Proposed New “255-unit, five-story residential structure” for Takoma Metro Site

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From the TakomaDC Listserv:

We are elected officials representing the area that includes and surrounds the Takoma Metro station. As officials, we reached out to WMATA (Metro) to understand the agency’s intentions regarding development at the station. WMATA executives briefed us last Friday, May 31. We very much appreciate the executives’ willingness to meet, and we feel community members also deserve to know about WMATA’s plans.


WMATA is working with development partner EYA toward creating a 255-unit, five-story residential structure at the Takoma Metro site. The five stories include ground-level parking for transit users and a level of parking for residents with three stories of one- and two-bedroom apartments above the parking. There would be a step-back of the upper levels on the Eastern Avenue side to three stories.

The structure would replace the current paved parking area. The current set of bus bays would be preserved in place, with the addition of one bus bay and three bus layover spaces carved from the current park. WMATA would claim the right to place an additional bus loop or other transit functions in the park in the future. WMATA would also construct a bicycle-parking structure, for transit users, on the station grounds.

The revised design is at least a partial victory for community members, who had pointed out that EYA’s previous design, over 80 townhouses with two-car garages and new surface streets to support them, was the antithesis of transit-oriented design.

But 255 residences are more than twice the 65-95 units called for in the District of Columbia’s Small Area Plan for the site. And this would be the largest project by far in the area around the station. The planned 255 units, supported by nearly 200 residential parking spaces, would have a significant Takoma-area impact that must be thoroughly analyzed.

Continues after the jump.


The WMATA Board is set to hold its first vote on the project in late July. They would hold a public hearing in mid to late September. The public may comment throughout the WMATA process. The project also needs approval from DC’s Zoning Commission as a Planned Unit Development.

We thank WMATA for a proposal that preserves for the immediate future much of the existing park, includes a bicycle facility, adds connections to the Metropolitan Branch Trail, includes a station-planning study, and makes future transit services possible at the site.

However, a project of this size at a mass transit facility calls for a comprehensive traffic study which would thoroughly analyze this project’s likely impacts on vehicular traffic and pedestrian safety. We ask that it be completed prior to the WMATA public hearing.

We think that the community needs more time to analyze the proposal and will ask to modify the timetable.


We are working to quickly gather information about this development and determine the best ways that the Takoma DC and Maryland communities can have their voices heard. For cross-neighborhood discussions, we invite you to join a new TakomaMetro email list. Join via the Web site,

Sara Green, ANC 4B01 Commissioner and ANC 4B Chair
Faith Wheeler, ANC 4B02 Commissioner and ANC 4B Vice Chair
Seth Grimes, Takoma Park City Council, Ward 1

12 Comment

  • Oy. I can’t wait to see the picketing by Takomans. These are people, after all, who objected to a new Busboys & Poets because it’s a “chain” (i.e., four restaurants).

    • This makes me sad, because a Busboys would be an excellent addition to the neighborhood.

      • Don’t get too sad, it’s still coming next year. As always, it’s a minority of loud mouths whining. Ultimately, they were ignored.

  • This is an enivornmentally responsible project. I would think (or at least hope) that Takomans would recognize that a smart growth strategy to limit human impact on the environment requires large-scale residential development proximate to public transit, and that this project will therefore not face substantial opposition. Using this space as a parking lot is beyond ridiculous, as was the townhome plan. It should be, as proposed, used for a large building.

  • This is an act of desperation by a world respoding to a crisis that it pretends does not exist. If you know what it is I am referring to then you should know enough to not talk about it any further. The antithesis of transit-oriented design. Either that or it’s just a building. Please believe me. Can’t they at least throw in a Quiznos?

  • I’d like to be the unreasonable anchor in this debate.

    255 residences is not nearly enough for this site. We should repeal the Height Act and it should be a 20 story behemoth with at least 1,000 residential units and no parking included at all. It’s sitting on valuable urban land a few miles from the Capitol Building. Let’s stick as many people as possible into area around the Takoma metro and help redevelop what is a sleepy, backwards part of the city into an urban paradise.

  • …how are they fitting 255 units on 3 floors (first two floors being parking)? There has got to be a typo somewhere. That parking lot isn’t that big.

  • Given the location I would like to see something that’s more than 5 stories. This neighborhood needs more residents, especially younger people who are more likely to spend money. The commercial strips in the area are pretty sad, especially on 4th St. Hopefully it includes plenty of 2 and 3 bedrooms. I assume it will because Takoma doesn’t really have much to offer people in their 20s. Cedar Crossing is a weird little bar that closes super early. The Olive Lounge is the only normal bar in the area but it’s quite small.

    I didn’t hear about people protesting the Busboys because it’s a chain. I did hear about people trying to protest their liquor license because they wanted it to go until 3am. I think 3am is great. I hope they actually stay open that late.

    A lot of old people live in Takoma DC. They want it to stay sleepy. The people who will move into these new condos and apartments will do so because they like urban living. Hopefully they will make their voices heard.

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