters for three organizations -- The Montgomery County Planning Board, Montgomery Parks and the Montgomery Planning Department – how will this move help enhance collaboration between these partners?
We already work closely with Montgomery Parks, the Department of Permitting Services, and the Department of Environmental Protection. By locating these agencies in the same building, we will be able to collaborate more efficiently and members of the public who want information about or need help with a regulatory issue related to a specific property will not have to travel to multiple locations to get the answers and assistance they need.
The new building will be LEED platinum certified. Tell us about this designation and what other amenities to expect for the building and surrounding areas.
The new building uses a variety of strategies to achieve LEED platinum status. Many of them, such as geothermal wells, will not be obvious even to people who work in the building every day. Others, such as green roof surfaces, will improve the attractiveness of the building.
How will this new development factor into the revitalization efforts in Wheaton overall?
It will bring hundreds of employees and visitors to Wheaton every day of the work week, which will help support the restaurants and retailers in the central business district. Over time, I think that the project will help attract other employers because it will demonstrate the appeal of Wheaton as a place to work and do business.
Wheaton is designated as an Opportunity Zone, a Maryland Enterprise Zone and an Arts & Entertainment district. How do these initiatives contribute to great opportunities for companies considering a move to Wheaton?
These designations provide tax incentives for investment in Wheaton. While financial incentives are not enough to make a company move to a place they just don’t want to be, I think these programs can help to encourage businesses that hadn’t considered Wheaton to see what the area has to offer. I’m optimistic about Wheaton’s future, and I know that our elected leaders are committed to highlighting its strengths so we can get the kinds of amenities and services to help realize Wheaton’s potential sooner rather than later.
What are the plans for the spaces that are currently occupied by Montgomery County tenants once they move into Wheaton?
The site of the Montgomery Planning Department headquarters building at 8787 Georgia Avenue will be redeveloped into multifamily residential and retail space. The Parks Department headquarters site located just off Sligo Creek Parkway is an MCPS property that could be reclaimed for school use or repurposed for another type of public office space.
Learn more: https://montgomeryplanningboard.org/wheatonhq/