Thursday, July 20, 2006

Silver Spring News 'N Notes

- Bubble Meter points out that adjoining townhouses in downtown SS are both for sale, despite the fact that the listing for one of them indicates that this is a "rare opportunity".

The main problem with these townhouses are their immediate neighbors. They are surrounded by the Worst McDonalds Ever™, a courthouse, a highrise office building and a parking garage. You pretty much have a crappy view no matter where you are. Not to mention the random people that I imagine knock on your door or peer in your window at all hours of the day. It is interesting to note that most, if not all, of these units prominently display security system signs out front. Who did the zoning for this block, manatees?

I seem to recall these places going for around $150K when they went on sale awhile back and thinking, "who would pay 150,000 for a place in downtown Silver Spring"?. (Now they are asking $679K.) The structures themselves do look nice and they are about as close to the Metro as you can get. They just seem so out-of-place.

- There's a new MoCo book in the "Images of America" series. Not sure how much Silver Spring is featured, but it might be worth checking out.


Anonymous said...

I've started a new listserv for people that have purchased units at
Mica Condominiums in downtown Silver Spring. The link is :

The objective is for us to get to know each other and share pertinent
information about the development, construction progress, delivery etc.
Please sign up if you have purchased or signed a contract on a unit.
Also, please pass along this link to anyone you may know that has done

For starters, membership will be restricted to actual buyers only. We
can collectively decide if we want to open it up later. Thanks !

groovything said...

Are you refering to the Cameron St. townhomes, next to the metro? Back in 2001 or whenever, I would totally have paid $150, maybe even $200 for these. The garage is great b/c friends and family far, far away can park. And since your home is so big, you'd definitley be the family member to have the parties. And secretly, you all know you like Micky D's.... But yes, a little out of place in a quaint way.

thecourtyard said...

I'm not going to deny that the Cameron Hill townhomes are awkward, but when they started construction (1998) there wasn't a market for much else. The homes are well-designed and have a good street presence, especially on Second Ave. I do feel sorry for the suckers who bought houses on Fidler behind the McDonald's, though.

urbannomad said...

It's not a matter of liking McDonalds, it's THAT McDonald's. Everytime I walk by I see A)A fight, B) Someone being arressted, C) The security guard chasing people away. You know if people are "hanging out" at McDonalds all day and night then something is a little off... though it does make for interesting people watching, it's definitely not who I'd want for a neighbor if I paid close to $700k for my home.

Sligo said...

Hey, that McDonald's may be bad, but did you ever go to the old one? There would always be a homeless guy standing at the door as an unofficial doorman. They would, of course, expect a "tip" when you came out. There were also homeless guys who would sleep in the booths. They would surround your car as soon as you parked and start panhandling you. Not to mention the time a large number of people got typhoid fever from an employee who made the salads. I could write a whole post on the new/old crappy McDonalds in Silver Spring. Perhaps I will.

WashingtonGardener said...

That brings back memories, Sligo! Thanks! I do recall that old McDs and being asked repeatedly by a homeless guy standing next to the cash register for my change after I made my purchase. Talk about the stare down.
What irks me most about the "new" McDs is the parking lots wars - people constantly blocking spaces, pulling in the handicap spots, meacing pedestrians, etc. I think the lot should be eliminated altogether. Most customers walk from the nearby offices, metro, buses, and surrounding apartments.

Sligo said...

I wonder if they are legally obligated to have those handicap spots. It'd be better if they just opened up an outdoor seating area in that space.

It used to have a large lot right behind it until the lot was replaced by the townhouses.

groovything said...

The seating idea is a good one, but if loitering is already a problem (although I don't usually see much going on on my walks/drive bys), then that would only encourage it.

I remember the first time my parents came to visit from horridly planned Florida. They were lost (they drove up). They called me for directions. They pulled into McD to turn around and my dad got so angry b/c they didn't have a parking lot, repeatedly asking me why McD didn't have a parking lot. Of course there's a parking lot, but not a huge one with a drive up, like the old man's used to. Sad thing is, he used to live in NYC.

Sligo said...

I think the problem is that when people have to kill time waiting for a bus, there's nowhere else to go... hence the loitering.

Anonymous said...

Maybe it's a rare opportunity to buy both townhouses at the same time.

NotYourBroom said...

I love the townhouses on Cameron and Second! I live in Alexander House across the street with groovything and we look over at the townhouses adoringly. We've gone to two openhouses just to see the insides, knowing that there's no way we could afford to buy one. They are a great location - you can live in a house in the middle of downtown! Who wouldn't want to live there? I think people are just selling them now because of all of the money they can make.

Capt. Jack Sparrow said...

Oh, my God, I just moved to Silver Spring a little over a year ago, and yes, that's the worst McDonald's I've ever seen! What is up with those horrible country window treatments? Are there stencils of pinapples and houses inside?

I went in there exactly once.

The lady who walked in behind me shoved past me and elbowed me to the side at the register, and said, "Yeah, gimme a sandwich," and the employee went ahead and took her order!

When I got to order, I asked for a strawberry shake.
"What size?" the McDonald's employee asked me.
"Small," I replied.
"Strawberry, right?"
"We don't have shakes," she replied without facial expression.

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