Tastee Diner closed abruptly in March after owner Gene Wilkes sold the property for $3.1 million to Roadside, citing health concerns. Wilkes and Roadside had been in discussions for over a year regarding the sale of the restaurant at 8601 Cameron St. in downtown Silver Spring.
Roadside previously purchased the Capital One Bank property at 8676 Georgia Ave. for $2.7 million in August of last year.
In the proposal, the Tastee Diner & Capital One Bank properties will be consolidated and redeveloped into a mixed-use building that will consist of 550,000 square feet, with 25,000 square feet of commercial and retail space and over 500 residential units, with 15 percent reserved for moderately priced dwelling units (MPDUs).
A green roof and green space will also be included in the development plans, which also include Tastee Diner’s historic diner car, according to Roadside.
During a May community meeting, Roadside partner Jeff Edelstein stated that they are working with the county’s Historic Preservation Office on the project, with plans to preserve the diner’s stainless steel canopy as well as the north, east and west facades of the diner car while replacing the glass block base with stone. The diner may undergo other aesthetic enhancements related to color and typography, as well as lowering the diner car to street level, as reported by MoCo360.
Roadside intends to provide the necessary infrastructure to open a restaurant and repurpose the diner in the future as part of the development plans. The preliminary sketch and plans will be filed within the next few weeks, and the Planning Board will begin holding public hearings on the sketch plan and preliminary plan in the fall.
Roadside hopes to begin construction in 16 months, and community members are encouraged to contact the company with any feedback or questions about the project, Edelstein said.