Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Huge News: Birchmere coming to Silver Spring!

As WWE Wrestler Kurt Angle would say, "it's true, it's true." I'm just going to post the entire county press release verbatim to save you a trip:

Duncan Announces Plan to Bring Birchmere to Silver Spring; Second Music Hall to be located in historic J.C. Penney's Building

Continuing the successful revitalization of downtown Silver Spring, Montgomery County Executive Douglas M. Duncan today announced he has crafted a new public/private partnership to open a second home for the nationally renowned Birchmere Music Hall. The project will be located at the old J.C. Penney building on Colesville Road, permanently preserving one of the County’s historic landmarks, the J.C. Penney façade. The partnership includes Montgomery County, the Birchmere, and Lee Development Group. In addition, the County has sent a formal request asking the State of Maryland to join the project as well.

“We are extremely excited about welcoming the Birchmere Music Hall to Silver Spring,” said Duncan. “Silver Spring has been transformed into a dynamic arts and entertainment center, and adding a live music venue with the reputation of the Birchmere will make Silver Spring an even more desirable destination. I want to thank the Birchmere and Lee Development for working with us to make this public/private partnership a reality.”

The plan calls for Lee Development to transfer the land under the building to the County. Montgomery County’s investment will be a total of $4 million. Duncan today also sent a letter to the State requesting a $4 million matching grant. The Birchmere will make a significant investment towards the construction and fit out of the building and will then lease the finished facility from the County for a monthly rent to be determined.

“The Birchmere looks forward to contributing to the continued rebirth of Silver Spring’s arts and entertainment center by finalizing negotiations to open a second Birchmere on Lee Development’s Colesville Road site,” said James Mathews, partner, the Birchmere Music Hall.

Bringing the Birchmere to Silver Spring has been a vision shared by the County Executive and local residents for many years now. The project will continue the extraordinary revitalization of Silver Spring and bring a new cultural crown jewel to the County. The Birchmere, with its national reputation, will help attract new visitors to Silver Spring from across the region and be a major economic boost to the downtown.

“Silver Spring is a shining example of successful revitalization and we see this as an important piece of the redevelopment puzzle. The Birchmere will provide an economic shot in the arm for downtown Silver Spring and help create even greater potential for the future,” said Dan Cohen, Co-founder, of the citizens group Silver Spring Forward.

Duncan earlier today transmitted requests to both the County Council and the Governor’s Office and looks forward to working with them to help make this vision a reality. Attached are copies of those requests.

“The land we are contributing is part of a parking lot we will develop some day. When we do, county law requires us to make a contribution to the public good so why not contribute now to help attract the Birchmere,” said Bruce H. Lee, president of the Lee Development Group.
Say what you want about Doug Duncan, but he certainly hooks Silver Spring up pretty frequently. He can be my wingman anytime!



UPDATE: Here's a Gazette story on the Birchmere.



26 comments:

urbannomad said...

Off topic, but did anyone see the shutdown around the metro today? Turns out that a pedestrian was killed this afternoon while crossing colesville at wayne. This has been a long time coming seeing how people run across colesville during rush hour to catch the bus across the street if they miss it at the station. They had the entire area closed off for blocks. I can't wait until they redesign that whole area it's such a terrible mess right now for pedestrians and vehicles alike.

Anonymous said...

This is AWESOME!

Silver Spring has really become one of the best success stories in redevelopment on the east coast.

GREAT WORK DUNCAN!

It should be noted that Ike Leggett DOES NOT support development like this! Silverman does, which is why I am voting for him. I do not want the progress in Silver Spring to stop. Vote Silverman!

Sligo said...

I'm only surprised that it wasn't at Georgia & Colesville. While the traffic is dangerous there, pedestrians act very stupidly around that area. I've had people walk right into the street in front of me (and they see me, mind you) as if they just expected me to go around them when i'm travelling 40 mph. This is not at crosswalks either - in the middle of a block.

Omari said...

Agreed on Leggett and Silverman. It seems Leggett is anti-growth. Maybe that plays well in the upcounty where people want their single-family homes and huge lots, but I think growth has been good for Silver Spring. Moreover, slowing growth in the county will only worsen the problem of affordable housing.

I will be voting Silverman.

Silver Springer said...

Who ever says Silver Spring is just a suburb after this can...well I'll stop short of saying it. This might just be the greatest revitalization in the nation. What we have some major cities would kill for!

This will solidify Silver Springs competitive edge for years to come as a premiere urban district in the area, others and officials just need to start acting like it and act like we deserve more than we already have; we have waited long enough for good things to happen! Developers building here better up their game; it just got a whole lot hotter in here.

As for the road crossing accident, that is sad to hear but the transit center won't really fix that. In fact they plan to put another traffic light on Colesville by the bridge that might give way to more accidents and impede the flow of traffic.

Silver Springer said...

Who ever says Silver Spring is just a suburb after this can...well I'll stop short of saying it. This might just be the greatest revitalization in the nation. What we have some major cities would kill for!

This will solidify Silver Springs competitive edge for years to come as a premiere urban district in the area, others and officials just need to start acting like it and act like we deserve more than we already have; we have waited long enough for good things to happen! Developers building here better up their game; it just got a whole lot hotter in here.

As for the road crossing accident, that is sad to hear but the transit center won't really fix that. In fact they plan to put another traffic light on Colesville by the overpass that might give way to more accidents and impede the flow of traffic.

Jt said...

So, how does one cross Colesville at Wayne?

Jt said...

Please delete that comment if you want. I just figured it out- these two roads do intersect! :)

My apologies, and keep up the great postings.

urbannomad said...

This person was walking to do it.... do you mean where is the intersection? It's wayne on the east side and second on the west side of colesville. I don't know the offical name of the street at that exact location but you get the idea, between mcdonald's and discovery.

Sligo said...

jt,

Don't sweat it, I had to think about it for a second, too.

Anonymous said...

Actually, Leggett endorsed the idea of bringing the Birchmere to Silver Spring before Silverman did. The difference is that Leggett wanted to be sure the use of County money would benefit the entirety of downtown Silver Spring, whereas Silverman would agree to anything the Lees and other developers wanted. Before everybody starts "high-fiving" each other, lets have a closer look at the financial details.

Anonymous said...

That is not completely accurate.

Leggett only came out in support of the new Birchmere idea AFTER Silverman had written a letter supporting the idea.

That is fact.

Anonymous said...

That's "Silverman fact", which is not the same thing as real "fact".

Twoste said...

So Silver Spring is going to become a stop on the country music tour circuit?!? Uhhhhh...

Anonymous said...

Twoste, just so you'll know, the Birchmere in Alexandra has a wide range of music, not just folk and (really excellent) alt-country, but also rock and jazz. For example, September's calendar includes Bruce Cockburn (Canadian folk-rock), Branford Marsalis (jazz), Foreigner (rock), George Duke (jazz), Cassandra Wilson (amazing, exquisite jazz vocalist), etc.

Anonymous said...

If you are excited about the Birchmere and want Silver Spring to continue to grow and prosper, i strongly urge you to check out www.ifweelectike.com/index.htm

Ike will slow down progress.

Continue the progress - Vote Silvermen!

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"Vote Silvermen"? One is bad enough

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