Earlier this summer, County Executive Marc Elrich was joined by Council President Gabe Albornoz, Councilmember Tom Hucker, members of the Montgomery County State Delegation and representatives from EDENS to announce bringing a main “anchor” store back to the Burtonsville Crossing Shopping Center and the redevelopment of the vacant shopping center. It was revealed that the Phoenix-based company Sprouts Farmers Market will be coming to Burtonsville in what will be the grocery chain’s first store in Montgomery County. Since then, Total Men’s Primary Care has also signed on for the soon-to-be renovated shopping center. At the community announcement in late June, an EDENS representative stated that Sprouts may open as early as the second half of 2023. Below, you’ll see the justification statement submitted to Montgomery Planning:
The subject property, known in the community as the Burtonsville Crossing Shopping Center, is comprised of approximately 13.35 acres (581,503 square feet) located at 15701 Old Columbia Pike, Burtonsville. The center has been in decline and largely vacant for the past several years, but this Limited Major Site Plan Amendment application (“Site Plan Amendment”) represents an important first step towards its revitalization. As described more fully below, the proposed amendment will demolish a portion of the in-line retail to create a new community gathering space, add two new retail buildings without increasing overall density, enhance pedestrian and vehicular circulation, and introduce new landscaping, tree cover and improved lighting to the site
The Project will modernize the appearance of the center through place-making improvements intended to transform it into an activity center for the Burtonsville community. The Project will also lay the groundwork for the Neighborhood Plan’s long-term vison for the Property through incorporation of a design that begins to form the grid of blocks recommended in the plan. Finally, the Project will significantly improve pedestrian and bicycle circulation to and around the Property.
The Project proposes the removal of approximately 7000 square feet from the existing retail center building and the creation of a new community gathering space in the highly visible location at the terminus of the main entrance drive. The community gathering space is anticipated to be flanked by active restaurant and/or retail uses, creating the sense of an inviting outdoor room. It will include varied seating opportunities including tree-shaded seating, more traditional outdoor dining, porch swings, and co-working café-style seating. At the center of the community gathering space will be a multi-purpose green with a stage that can be utilized for community events, performances, and movie nights. As shown on the Site Plan, the community gathering space will provide a direct connection across National Drive to the bus station and Park and Ride.
The Project also proposes replacing the 7000 square feet removed from the center with two new commercial buildings with drive-throughs along a new interior entrance drive. These buildings will be placed adjacent to Old Columbia Pike and flank the main entry drive to the Property. This placement will activate the Property’s Old Columbia Pike frontage, which is currently dominated by surface parking. The proposed drive-throughs and associated queuing lanes will be located to the sides and rear of the buildings so as not to detract from street-activation. Although no tenants have yet been selected for these new buildings, the Site Plan Amendment includes architectural elevations that the Applicant believes will be able to accommodate any user.
Finally, the Project makes several improvements to the public realm. Specifically, the breezeway running the length of the retail strip center will be widened to allow for outdoor dining and other seating opportunities and landscaping will also be added to enhance this area. To accommodate new fast-casual restaurants, “grab-and-go” pick-up areas will be added along the breezeway. New signage is also proposed to enliven the Project and provide wayfinding. Most significantly, a large sign bearing the words “Burtonsville Crossing” is proposed at the end of the main entrance drive and gateway to the new community gathering space. Opportunities for public art and murals will be incorporated into the shopping center as well.
The Property is located on the east side of Old Columbia Pike (referred to in the Neighborhood Plan as Business 29), approximately 500 feet north of its intersection with Sandy Spring Road. It is bounded by Old Columbia Pike and confronting single-family detached dwellings in the Rural Cluster (RC) zone and a retail center in the CRT-1.5 C-1.0 R-1.25 H-70 zone to the west, National Drive and utility lines in the RC zone to the north, National Drive and a County Park and Ride and bus station in the CRT-1.5 C-1.0 R-1.25 H-75 zone to the east, and National Drive and confronting office uses with surface parking in the CRT-1.5 C-1.0 R-1.25 H- 75 zone to the south.
Existing development on the Property consists of approximately 130,000 square feet of commercial uses located in a main retail strip center and three pad site buildings. There is also a large surface parking lot with 690 parking spaces that serves the existing center. The surface parking lot runs the length of the Property’s Old Columbia Pike frontage and is screened by a green panel with trees. The main access to the Property is provided via a single curb cut along Old Columbia Pike leading to the main entrance drive. Additional access is provided from National Drive via two curb cuts along the Property’s southern frontage and one curb curt along the Property’s northern frontage. Loading access is provided to the rear of the retail strip center via National Drive.
Additional information and site plan drawings are available here.