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The Glenmont Retail Market (1995)

Summary findings and recommendations

I. Introduction

The Glenmont Sector Plan area constitutes the immediate vicinity of the final Metrorail station currently planned for Montgomery County. Although Glenmont is an established community with very little vacant land, the area contains a number of properties that may be suitable for redevelopment. As a transit station locale with major redevelopment potential, Glenmont offers an important opportunity to implement County policies for transit station areas. These policies call for substantial land use intensity to achieve the greatest possible benefit from transit, while leaving it to the individual master or sector plans to determine how intense those uses should be.

Glenmont is primarily a residential community with a sizable, local retail component. Non-retail employment is limited but includes the police district office, the fire station, and Metrorail itself. One possible future for the area is to retain and enhance its residential character. This study evaluates the demand for housing in the Glenmont area if this future is selected, and assesses the market potential for various housing types. This study does not attempt to assess the ability of the infrastructure in Glenmont to support specific uses or densities.

II. Findings

The characteristics of the Glenmont Market area provide excellent support for neighborhood retail uses. The good location at the intersection of three major roads provides retailers with pass-by traffoc and accessibility from both the north-south and east-west.

A neighborhood/community retail center is a more appropriate use for this site than a big box development.

Assuming a more efficient layout, a high floor-area ratio than the current 0.25 may be possible upon redevelopment of the Glenmont site without the need for a structured parking facility. The multiple ownership structure of the Glenmont property does present major obstacles to any redevelopment of the site.

Besides neighborhood retail uses, value-retail might also be attracted to this location. A big box development, though, might not be appropriate for this location because it is limited by its size and market draw. However, one big-box type tenant could be appropriate if the rest of the center is neighborhood-serving retail.

Other potentially successful non-traditional tenants for this location include branch libraries, a community facility, post office, or other public uses.