ULI Washington News

Advisory: Panel to Offer Recommendations on Modernizing the Research Boulevard Corridor in Rockville, MD

On March 27-28, the City of Rockville and Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (MWCOG) are sponsoring an independent Technical Assistance Panel (TAP) in conjunction with ULI Washington. The purpose is to better understand the market position of the Research Boulevard office park corridor and consider options and recommendations for future land use, urban design, and economic development actions as they draft the city’s next Comprehensive Master Plan.

After a tour of the study area and various interviews, the panel will provide an open press initial presentation of their findings, the details of which can be found below:

Who: Urban Land Institute Washington; City of Rockville
What: Initial panel findings on future land use, urban design and economic development actions for the Research Boulevard corridor
Where: Thomas Farms Community Center: 700 Fallsgrove Drive, Rockville, MD, 20850
When: Tuesday, March 28, 2017, 4:30-6:00pm

The Research Boulevard corridor is a key employment center in the City of Rockville, home to some of the city’s prominent businesses and roughly 9,000 employees. The development pattern on both sides of Research Boulevard is comprised of office, laboratory, and medical research buildings.

In 2009 the City of Rockville amended its zoning ordinance to allow a mix of uses in all commercial zones, including the properties within the study area. These new mixed-use zones, MXE (Mixed Use Employment) in the case of the study area, allow development of residential, retail, or office uses without a requirement for mixing, and added flexibility in site design requirements, however the long term implications to the city have not been fully explored.

This evolution of land uses in and around the study area has the potential to create a hodgepodge of development without the guidance of City master plan policies or infrastructure. Of particular concern are the urban design challenges for land use change from office to residential uses without a network of local streets or other neighborhood amenities, such as parks and schools. Under current zoning rules, higher density multifamily developments with retail spaces, as well as new office space, can be developed without a coordinated area master plan. Opportunities for finer grain placemaking could be lost in a series of individual development projects that do not take the larger context into account.

Technical Assistance Panels are volunteer groups of experienced individuals who have been assembled by Urban Land Institute (ULI) Washington for their relevant expertise. For more information on ULI Washington’s Technical Assistance Panels, visit http://washington.uli.org/what-we-do/technical-assistance-panels/.

To RSVP for this event please contact ulipress@millennialdc.com or 202-417-8605.

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