Mayor, Council Tout Plans For Crown Development

Katz likens project to that of Kentlands, Lakelands from more than 20 years ago.

In the eyes of Mayor Sidney A. Katz, it's been more than 20 years since the City of Gaithersburg has worked on a project similar to the new Crown Development.

"Way back when, when Kentlands and Lakelands were being developed, we did something like this," Katz told Patch. "But it's been a very, very long time."

In comparison, Crown features 180 acres of land versus 352 acres of the old Kentlands Farm, but the developments will be similar in providing single-family homes, townhomes and apartments, along with expansive commercial real estate, a park area, and a future school.

Council member Michael A. Sesma said, like Katz, that parallels can be drawn between the two developments.

"[Kentlands] had stops and starts for a lot of different reasons and [Crown] has too, so in a way some of that is replicated," Sesma said. "I think the new urbanist design that we see epitomize the Kentlands has kind of evolved a little bit and we’re seeing that in the Parklands development, and we're seeing it here in different ways."

Katz said the city's extensive planning process worked in the past in developing Kentlands and continues to work at Crown, adding that the retail is going to be a very important part for Gaithersburg and its surrounding region.

Crown's proximity to I-270, I-370, and the ICC will help make Crown a desirable neighborhood, according to Sesma. Crown will also benefit from being across the street from Washingtonian Center and Rio, which aren't part of incorporated Gaithersburg, Sesma said.

Sesma said another highlight of Crown is its environmental site design. Sunbrook Partners' Director of Development Karl Alt said Crown is taking measures to be eco-friendly, including helping to trap and filter water before being sent to rain ponds.

Also, 15 percent of the development's multi-family units will comply with the city's affordable housing policy.

"It’s good that we're going to create a neighborhood where people of mixed incomes will be able to live as well," Sesma said. "It’s important that people have a place to live in this county."

Monday evening and said she is most excited to have a Harris Teeter in the city.

"I was grateful to have the opportunity to see the site from the 'middle',  as opposed to looking in from the neighboring streets," Drzyzgula told Patch. "It helped me get a better sense of the layout of the section that soon will be under construction."

Related Coverage: (July 25, 2012), (July 24, 2012), (July 18, 2012)

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