Historic Tastee Diner Dining Car to Anchor Massive Redevelopment in Downtown Silver Spring

Roadside Development has filed sketch plans to redevelop the Tastee Diner and adjacent Capital One Bank building in downtown Silver Spring.

Tastee Diner closed abruptly last 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 purchased the Capital One Bank property at 8676 Georgia Ave. for $2.7 million in August 2022.

A recent report from UrbanTurf has revealed that D.C.-based Bonstra | Haresign Architects are in the early conceptual stages of designing the 30-story project, which will feature up to 525 residential units, 25,000 square feet of retail space, and a minimum of 340 parking spaces. Additionally, 15 percent of the apartments will be reserved for moderately priced dwelling units (MPDUs).

Roadside will preserve the Tastee Diner car as part of the new development.

During a public meeting held last May, Roadside partner Jeff Edelstein announced that they would collaborate with the county’s Historic Preservation Office for the upcoming project, aiming to preserve the stainless steel canopy as well as the north, east, and west façades of the diner car. As part of the project, the diner car’s current glass block base would be replaced with stone while considering other aesthetic enhancements such as typography and color. The Roadside team is exploring possibly lowering the diner car to street level to improve accessibility.

Additionally, Edelstein said Roadside plans to design and provide infrastructure for a restaurant to enter the space, intending to reuse the diner.

“The Applicant is proposing to retain the Historic Tastee Diner’s orientation toward Cameron Street but move it west approximately 45 feet toward Ramsey Street, to a more prominent corner location, with deeper open space at its front,” documents filed with Montgomery Planning stated, according to UrbanTurf. “The exterior of the existing 800 square foot diner will be retained, restored, and incorporated into the first floor of the mixed-use building and is currently anticipated to function as retail or restaurant space.”

According to MoCo360, Montgomery Planning’s Development Review Committee will review the sketch plan on April 9th, with a public hearing tentatively scheduled for mid-July.

The Tastee Diner project is one of two large residential projects planned for downtown Silver Spring; plans were submitted last month for a 450-unit residential tower to be built on top of Ellsworth Place. Additionally, the 375-unit Atwell on Spring complex, which will have Montgomery County’s third MOM’s Organic Market as an anchor tenant, is scheduled to open later this year.

Concept Renderings Courtesy of Bonstra | Haresign Architects / Montgomery Planning

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