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Posted at 2:01 PM ET, 11/16/2010

Metro, county want to redevelop Wheaton

By Katherine Shaver

Anyone with ideas about how downtown Wheaton should be redeveloped can share their thoughts Wednesday evening at a community workshop with Montgomery County officials, developers and Metro officials who are creating a plan for the area.

After a presentation by the Wheaton redevelopment project team, participants will be broken into small groups covering topics such as impacts on small businesses, use of public space and an overall vision for the downtown, a county spokeswoman said.

The county and the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority have targeted downtown Wheaton for rejuvenation. The redevelopment team, led by B.F. Saul Company, is beginning to plan a mixed-use transit-oriented development project adjacent to the Wheaton Metro station.

The workshop will be held from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Crossway Community, Inc., 3015 Upton Drive, in Kensington.

By Katherine Shaver  | November 16, 2010; 2:01 PM ET
Categories:  Maryland, Metro  
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Comments

Didn't MoCo plan to redevelop Wheaton a little under 10 years ago? Isn't that why the mall was redone and new condo/apartments were built? I haven't been to this area in the past 4 years or so but I've heard from others that it has gone downhill significantly.

Posted by: Redial1 | November 16, 2010 3:20 PM | Report abuse

The best thing they could do - as a start - would be to bulldoze those little run-down shops along Georgia Ave, University Blvd and in the Wheaton Triangle area...and start fresh. As long as those dumps exist, there will be no redevelopment and no one will come to spend money there.

Posted by: B-rod | November 16, 2010 4:29 PM | Report abuse

From your comments, you both are obviously unfamiliar with downtown Wheaton. Those "dumps" are actually very architecturally attractive and very old historic structures, in line somewhat with those that were saved at the corner of Georgia and Colesville in downtown Silver Spring. I'm no preservationist, but these are cute shops that only need a small facelift when the areas around them are developed.

Posted by: crzytwnman | November 16, 2010 5:04 PM | Report abuse

I'm very familiar with Wheaton. Those little dumps are not historic...they are mid-50s post-war shopping centers. There is nothing "historic" about them. And further, the businesses that are in them don't provide a wide enough range of services or attractive options for anyone to make a special trip to Wheaton, unless you like check-cashing business, laundromats, and beer stores.

Posted by: B-rod | November 16, 2010 6:48 PM | Report abuse

Without major redevelopment, they should change the name to West Beltsville.

Posted by: rjregan | November 17, 2010 8:28 AM | Report abuse

I was thinking maybe bull fights to go along with the population. I grew up there and the last time I was there I thought I had been deported

Posted by: lynncoinc | November 17, 2010 8:29 AM | Report abuse

Wheaton was worked on 10 years ago, and look what happened to it, the illegal latinos took over. Wheaton Plaza has many carjackings, and I do not go there anymore since it is too dangerous. Why redevelop that which will be destroyed again as long as MoCo idiots allow illegals to remain and rundown Wheaton again. But Gustavo Torres is running MoCo anyhow since Leggett is such a weakling.

Posted by: suze1 | November 17, 2010 11:05 AM | Report abuse

Why is the main concern people making a special trip? Lots of people live in Wheaton and need those services. I'd like to see fewer liquor/check cashing places, but there are lots of great restaurants of all kinds, local nightclubs, ethnic groceries, beauty salons- all things that community values. There are too many vacant storefronts thanks to a gouging landlord- it's why Hollywood East moved to the mall- and the storefronts desperately need beautification. However, Wheaton is not Bethesda and shouldn't be.
Also, I live in downtown Silver Spring and make special trips to Wheaton all the time to go to the mall, Giant, restaurants, and H-Mart. I love the mix of people around there, and it's doing much better than when I was in high school in Olney 10 years ago. If you haven't checked out Hollywood East, El Pollo Rico, Royal Mile Pub, and Nava Thai, you're missing out.
Also, why is a meeting about the future of Wheaton being held in Kensington? And how are they handling the mix of languages spoken by the area residents?

Posted by: purplemoonshoes | November 17, 2010 11:09 AM | Report abuse

As a recent transplant to Silver Spring, I go to Wheaton often... Pollo Rico, The Yarn Spot, the cake decorating shop, the Italian deli/grocer, cheap and wonderful banh mi sandwiches at that little Vietnamese place, etc.

I dont think anyone who says "it's all check-cashing places, laundromats, and beer stores" has ever actually gotten out of the car.

I'd love to see some redevelopment to diversify the area a bit and perhaps make more room for more of the kinds of businesses I'd like to frequent, but there's a lot of great stuff in Wheaton. And I've never felt unsafe.

Posted by: DivineMsK | November 17, 2010 12:06 PM | Report abuse

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