Friday, July 19, 2013

Welcome BurgerFi: Like Shake Shack, but Hopefully Without the Lines

Not long after the departure of the generally-unloved Stage Burger Lounge comes news that another burger joint is moving in to to downtown Silver Spring. According to the Peterson Co.'s map of DTSS, the space on Fenton Street most recently occupied by Family Dry Cleaners will be home to BurgerFi, a Florida-based chain whose representation in the DC area is presently limited to Leesburg, where it gets OK but not great reviews.

BurgerFi
Photo by Flickr User santheo

I've never heard of BurgerFi until now, though a quick search returns a more than a few accusations that the chain is a Shake Shack clone. Considering their offerings are nearly identical (burgers, hot dogs, frozen custard, plus beer & wine), the allegations aren't baseless. I think I shall dub it "Fake Shack".

Also, the fact that they have a "secret menu" leads me to believe they are also attempting to emulate In-N-Out Burger to some extent, though it's a bit disingenuous to claim that menu items are "secret" when you have them openly listed on your website.

So, yeah, maybe not the most original of concepts, but that doesn't mean their burgers aren't tasty. Their unique angle appears to be their claim that they are the "greenest" of burger chains, using only grass-fed beef and appointing their restaurants with recycled furniture.

Not sure what the timeline is for opening, but I'm looking forward to giving it a try. The burger options downtown are somewhat lacking at present.

Thanks to commenter Perry for bringing this to our attention.



126 comments:

Anonymous said...

That map has the Pacers and Gymboree spaces as available. I haven't been hanging out much at either recently, but is that news, as well?

Anonymous said...

The only way a burger joint could be "green" is if it sold only non-meat burgers.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like they've cribbed from the Elevation Burger philosophy about green business practices -- but something tells me their burgers aren't going to be nearly as good.

Anonymous said...

Vegans not allowed.

Sligo said...

Now Vegans have Sweetgreen.

Anonymous said...

What happened to Family Dry Cleaners?

Anonymous said...

"though a quick search returns a more than a few accusations that the chain is a Shake Shack clone."

Look... me and the Shake Shack people got this little misunderstanding. See, they're ShakeShack... I'm BurgerFi. They got the green burger logo, mine is the green star in a burger logo. They got the ShackBurger, I got the BurgerFiBurger. We both got two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles and onions, but their buns have sesame seeds. My buns have no seeds.

Anonymous said...

Anybody know when the four corners sweet frog is supposed to open?

G. Money said...

"The only way a burger joint could be 'green' is if it sold only non-meat burgers."

TRUTH.

Anonymous said...

It's remarkable to see dtss pick up steam faster and faster. Every year I keep thinking there's no way it can keep humming along so well (esp with the mediocre macro economy) but every year I'm proved wrong. Sorry to hear the cleaners will be pushed out of their space again, but it's for the best.

Anonymous said...

ah vegetarian. annoying and pretentious.

Anonymous said...

If we could just minimize the PG crowd on Fri/Sat nights.

Anonymous said...

How do we know who's from PG?

Anonymous said...

He's just being a racist piece of shit. Don't mind him.

Easley Does It said...

Yikes, I've got shirts at Family Dry Cleaners. I better get up there.

Anonymous said...

that's classist..not racist

Anonymous said...

"How do we know who's from PG?"

...lets knock off the PC crap and lets be honest. Just because we don't like the problem(or what its called) doesnt mean it doesnt exist......I dont think these "PG type people are" are coming in from friendship heights.

btw, just because you don't like the facts, doesnt mean its racist.


unrelated...lets hope BurgerFi works out...this place needs a decent burger place....and bad

Anonymous said...

What an utterly stupid and contemptible comment.

You accuse others of avoiding "the facts" or not being honest yet you yourself can't bring yourself to say what you ACTUALLY want to say, which is that you sure do wish we could keep those coloreds away. But you hide behind thin euphemism to provide you with barely plausible cover when called on your dreck.

And btw, I seriously doubt much of anyone white black or otherwise is coming to DTSS when Bethesda is one Metro stop away.

Anonymous said...

<>

It seems the only "fact" expressed here is that you have a problem with a certain group of people. That's your right. Just don't try to blow it up into some sort of universal truth.

Sligo said...

"And btw, I seriously doubt much of anyone white black or otherwise is coming to DTSS when Bethesda is one Metro stop away. "

Uh, you mean 17 stops, right?

Anonymous said...

Oops. I meant "from Friendship Heights."

Sligo said...

Yes, maybe if you live on that side of the Red Line, but then again if you do, you probably A. are far less likely to take the Metro out on a Friday night and B. can better afford to eat out at Rosa Mexicano after shopping at Jimmy Choo and Louis Vuitton in Friendship Heights. Friendship Heights and Silver Spring are not comparable, though that's not to say one is superior to the other, they just have very different offerings.

Anonymous said...

That was my point. Not to disparage DTSS. I hope it wasn't taken as such.

Anonymous said...

New topic: Can anyone figure out why the hell the traffic lights by the Transit Center are turned on?

Sligo said...

Yes, and why must I get out of the bus lane when no buses use it?

Anonymous said...

And why do we drive on a parkway and park in a driveway?

In all seriousness, the new traffic light in front of the transit center actually allows for a pedestrian crossing, which is a good thing given how long the distance between crossings used to be on that stretch of Colesville.

Anonymous said...

To the Gentle-anon @ 1:38pm,

While my platform is not anti-pedestrian crossing, I do believe that the number of lights is too damn high.

However, when has a lack of crosswalks stopped MoCo'ers from crossing whenever and wherever they feel like it? (I'm guilty of this too)

Jokes aside, the timing of the new light is dorked up. It's not in sync with the light at Wayne and is causing people to back up and block the intersection at Wayne Ave.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of traffic lights, can anyone explain the thought (or more accurately, lack of thought) that went behind the recent changes made to westbound lanes of E-W Highway at Georgia Avenue? They've made an already problematic intersection even worse. Not only were the previously inadequate (and already narrow) lanes narrowed, but the light signalling that westbound traffic can proceed on a green arrow has been positioned so far forward that cars nearest the intersection cannot see it at all, leading to back-ups, honking, etc.

Anonymous said...

Why is there a need for a pedestrian crossing in front of the transit center? If someone is getting off metro rail, they just need to pick the appropriate exit to end up on the correct side of the road. Seriously, there are a ton of places in this area where pedestrians cross illegally in droves; this is not one of them.

Gull said...

if you're exiting from Metro you can pick your exit (except for when fare gates and escalators are broken) but once the transit center opens, all of the people who use the bus will be picked up and dropped off from that same location, and a point of crossing would be nice.

Anonymous said...

I think a point of crossing there would be nice were there much of anything on the side of the street opposite the transit center that wasn't just as accesible either at Wayne/2nd Ave or EW Highway. But as it is right now, what major convenience does a crossing there provide? one minute quicker access to the Dunkin Donuts?

Anonymous said...

@Anonymous 8:12:00: Right, and how could saving pedestrians a minute or two in a dense, walkable area possibly be worth slowing down drivers a minute or two as they blow through that area?

Anonymous said...

blah blah blah, whiny anti-car drivel as per usual on these kinds of blogs.

still not sure why cars are seen as a source of evil when its pedestrians that also randomly jump out in front of traffic without warning.

Anonymous said...

Love how the guy whining about drivel is the only one spewing it. Talk about an unintelligible response.

Ken Cho said...

Totally willing to give this place a try as there do need to be more burger options in DTSS.

Anonymous said...

Idiot. Fat lawyer was the one that made the comment at 8:12. At least you are consistent in your stupidity. Now scurry back to mommy's basement and let the adults talk.

Anonymous said...

And to 11:11's comment, I don't even own a car. Walk ability is paramount to me, which is one of the reasons I chose DTSS. But the backups on that part of Colesville are bad enough as it is. I don't see the need to make it worse just out I spite or to marginally improve walkability on a stretch that doesn't even have that much to walk to. And you know what else gets stuck in that morass? Between EW and Georgia? All the buses that walkability people like me ride. Once the transit center is operational the light will probably be necessary if for no other reason than to allow the buses to get out. And if so, I don't see the harm in a pedestrian crossing there. But a crossing for its own sake doesn't seem worth it.

Anonymous said...

Meant to be in response to 9:54, not 11:11. I'm sure most of you could figure it out anyway.

Anonymous said...

Huh. Looks like the comment I was replying to at 3:42 was deleted, in case there was confusion.

Any way... You know those Transit Center repairs that were supposed to start this week? Yeah, I wouldn't count on that.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/md-politics/wmata-montgomery-county-continue-to-be-at-odds-over-transit-center-fixes/2013/07/22/c7cc6f5a-f2d9-11e2-8505-bf6f231e77b4_story.html?hpid=z5

And for tonight's entertainment, please note the completely non-ironic use of the term "undue haste" in connection with this project.

Anonymous said...

I pretty much walk everywhere. I put 2000 miles on my car every year (including some road trips). And I think that the new traffic light is completely idiotic. I'm all for walkability, but that doesn't mean putting new traffic lights and crosswalks in random places. And yes, until the transit center opens -- my bet is that it won't happen until 2016 -- that is a random place.

Anonymous said...

One thing that concerns me about the placing of the traffic light is it seems very dangerous. Traffic comming toward the light are going under a bridge and then directly toa traffic light that is displayed very high.

There was a similar issue with lights placed a few years ago at the light on Georgia Ave. going north under the bridge for the Beltway. There were numerous accidents. Eventually the county got smart and placed lights before the bridge, too. I can see a similar problem occurring here. Unfortunately accidents here will be much more likely to involve pedestrians. The coounty really needs to place the lights down lower and before the intersection.

Anonymous said...

agreed with anon @ 9:46 above. i noticed that it was difficult to discern between the light at 2nd/wayne and the new one at the transit center...which is absolutely useless until the transit center opens...which is never

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't be surprised if the lights were just on for timing/testing purposes and will be shut off again soon enough.

Anonymous said...

29 south is a major road going into and out of DC since this area does not have many of those thanks to NIMBY residents in DC refusing to allow major highways through the city (like Baltimore). The result is a region that is incredibly congested. I do not think adding another traffic light 12 feet away from 2 other traffic lights so pedestrians can reach the dunkin donuts 3 minutes faster makes a whole lot of sense when you compare it to the amount of backups and delays that will be caused by this light.

If you do a simple numbers game you can pretty much easily see that the number of car commuters affected by adding arbitrary poorly thought out traffic crossings is far more than the pedestrians that will benefit from extra traffic crossings.

Maybe if our county council government planned things better in the first place and didn't waste so many untold millions on this transit center (ie got it right the first time) and had planned the surrounding roads better there would not be a need for this type of traffic configuration (for example they could use that wasted money on building a walkway over 29 so that more traffic signals are not required). But as usual the government just loves to put up more traffic lights and cause more congestion without actually considering smarter solutions.

There is a reason that Canada and Europe say "Americans don't know how to build roads".

Anonymous said...

Why on earth would DC willingly destroy their neighborhoods so people in moco speed through it faster? Why on earth do we have 6 lane highways cutting through dtss so people in far flung moco suburbs and Howard county speed through the neighborhoods we walk in? Of course people who actually live here deserve priority over people who choose to live way up 29.

Anonymous said...

And your comparing Europe to our sprawl of housing and roads and the traffic that causes its truly, mind bogglingly uneducated.

Anonymous said...

That makes no sense. This area was only developed 10 years ago (DTSS). The roads were built before then, hence there is an US ROUTE cutting through downtown.

What does this have to do with speeding anywhere? This has to do with congestion and travelling at normal speeds with reasonable delays. This is one of the most congested areas in the region and you're concerned about how fast you can walk to Qdoba. Most people who live in the city accept that they have to compete with car traffice (see: New York). But apparently in DC (and by extension DTSS) people who speed through there are inherently bad.

You are aware that most people who live in those neighborhoods (and DTSS) only "speed through" here because all of the jobs are in DC or NOVA, right? It's not like they are "speeding through" DTSS recreationally.

And honsetly, is speed on 29 south or North in DTSS really the issue? Because I think it's traffic density, but then again I don't have some sort of agenda against traffic or against walking, I can just see that it's a major issue.

A simple way to address this would be to create pedestrian walkway bridges through the major intersections of 29 (Georgia etc). This would allow for better traffic flow and fewer lights and revitalize "skid row". Alternatively there are other suggestions that might work as well, just anything other than "add more traffic lights randomly and arbitrarily"

Anonymous said...

It wasn't a direct comparison, but Canada has similar "sprawl" in the major areas (Toronto area). Thier highways, roads, traffic lights and traffic flows are much better.

Are you saying that the major areas in Germany are not full of similar sprawl? Seriously? I know you have an agenda that includes "smart growth" (aka everyone living on top of each other and walking everywhere) but we have to consider that there are solutions that help both sides.

Randomly adding traffic lights is not one of them.

G. Money said...

Someone already said this, but clearly that light is there so buses can turn left [right] out of [into] the transit center (assuming a bus ever goes into and makes it out of the transit center), rather than going around the block or making a u-turn or otherwise being annoying. Pedestrians have nothing to do with it, but there's no sense in not including a crosswalk. Calm down.

I wonder what will become of that weird bus turning triangle area over by Discovery. Seems like it won't be needed anymore.

Anonymous said...

I don't think any of us are opposed to the traffic light and accompanying crosswalk. But until the transit center opens, it just seems pointless to have the traffic light be functional. And I think many of us doubt that the transit center will open anytime soon (or ever).

By the way, to the person who thinks that all jobs are in DC or NOVA, here's some good reading for you: http://montgomerycomd.blogspot.com/2013/07/county-home-to-one-third-of-largest.html

Isayaah Parker said...

I'm not sure where this is located. I'm sure this no-doubt mediocre burger crap shoot will plop itself down and exit stage right like the stage burger in a couple years.

Don't get me wrong, DTSS desperately needs burger joints, but this just seems BLAH. We can't even get a Shake Shack, we only deserve a bootleg version. Still SHOCKS me that 5 Guys is afraid of DTSS.

That light at the transit center is just asinine. Like Sweet Brown said, "AINT NOBODY GOT TIME FO DAT!" traffic backs up into wayne and adds more congestion. The transit center WON'T happen, it never will.

That area is just a crap shoot. There's nothing over there. Discovery shitted on silver spring by not adding ground level retail and blocked the public from enjoying it's green area. The stupid bus turn-around takes up space, dunkin donuts serves food poisoning, you'd think there'd be more retail around there. SOMETHING!
Maybe a Shake Shack can open up in the old M&T Bank location across from Discovery.

Gull said...

@G Money - that big concrete area in front of Discovery is slated to become the Gene Lynch urban park once the buses no longer use it. It's partially funded by the County and part by a couple of recently approved development projects including 900 Thayer Avenue, that paid to take some of their amenity requirements off site.

Anonymous said...

Approximately 80% of y'all are crazy.

Anonymous said...

Time for a History Lesson
Silver Spring was developed in the late 1890's as a commuter rail suburb. Previously it was mostly large estates for DC politicos before the Civil War. The kids of those people sold off to developers who built East SS, SOECA, Woodside, etc in the 1920's. Georgia Ave and Colesville were the main commerical areas.
Then the car culture,suburbs and malls came in the '60's and DTSS declined. DTSS wasn't invented 10 years, it just got shifted to one hyper-developed block. The rest of old DTSS is now Fenton Village and Colesville.
That highway from DC was 395 that currently deadends at Mass Ave. Originally it was set to run through NOMA, Bloomingdale and on up to Takoma Park - taking out every neighborhood along the way. This was the era of Urban Renewal when cars and suburbs trumped existing urban neighborhoods. The residents of Takoma Park rose up and fought back, and started the nation wide push back highways and the demolition of Urban neoghborhoods.
So when you wish those highways had been built - why? It took awhile but the urban neighborhoods are reviving and thriving.

Anonymous said...

amen to the history lesson! This crap about "Fenton Village" that segregates it from "Downtown" Silver Spring is fostered by self appointed representatives of East Silver Spring who's resistance to change get's disguised as caring for the community. The community that agrees with them.

Anonymous said...

Actually, the county planning office coined the term "Fenton Village". The developers of Ellsworth didn't want ANY competition for their new project. The plan was to bulldoze all of FV and replace it with 11 story hi rises condos from Wayne to 410. The problem is that Fenton Village provides the services any community needs; auto repair, lock smiths, shoe repair, dry cleaners, Mom & Pop restaurants, etc. The East Silver Spring citizens have been fighting to save their local commercial district, because if it goes - there is no replacement for those services.
Do you use any of the businesses in Fenton Village? If yes, where else would you go if they weren't there?

Anonymous said...

Save whatever business you want, I don't think anyone cares where you get your car fixed or your hair extensions. What's phony is that there are different parts to Downtown Silver Spring. Just becasue the bad old developers of Ellsworth didn't want to be thought of as part of the rest of Fenton Village dosen't make them two distinct places.

For those of us who live here and appreciate everypart of DTSS, I guess we'll have to put up with you fake community representatives while you try to pit one group against another. As an East Silver Spring resident, I don't consider "Fenton Village" my local commercial district any more or less than Ellsworth. If you want to stick to the "Village", go for it, but don't proport to speak for all of East Silver Spring, becasue you don't.

Anonymous said...

Oh wow, wherever will I get my "shoes repaired". Oh wait...how about City Place has a place.

Auto places, there's about 4 dozen in Takoma Park which is about 2-3 miles away.

I could go on but you get the point

Isayaah Parker said...

Fenton Village is ugly for the most part. The services provided there aren't really that great and better services can be found in the immediate surrounding areas like Takoma Park and into DC

Anonymous said...

I can't stand Isayaah's completely and utterly ignorant comments. I don't think he's ever said anything that makes a single bit of sense. The fool is from Laurel, thinks Cheesecake Factory is the best restaurant in the world, and knows shit about dtss.

Unknown said...

Say what you want about Isayaah. But he is at least willing to put a name and face to his comments, which is more than about 90% of the commenters here, myself included.

Anonymous said...

Seems pretty silly to say that BurgerFi isn't as good as Shake Shack without actually trying BurgerFi. I looked up the Shake Shack in Dupont, and it's 3.5 star Yelp rating is the same as the Yelp rating linked in the blog post for BurgerFi. And if you do a google search with both names, you get lots of people who claim to like BurgerFi better (and vice versa).

Anonymous said...

Sounds like the lawyer is upset that Isayaah doesn't automatically think DTSS is the greatest place on earth.

chapoutier said...

Wrong yet again fool. The lawyer (who henceforth you can refer to as chapoutier) was the one who commented at 7:17. You are apparently as adept at speculating on what others post as you are of making a cogent one yourself. Which is to say, not at all.

Anonymous said...

As JUTP noted, Matamoros has purchased the Golden Flame and will be reopening it w/a new name and concept in the fall.

Seems really cool to me - Nicaro and 8407 both made DC's top 100 with Matamoros at the helm. Course it's no Flippin Pizza or Cheesecake Factory, so I'm sure some people find this as unwelcome news. Hopefully it won't serve Indian food as we'll never hear the end of it then. ;)

http://www.bethesdamagazine.com/Blogs/Table-Talk/July-August-2013/Chef-Pedro-Matamoros-buying-Silver-Springs-Golden-Flame-Restaurant/

Anonymous said...

Dammit! I wanted another Ethiopian place!

Vagrarian said...

When thinking about the quality of imitations....Oreos were an imitation of Hydrox. But it's universally agreed that Oreos are better than Hydrox. So it's silly to dismiss BurgerFi's food before we've even tasted it.

I am also bemused by how Stage Burger got good buzz during its first year of operation....and now that it's closed everyone's pretending they served nothing but bowel movements on a bun from the beginning. I loved 'em when they were first open, but after their renovation (I think it changed hands at that point) I lost interest.

Anonymous said...

People are way too self-righteous when critisizing restaurants. It's seems so black and white with people and not a bit of gray.

I think there are some very good restaurants in this area. The snotty side of me likes Jackie's, McGinty's, Cooper Canyon, Nicaro, Olazzo, and Adego.

But, if somebody told me they want to go out someplace decent without spending a mint I'd point them to Eggspectation or, god forbid, Red Lobster.

I've eaten at Firestation, Fuddruckers, Noodles & Company, and Austin Grill more times than I'd like to admit. So what; I like those places and by the number of people I see in I'd say there more than a few people who share my sentiments.

Anonymous said...

agreed with above, except about Cooper Canyon. I like walking to restaurants, the more the better.

chapoutier said...

I think there are some very good restaurants in this area. The snotty side of me likes Jackie's, McGinty's, Cooper Canyon, Nicaro, Olazzo, and Adego.

UI agree there are some fine restaurants here but Nicaro hasn't been open for 3 years.

Anonymous said...

Oops, not Nicaro, meant 8407.

Isayaah Parker said...

Isayaah does not care if anyone does not like his comments. He doesn't have to think Fenton Village or the greater silver spring area is PERFECTION. Fenton Village seems to be something that delusional long-time residents think is filled with hidden gems when it is no more special than Takoma Park. Takoma Park has better restaurants and tons of places to get the same, if not better services than almighty Fenton Village has to offer. Whether I am from Laurel, Singapore, Seattle or Mars, It doesn't take a resident to see that Fenton Village is full of sketchy old men at the GLAMOROUS Greyhound bus station and overrated Ethiopian restaurants. The Safeway is shit and the auto shops, WOW, really can't get those any place else. The place could us a HUGE MAKEOVER and needs character. Just because it has the word "VILLAGE" coined with it, along with a WEED infested community garden, does not make it special. Just because it has "mom and pops" doesn't give it character. Kevetch all you want, I am FROM Silver Spring and went to Bethesda Chevy Chase High School while living in Silver Spring. (The zone extends into silver spring) My best friend lives at THE CAMERON and eaten at just about every restaurant, CHAIN and otherwise.

Anonymous said...

The new DTSS is basically the old DTSS with taller buidings and more crap to add to what was there 30 years ago. Where's the village on Fenton Street? One crappy grocery store, some chop shops, an overpriced gas station and a bunch of marginal bussinesses.

Anonymous said...

Watch out Isayaah the defend Silver Spring at all costs / angry lawyer won't like any post that doesn't slober all over this area like its the greatest place in the world.

That being said, I do basically agree. I have lived downtown for several years and I can't find "Fenton Village" in real life but hen I read blogs and go online I keep hearing it referred to. What exactly is so special about it?

Also you're right: it's alarming how run down and embarrassing that Safeway is. Patheic.

chapoutier said...

Watch out Isayaah the defend Silver Spring at all costs / angry lawyer won't like any post that doesn't slober all over this area like its the greatest place in the world.

Because you were too stupid to catch on the first time the "angry lawyer" (me, in case you really are just that slow) DEFENDED Isayaah. Now stop being such a useless troll. You need to save those few firing synapses for important things, like tying your shoes and looking both ways before crossing the streets.

Anonymous said...

So Isayaah uses his real name while championing his negativity...

"I'm sure this no-doubt mediocre burger crap shoot will plop itself down...That light at the transit center is just asinine...The transit center WON'T happen, it never will...Discovery shitted on silver spring... The stupid bus turn-around takes up space, dunkin donuts serves food poisoning"

Dude, lighten up. You'd think this was Flint Michigan the way you go on.

Anonymous said...

Can we do a story about how the new "library residences" behind the Crescent will now (all of a sudden) be "workforce housing" (aka Section 8 style) even though the county and developers sold it to the nearby businesses and residences as mostly older folks single units?

And how this building will not have much parking in it which is in theory fine except that Wayne Ave garage is already beyond capacity and that section of Wayne is already dangerously gridlocked and cannot deal with anymore traffic volume without being a major danger to residents (and ironically library users in the future)

Anonymous said...

Do you have a link about this becoming "workforce housing"?

I was never particularly crazy about the concept of opening a 150 aprtment complex with only 25 parking spaces. Seems like a big problem for businesses on that block.

Anonymous said...

What an obscenely ignorant comment. Please educate yourself about the library residences (whose site and project plans were approved half a year ago and haven't changed since then, despite you just now hearing about them) before talking about them whiny 11:11 anon.

First, the residences aren't all going to be workforce housing - only a small fraction will be. 32 of the 155 units will be workforce because, pursuant to 59-C-18.192, the developer requested permission to build higher than what was permitted by current zoning (permission was granted for the building to be 110 ft). By law, workforce housing has to be included by the developer as a public concession in order to get the benefit of being able to build higher. 32 units are required of the builder in this case.

More hilarious than your ignorant claim that the building is workforce housing (it's on a fraction workforce housing - just like many, many other buildings in DTSS, Bethesda, and beyond) is the claim workforce housing is somehow "aka Section 8 style". You have a complete ignorance of what Workforce Housing is - it's housing for households usually with an income between $80,000-130,000. The rents will be set a couple hundred dollars less than market rate, e.g. $2200/month for a 2br compared to $2400/month for the market rate. You comparing these handful of units to Section 8 is honestly the stupidest thing I've read in a long time.

If you care to read the plans for this building - which, again, have been available for going on a year - feel free to check out the county's planning website. Plans were ultimately approved back in April and hopefully we'll have 180ish new tax-paying MoCo residents instead of a mound of dirt soon enough.

Anonymous said...

agree with anon 9:16pm- that number of parking spaces is a disaster for that area.

Anonymous said...

No, having 150 cars trying to cross the Purple Line tracks coming in and out of a garage and backing up the soon-to-be one way Bonifant would be a nightmare. It makes complete sense this building should cater to people without a car. Car owners will be able to rent just fine in all the other surrounding buildings with dedicated parking.

Anonymous said...

Do you really think it will work out that way?

Public tranpsort in this area is not very good (metro). Buses work fine but typical bus riders earn a lot less than the projected salaries (or rents projected) that anon 11:08 mentioned.

The type of people who can afford these places will likely have cars and park them in Wayne Ave garage anyway. I believe the idea that the people in this building will magically just not have cars is naive.

Like it or not a lot of residens of DTSS are very car centric.

Anonymous said...

Has anyone heard that millenials are choosing to forgo cars by a much larger percentage than their predecessors? Or that the average cost to maintain a car each year is 5K? Or that being right next to the purple and red line, to say nothing about the supermarkets and restaurants makes owning a car unnecessary? I'm guessing these factors are playing some role in this lowered parking requirement. Like it or not, DTSS is becoming more dense and less car centric.

Anonymous said...

Take a look at the apartment complexes nearby for comparison. Right across the street from there is Loft 24 (I think that is the name). 24 condos with 9 parking spaces. Those dwellers are filling their own spots and then some. They park at night under Safeway, on Fenton and Bonifant.

Look at Silver Spring Towers. Lots of parking and then the public lot fills up quickly.

The apartment complex at First Baptist will have, I believe, 250ish apartments and about 120 parking spots. Will that be sufficient? I have my doubts.

Now, this place will have 150 apartments with 25 parking spots. If 250 people live there, that would mean only 10% of the population would own cars. God forbid visitors come, or someone throws a party.

This is a mess waiting to happen. The end result will be businesses and just end up being a royal pain the butt for people who live in the area.

Anonymous said...

Should say businesses will suffer/

Anonymous said...

There is zero chance more than a negligible number of people will park in surrounding public lots or on the street. The hassle and cost of parking in the public spaces far exceeds what any rational person would do except in a rare case where feeding a meter every couple hours for a half day or whatever would make sense (walking three round-about blocks and paying a dollar an hour for the Wayne garage makes marginally more sense, but not by much). These units will primarily be filled by the people they're marketed towards - car-free renters, which make up a sizable chunk of DTSS and DC metro area renters anyways.

Kelly Webb said...

My mouth is watering after seeing this burger, it looks delicious.

Anonymous said...

Anon 10:57:00 - Seeing what happens with all the other apartment complexes in the area its obvious people will own cars knowing they will not be guaranteed parking. Its a chance people are willing to take.

If they have a normal 9:00-5:00 job then street parking is available because they full well know parking regualtions aren't enforced after 5:00. No need to pay the meter or worry about parking on streets with permit parking (and I've seen more and more people able to get their hands on permits even if they aren't entitled.)

If the developers are so sure that a max of 25 parking spaces will be sufficient then they should tie those spaces to a certain number of residents who will be allowed to park there. They won't do that because it would be a huge discouragement for people wanting to live there.

Gull said...

Apartments are allowed to be built in silver spring without parking because Silver Spring is one of a couple Parking Lot Districts in the County. The County has public parking garages, and sells monthly passes for both full time parking, and cheaper monthly passes that allow parking I believe from 6pm until 8am plus weekends, both designed for residents who live in buildings without parking. The cost is about $120 for a full time pass per month, not sure about the night pass. Many of the high-rises with parking charge that much or more for parking on premises so it makes little difference if your apartment has parking or not. I know some complexes like Summit Hills has free parking, but it's also more of an old suburban complex, with no parking structures.

Developers pay a fee to not build on site parking, used to pay off the cost of building the public parking garages, and if it appears that long term parking permits will be filling up the garages to capacity, the district builds another garage. Whether people actually purchase permits in the county garages is another story, but since the cost of parking on site vs county garage would be about the same, we'd have the same on street parking problems regardless.

And for what its worth, I walk to work and to many errands, but I still have a car that I park, so I live a mostly car free lifestyle but have no plans giving up my wheels.

Anonymous said...

So many comments - so many issues:

Fenton Village is getting a makeover in the coming 3 years. There are 5 approved hi rise residential projects that will be starting construction in the next 2-3 years. One project is already under construction on Thayer. That is around 850 new apartment units approved. One bldg is 415 units alone. All have been reviewed, and with one exception, approved by ESSCA.

Just because the landlords won't fix up their FV buildings does not mean the small businesses renting them are not successful. All of the businesses in FV are small Mom & Pops serving their customers - most of whom live close by. All are doing quite well. Why should I get in my car and drive to Takoma for something when I can walk to it now? FV is Smart Growth - services within walking distance.

Parking - ask anyone with kids if they can go carless to the grocery store. Today's millenial is tomorrow's parent.

Safeway is a pit because they are planning on replacing that store with an 11 story apartment bldg. with a Safeway at grade. Why pour money in a store that will be replaced within the next 10 years. Don't like it - go to the DTSS Farmer's Market, Giant, Whole Foods, or the Harris Teeter in NOMA.

Parking - the construction cost of a parking space is about $25,000/space. In condos the spaces were selling for $50,000 each. Developer's don't want to pay for parking they can't profit from - apartment parking. For condos they would willingly put in all the parking their buildings would need.

If you have a strong opinion about DTSS and live in MoCo - then you can pay attention to the Planning, Zoning, and Council hearings. You can also get involved with your local civic assoc. These are complicated and layered issues - and County Council politics plays a heavy role in all planning decisions.

Finally: I would like to thank Silver Spring Singular for providing a platform for these 'conversations'.

Anonymous said...

ESSCA is irrelevant. How many people go to their meetings?

Anonymous said...

Parking - ask anyone with kids if they can go carless to the grocery store. Today's millenial is tomorrow's parent.


Exactly. This carless idea is a pipe dream. Gridlock is going to continue to get worse.

For those advocating the future purple line or the current metro, have they seen the steadily declining ridership stats for Metro? Or the declining service (number of trains and available trains) or the rising costs, or the safety issues, or the lack of reliable service and information? People will not put up with that and will want a car on standby. It is doubtful the purple line will be run any better.

Anonymous said...

Gridlock is going to continue to get worse...People will not put up with that and will want a car on standby...THE WORLD IS ENDING!

Anonymous said...

No one said that. It's amazing how condescending smart growthers get when someone disagrees with them that cars are a bad thing.

Gridlock is a huge problem in this town (even if you think forcing public transport is the only answer)and to deny that with ridiculous over the top statements like "the world is ending" is pointless.

DTSS is not pedestrain friendly enough as of now to "not need a car" (witness the crossing of 29 or Georgia Ave). And it has tons of transit options but at least 50 percent of those options are pathetic (see: Metro) and almost unusable at certain times (Weekends , Weeknights).

People aren't completely stupid, they aren't going to "give up cars" here like they might in NYC or even DC (which still has a lot of residents who own cars despite having the wonderful transit system right at their fingertips.

I'm just saying that the county is saying the people in these new places will not own cars. When is the last time a county projection about ANYTHING was even remotely close to correct?

Anonymous said...

Plenty of people live in the CBD who don't own cars. That's a quantifiable fact. Whatever point you're trying to make (I honestly can't find one) isn't even based on reality.

No one on here that's whining seems to be making a point. The complaint is that sometimes you have to go up to the 5th floor of the Wayne garage to find an empty row? So? Even if people in this CBD building were to use the Wayne garage (which, of course, most wont. Why would a car owner rent in the ONE building in the CBD that doesn't have abundant dedicated parking and rather choose to pay $120 a month for a pass or $20+ everytime they want to get their car out of the gates) then why would that be a bad thing? You people who live outside DTSS think you're entitled to our public CBD parking more so than actual resident of DTSS are?? Is that some sort of joke or are you actually selfish to the point of being blind to the hilariousness?

Anonymous said...

I live very close and center to DTSS. The point I made, more than once, is that people will park wherever and whenever they can. Take a look at what current apartment dwellers are doing now. That's verifable proof and a great way to predict what will happen in the future.

25 parking spots will not be sufficient to support an 150 apartment complex. The excess parking will end up parking at unwatched meters and illegally on permitted streets. It is happening now and it will end up being worse.

I wish you were correct that 90% of the people in this complex won't have cars. But, behavoir nearby strongly suggests it won't play out that way.

Anonymous said...

I live in the center of dtss (and actually own my condo; youre probably just a renter) and I'm one of the people "whining". Try again.

It's a gridlocked nightmare here. But in your magic fairy tale world everyone has a job near here or in dtss(what a joke) or near public transit. That's how all this was already planned. But guess what? Most people here have cars and need cars to get around. This areas (DMV) is not transit friendly enough for most to give up a car.

Maybe a smart growth blog is where you won't find a difference of opinion and everyone can think just like you despite the facts

Anonymous said...

The logic seems to be there's incredible gridlock, therefore we need to accomodate more cars? Then you get ESSCA folks wanting to ban people from driving through the neighborhood and limit on street parking to the single family residents.

Let's say I'm moving here and the new building has no parking. Like my friends downtown who gripe that their car is not worth the hassle. Guess what, if having a car in DTSS is a hassle, get rid of the car, or move to the burbs. Now you have what you want, fewer people.

Your welcome to your opinion, it just dosen't make sense.

Anonymous said...

I think gridlock and parking issues are 2 different issues.

Gridlock, in my view, is about traffic. Traffic congestion, generally speaking, is caused by people driving through Silver Spring and the high number of people coming to Silver Spring to frequest the stores and restaurants. DTSS is a nightmare Friday and Saturday nights.

I don't think those people are the cause of the parking issues arising; which I'll admit isn't much of a problem right now. However, I fear it's going to be a very large problem in the near future with about 1,000 new people moving into a 2 block area.

How many of those people will have cars is a guessing game. I can see from existing complexes that they've set the lower way lower than reality dictates.

Simply put, I those complexes to have places for those cars instead of idly sitting on the street in front of a business who needs that access for their customers. Secondly, I don't want to come home and have to wander around looking for a parking spot. For the record, I am not the person above and live in a house with a driveway.

I agree, it would be great if these complexes opened without the need for parking. I dream of the day I won't need a car but occasionally and plan to use Zip Car.

Your idea of making cars such a hassle that people will abondon them is not an ideal situation. People are headstrong and will hold out a lot longer than you can imagine.

Anonymous said...

It's not about "making cars such a hassle that people will abandon them", it's that they ARE a hassle. If you want to predict the future, usually one looks at history for similar situations, and in this case it's what's happening to every urbanizing place like downtown DC. You don't have to believe we are similar, but the evidence is there.

As for gridlock and parking being two different issues, they are related. Using your lay of the land, Gridlock is caused by, 1: people driving through and 2: the high number of people coming to DTSS for stores and restaurants.

For your first point, the two ways of aleviating thru traffic are demoing DTSS for a wide freeway into town or providing adequate transit to take cars off the road. See, Purple line, CCT, and Georgia Ave. Street car. Pick your poison.
For your second point, get rid of the stores and restaurants or provide more housing to access the local retail while developing local pedestrian centers furtherout at Wheaton, Glenmont etc. to give people further out their own place to walk and socialize. But remember that any place with a parking problem is a place worth going to, or else you wouldn't have a parking 'problem'.
Again pick your poison.

However one thinks we should solve our traffic problem, people are moving here for reasons that to my eye are obvious. Silver Spring rocks! So do we say, 'I got mine, everybody else can fend for them selves', or do we try to grow intelligently based on existing historical models? The whole Washington region is experiencing this growth, why not do it as well as we can?

BurgerFIB said...

I love how on their 'story' page BurgerFi says they use grass-fed beef but then on 'naturally different' page says they use grain fed beef. Wish an Elevation Burger would come instead instead of poseur burger.

chapoutier said...

"I love how on their 'story' page BurgerFi says they use grass-fed beef but then on 'naturally different' page says they use grain fed beef. Wish an Elevation Burger would come instead instead of poseur burger."

You are correct. Pretty sure that breaks some sort of USDA marketing regulation.

Gull said...

For those who want to discount Metro as a transit option because it's prone to breakdowns and is undergoing a multi-year phase of scheduled shutdowns - what's the alternative? I don't use Metro to commute but I do take it casually to visit friends or hang out in DC. I've never been more than slightly inconvenienced, it's never caused me to cancel plans to go into town, and i've never driven to a destination in the City. I also have a car-less roommate who gets around just fine without a car, takes Metro to work every day, and by leaving himself a 10 minute commute buffer and knowing the alternative train and bus routes, has only once in 18 months been 'late' to work. I'm sorry Metro is not a gold start system right now, but it's still there, and serves a useful purpose.

I do agree people without cars now will likely change their mind once they have a family and a kid and that's fine, but thats always been known. Many people who reach that demographic also move out of CBD's or move into a condo that has the amenities (including parking) that they need. These new apartments are targeted at 20somethings who do work in a transit accessible area. Look at how much new office development is happening in downtown DC and in NOMA in particular. Again, remember, these apartments are not targeting long term residents, but a distinct age group who may not have a car at this point of their lives. The Purple line would open up a new demographic to the mix, college students, who are also less likely to keep a car. Add a few more zip car stations, and Cap Bike Share and you further reduce the need for a car. Yes, the amount of parking proposed for Library Residential is a joke, but providing 150 spaces for 250 units is not a joke, and there IS parking capacity in the various town garages for long term permit holders.

Anonymous said...

The Library Residences was/is primarily intended for senior citizens, who would be of an age where they have given up their cars. I also believe that the seniors will be of moderate income. The Library Residences are also planned with some larger units (2 bed) for workforce housing/moderate income families with children.
The fact that this seniors dominant building is within a block of 2 grocery stores, on top of a Purple Line stop, on 5 bus routes, and close to a host of walkable services is why this building has fewer parking spaces than the norm. If anything can work with less parking - it will.

This area could use more senior targeted hi rise housing to provide an independant living option in DTSS. The one thing we all have in common - we will all be senior citizens someday.

Anonymous said...

Halleluya to the last commentator. I love seniors becasue I will someday be one. Like the towns of Italy and Spain where the old folk gather at the plaza to watch life pass them by instead of rotting away in some "sunset hills" home surrounded by an empty parking lot, we need to bring them into our town square. Luckily, we have a lovely one in beautiful DTSS.

chapoutier said...

DTSS is not pedestrain friendly enough as of now to "not need a car" (witness the crossing of 29 or Georgia Ave).

As further evidence of the absolute unfounded nature of this statement, I present to you this: http://www.justupthepike.com/2013/08/where-do-mocos-car-free-residents-live.html

Upshot: 32% of DTSS residents somehow, above all odds and against all hope somehow manage to eke out a meager existence without owning a car.

Anonymous said...

Just Up The Pike is written by an Urban Planning graduate who is heavily biased toward a car free society. He does a good job of collecting data, but his analysis is biased toward his perspective. He would do well to approach controverisal subjects with a more open mind.
The simple fact is our way of living is changing as dramatically and quickly as it did in the 50's when white flight from the city and the rise of the shopping mall decimated urban CBDs. Suburbanites are now moving back to the very neighborhoods their parents/grandparents left.
There is no one answer, just layers of complicated issues that need to be worked out.
The one common thread - the residents of community have to work together to find a balance. The greed of the Developers should not control our future. (They were the ones who built the suburbs and malls in the first place.)

chapoutier said...

"He does a good job of collecting data, but his analysis is biased toward his perspective."

I am aware of Dan Reed's background and his bias. But I only cited in my post his collected data and none of his analysis, and for a very limited purpose at that, so not exactly sure what your point is.

Anonymous said...

The greed of the Developers should not control our future

By including this statement at the end of your post, you removed any bit of credibility to the rest of your comments. It is asinine to lump all developers as greedy. Is Apple greedy becuase they brought an innovative product to the market that made the existing product obsolete? Was Google greedy when it offered better results with their algorithims? Is SweetGreen greedy because they charge $2.50 for a stinking glass of tea just because their main product is local/organic/trendy? Real estate developers are no more greedy than any other capitalist venture...sure there are some that are blood suckers but the vast majority work within the norms of the community and are entitled (!!) to make a profit. If you don't want them to make a profit then you should lobby to pay higher taxes and have the government build housing. Yes, I'm ranting but I've heard this "greedy developer" non-sense one time too many. And I speak as a liberal Democrat.

Anonymous said...

ChaPOUTer is wrong again (as per usual).

ChaPOUTer fails to realize that even in DTSS there might be large numbers of one car households, but that isn't simply because it's very walkeable. There could be tons of other factors (such as economic) to consider. But hey, let's not do any thoughtful analysis: let's just regurgitate what Dan Reed finds and assume that means 29 is easy to cross.

chapoutier said...

But hey, let's not do any thoughtful analysis: let's just regurgitate what Dan Reed finds and assume that means 29 is easy to cross.

Awww... poor little fella thinks Route 29 is hard to cross? Seriously? We are talking about Colesville Road, right? There isn't some super secret highway also named Rte. 29 that runs through the heart of DTSS, that I am unaware of, is there? Because last time I checked, the Rte. 29 I am aware of running through DTSS has a stop light and crosswalks with actual Cross/Don't Cross signals on each side of said stoplight at Every. Single. Intersection.

Perhaps your definition of "walkability" either means one never has to wait more than 15 seconds to cross on surface or that escalators and bridges are put at every single intersection. But to us normal people, like me, that actually do somehow by the grace of God manage to find a way to cross it several times a day each and every day without being killed, you sound absurd.

Anonymous said...

Let's stop fighting about burgers and cars and focus on our common enemy...those asshats with clipboards swarming around the metro and Ellsworth. They travel in packs and say ridiculous things like "I've been waiting for you all day." What are they selling? Scientology or heroin? And is there anything we can do to get rid of them?

Anonymous said...

One would think a portly overweight gentleman who is of extreme liberal persuasion such as chapouter would have more sympathy for the disabled, elderly and children trying to cross a road with bad visibility and poor crosswalks. But I guess not

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