The Blairs Master Plan The existing Blairs complex was originally conceived and built by The Tower Companies in the 1950s and ‘60s as a suburban neighborhood. The community is located on 27 acres across from the Silver Spring Transit Station, which includes the Metro Red Line, the future Purple Line, the MARC commuter rail, and numerous Metro Bus lines. The live-work-play campus is a mixture of 1,400 existing apartments, a Giant anchored retail center, and The Blairs Office Building, all managed by The Tower Companies.
The Blairs Master Plan will transform the existing community into a vibrant, mixed-use, transit oriented integrated and smart-growth community through a new urban concept. This evolution will see the transformation of existing surface parking lots into new residences including both townhouses and apartment towers, open urban parks laced throughout the community, dog parks, exercise parks, new restaurants, and retail shops anchored by a grocery store, a hotel, office building, and numerous other amenities. The County approved the current zoning on February 1, 2000, which allows for the proposed additional density that the Master Plan reflects, an additional 1,400 residential units for a maximum of 2,800 units within the community and 450,000 square feet of commercial and office space. As always, Tower will develop these new spaces in an environmental friendly manner, offering a sustainable lifestyle for Montgomery County’s growing population.
Developer - The Tower Companies Edward Murn, LEED AP® and Director of Development for The Tower Companies is overseeing The Blairs Master Plan project, the company’s flagship property in Silver Spring. He joined The Tower Companies in September 2008. With nearly 20 years in the industry, Ed has a comprehensive understanding of real estate investment, development, capital markets and project management. His primary experience is in multi-family residential and mixed-use projects.
The Tower Companies is a family-owned, award winning sustainable real estate development company, founded by Albert Abramson in 1947, and located in Rockville, MD. Tower pioneered the building of USGBC LEED® certified residential and commercial properties. Tower’s portfolio includes 4.5 million square feet of office buildings, office parks, 1,500 apartments, regional malls, eco-progressive live-work-play communities and hotels in the Washington, DC Area. Among their other signature properties are Washington Square, White Flint, 2000 Tower Oaks Boulevard, River Creek Club and Bethesda Place Office and Apartments. 90% of the company’s properties are LEED® certified.
The Tower Companies has received numerous awards and recognition for their commitment to sustainability, energy independence and building some of the healthiest buildings in the region by national organizations, Federal and State agencies, including US Green Building Council, Urban Land Institute, Harvard University, US Department of Energy, US Environmental Protection Agency and State of Maryland.
In 2004, Blair Towns were the first US Green Building Council (USGBC) LEED® certified apartments in the US and in 2011 Blair Towns became the first LEED EBOM Platinum certified apartments in the world. The US Green Building Council certified another significant milestone in 2012 - The Blairs became the First Multi-Family Certified LEED Gold under Residential Campus for Existing Buildings: Operations and Management criteria. In addition, USGBC of the National Capital Region named The Blairs the 2012 LEED EB Project of the Year. For more information, visit: www.towercompanies.com
Architect/Planner - Bing Thom Architects (BTA) Bing Thom is one of Canada’s most admired and accomplished architects and the founding principal of Bing Thom Architects (BTA), a Vancouver-based firm he founded in 1982. A graduate of the University of British Columbia and the University of California-Berkeley, Bing is a dedicated and artful city-builder with a global reputation. His commitment to using great architecture to improve the urban context and social condition has been recognized by a range of honors including the Order of Canada, the Golden Jubilee Medal, honorary degrees from SFU and UBC, and an honorary professorship from Tongji University in Shanghai. In 2010, BTA was awarded the 2010 Firm of the Year Award by the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC). Most recently, Bing received the 2011 RAIC Gold Medal, the highest honor given to a Canadian architect.
BTA is an award-winning international firm of visionary architects and planners who share a fundamental belief in the transformative power of great architecture to uplift, not only the physical, but also the economic and social conditions of a community. BTA has collaborated with and advised cultural institutions, corporations, universities, governments, developers and communities around the world for over 30 years. Most recently, BTA completed the much-celebrated Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater, which received the Top Honor Award from the US Institute for Theatre Technology and inclusion on Urban Land Institute’s Top 10 building list in 2010.
BTA has an impressive worldwide resume of master planning projects that include: the master plans for the new harbor development in the City of Dalian and the City of Yuxi in China; the creation of a new city center for Surrey, BC with Surrey Central City; the Chan Centre for the Performing Arts at the University of British Columbia; the Trinity Uptown Plan for Fort Worth, Texas; and the Tarrant Country College downtown campus in Fort Worth, Texas. For more information, visit: www.bingthomarchitects.com
Landscape Architect -Sasaki Associates Alan Ward, Fellow of the American Society of Landscape Architects (FASLA), Principal of Sasaki, is an urban designer and landscape architect. Spanning over 30 years at Sasaki, his work has focused on the planning and design of major public spaces as well as private mixed-use development. His design leadership extends from the concept stage through implementation and construction and frequently begins working with clients by establishing an urban design framework, and then proceeds with landscape design. He has received multiple awards, including many for landmark projects such as The Dallas Arts District, Reston Town Center, and The Cleveland Gateway. He is the author of American Designed Landscapes.
Founded in 1960, Sasaki is an international design firm that is actively engaged in virtually every aspect of the built environment-architecture, civil engineering, graphic design, interior design, landscape architecture, planning and urban design, and strategic planning. Their range of projects is vast, from 10,000-square-foot corporate interiors to 500,000-square-foot academic and athletic buildings to entire new city precincts in places as distant and diverse as coastal California, urban New England, and the technology corridors of northern India. With more than 30 LEED Accredited Professionals, their commitment to environmental sustainability is evidenced by Sustainable Solutions, a firm-wide vehicle for research and implementation of innovative green solutions, evidenced through in-house expertise in the applications of sustainable engineering, planning, and design.
Sasaki has won more than 500 national and international design awards across all firm disciplines. Awards include 2012 Global Awards for Excellence, Urban Land Institute for The Avenue at Foggy Bottom Metro, 2010 Award of Excellence, American Institute of Architects Washington DC Chapter, Architect of the Capitol: US Visitor Center, and the 2007 Firm Award, American Society of Landscape Architects. Other prominent local work includes the Lincoln Memorial Landscape and Reflecting Pool, and National Harbor. For more information, visit: www.sasaki.com
For more information, please contact Ed Murn, The Tower Companies, 301.984.7000