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Downtown Silver Spring in Silver Spring, Maryland, is a 22-acre mixed-use suburban downtown revitalization project. "Silver Spring’s core was at one time a non-descript area of parking lots, aging retail, office buildings, and boarded-up storefronts. It is now a thriving, mixed-use town center within an arts and entertainment district," writes John Marcolin, a Montgomery County planner.
Developed from Maryland’s Smart Growth policies, the “first ring” suburban project is the result of a public-private partnership. It involved the creation of retail, entertainment, office, and public spaces and multi-family housing units, as well as four vibrant, revitalized main streets that are safe and pedestrian-friendly.
The Rudy Bruner Award for Urban Excellence 2005 selection committee stated:
"Downtown Silver Spring project worked with the architecture of the Discovery Center and its public park, the commons, and the Veterans Plaza on axis with the transit center."
Totaling $1.3 billion in investment, the revitalization has resulted in more than one million square feet of retail space including movie theaters and restaurants in a restored historic Art Deco building. The American Film Institute and the world headquarters for Discovery Communications are housed in newly developed office spaces. Located adjacent to a Metro stop, the project provides a transit-oriented model of redevelopment in a suburb serving a diverse population.
Jean Lafitte, Louisiana
Of all the projects recognized by the 2013 Charter Awards jury, this project inspired particular warmth – particular enough to create a special award of recognition for its locally driven, handcrafted approach.
Mashpee Commons #thisisCNU
Transformation of the former New Seabury Shopping Center in Mashpee, Massachusetts, into a town center began 30 years ago. The early-1960s strip mall at the intersection of two state highways on Cape Cod was fading and needed refurbishment.
Although Lakewood, Colorado, is the fifth largest city in the state, until the last decade the city had no true downtown.