Matan Plans Town Center for Germantown

The local developer plans a big transformation for Milestone Business Park.

There’s a new town center coming to Germantown. Matan Cos. plans to transform its Milestone Business Park into a vibrant 24/7 mixed-use center in the unincorporated Maryland locale. It currently consists of three office buildings and one flex building, a total of 635,272 square feet.

A rendering, submitted to the Montgomery County Planning Board by DVA architects, shows plans for an additional 28,250 square feet of street-level retail and 485 residential units. The new buildings would tower as high as 80 feet.

Located on Milestone Center Drive, just north of I-270 and west of Ridge Road, the addition will comprise 1.2 million square feet of development, including three new six-story mixed-use residential buildings with 485 apartment units, the street-level retail and 3,161 parking spaces.

Plans call for the existing, centrally located 63,000-square-foot plaza to be transformed into an attractive gathering space for the project, featuring an interactive water fountain, a kiosk, seat walls, lawn areas and more.

The Montgomery County Planning Board has approved these preliminary plans for the project.

“It was really nice to see such a positive response to the project,” Tracy Vargo, Matan Cos.’ principal, said in a prepared statement. “We are eager to see this project move forward.”

Matan acquired the business park for $128 million in January 2014, knowing it had additional development potential.

According to the Montgomery County Planning Board’s office market assessment for 2015, Montgomery County has nearly 11 million square feet of vacant office space, accounting for 15 percent of regional vacancies. The county has 12 office buildings totaling 2.1 million square feet of space that are completely vacant. Eight more buildings totaling 1.2 million square feet will become vacant this year. High vacancies also threaten the financial viability of individual buildings. Therefore, using the development space for retail and residential makes sense. Currently, both real estate segments are on the rise, according to a recent Maryland snapshot by CBRE.

Milestone Business Park is currently 85 percent leased to several national organizations.