Ellsworth Place Development: 20-Story Apartment Tower Seeks Approval in Downtown Silver Spring

Plans for a large new residential project above Ellsworth Place in downtown Silver Spring are set to proceed, according to UrbanTurf.

A staff report (PDF) from the county’s Planning Board meeting on May 16 recommends approving a sketch plan outlining a nearly 20-story, 450-unit apartment project to be constructed atop the mall’s existing structure along Colesville Road.

Brentwood, Tenn.-based GBT Realty, the owners of Ellsworth Place, submitted the sketch plan earlier this year.

Last November, GBT Realty revealed plans to expand the mall by adding approximately 425,593 square feet of residential space on 91,248 square feet of available land. The proposed development falls within the zoning area outlined in the Silver Spring Downtown & Adjacent Communities Plan, which was approved by the County Council in 2022.

The plan allows for a building height of approximately 300 feet, integrating the existing retail mall and including up to 450 multifamily units, county-mandated moderately priced dwelling units (MPDUs), and rooftop amenities like a pool.

Ellsworth Place, which opened as City Place Mall in the early 1990s, had initial plans for future construction, including an office tower.

Pedestrian access to the new tower was planned and constructed in 1991, along with the initial office tower plans. According to planning documents, parking is not included in the project because of its transit-rich location in downtown Silver Spring; several County garages are nearby, including the Town Square Garage (Garage 61), which is connected to Ellsworth Place via a skywalk.

GBT Realty acquired Ellsworth Place in 2018 and has since signed on several new tenants, including Outback Steakhouse, which opened in April, and the Commas food hall, which announced six new eateries last week. The 11-vendor food hall is nearly fully leased, with only two spaces remaining; tenants are expected to start opening in mid-summer, with a full grand opening scheduled for September.

Rendering Courtesy of GBT Realty

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