Washington Property Co. has purchased the buildings at 8242 and 8252 Georgia Avenue and the adjoining parking lot from the Bethel World Outreach Church. The new owner hasn't yet released any firm plans regarding how they plan to develop the parcel, but have indicated that they are initially considering residential, office and hotel space.
My money's on apartments... that's what nearly all projects end up as these days, as Silver Spring seems to have been officially designated a bedroom community in developer's minds. What was the last major office building constructed in downtown Silver Spring that wasn't part of the United Therapeutics complex? I may be mistaken, but believe it was 8515 Georgia, across the street from Discovery, and that opened nearly ten years ago.
This is a good development, as this will better tie together the density of downtown Silver Spring with all the new construction in the so-called "Ripley District". (By the way, what ever happened to Ripifant Street? It doesn't seem to have made it on the map yet.)
While no longer recognizable as such, longtime residents will recall that the building at 8242 operated for many years a movie theater, originally as the Seco Theatre and then later as Roth's Silver Spring West.
|Photo via Cinema Treasures. Note Dale Music, still in the same spot.|
If I'm interpreting the property records right, the church bought the theater in 1996 for $435,000 and the bank building for $760,000 in 1997, so even with the cost of any improvements, I expect they are realizing quite a tidy profit from the $8.2M sale price.
I wonder if they ever succeeded in selling the original bank vault doors. They were trying to do so on eBay for years.