Montgomery County finalizes Silver Spring land swap deal

Montgomery County on July 7 finalized an agreement with a Bethesda-based developer to build a new county homeless shelter in Silver Spring.

The county will get a new four-story building on a county-owned property behind Fire Station 1. The new facility will be planned, designed and constructed by the developer, which will relocate the current Progress Place facility at no cost to the county.

In return, the developer will get the deed for three land parcels — 1014 Ripley St., 8206 Colonial Lane and 8210 Colonial Lane — that total 1.5 acres and are valued at about $11 million, according to official documents.

The land swap will net 21 small apartments for the Progress Place facility, which will have the current property on Colonial Lane developed into a high-rise residential building.

Progress Place is a facility owned by Montgomery County that houses Shepherd’s Table and Interfaith Works. Both nonprofits provide the homeless and those in need with basic services, including meals, social services, medical support and clothing. It also houses Community Vision, which provides support, advocacy, education and training for the homeless in the county to empower them to achieve independence.

The project’s total cost is $13 million for Washington Property Company of Bethesda. The county will pay for the design and construction of the 21 apartments at a cost of $3.75 million, according to county officials.

The apartments are “similar to a hotel room, where you would have a full bath and a small kitchenette,” said Greg Ossont, deputy director of the county’s Department of General Services.

The apartments will be targeted at single-occupant low-income residents to help the transition from homelessness. Interfaith Work officials said the lease terms of these apartments will be similar to most Montgomery County leases that last for one year.

Ossont said the land deal turned out “quite well,” but there is still “a lot of work to do.”

“We are really excited that the county is contributing resources to the services that we provide,” said Charlotte Garvey, a spokeswoman for Interfaith Works.

Garvey said nonprofits are working together with the county to come up with the best design for the 21 apartments.

Ossont said construction should begin in about a year.

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