SPEAK OUT: Can Olde Towne Gaithersburg Become A Local Destination?

Olde Towne Advisory Subcommittee hopes to turn Olde Towne Gaithersburg into a local destination.

At the mention of Olde Towne, too many people in the Gaithersburg area associate with Old Town Alexandria, something Olde Towne Advisory Subcommittee co-chair Lenny Levy said he hopes to change.

Seeking new members, the subcommittee hopes to serve as "the eyes and ears of Olde Towne," and "find out what we can do to bring new business, new residential prospects and new people," Levy told Gaithersburg Mayor Sidney A. Katz and the City Council during Monday's annual commmittee briefings.

Levy called the committee's major project, the Archstone community, "an attractive amenity" that will help kickstart progress on making Olde Towne a local destination.

Archstone is a new apartment complex along East Diamond Avenue which will lease retail space to tenants on the ground floor.

Levy also said signage along I-270 and I-370 needs to be changed to further promote Olde Towne. Signs currently recognize the Gaithersburg Historic District, but not areas like Olde Towne and Kentlands, Levy said.

Speak Out: Can Olde Towne Gaithersburg become a local destination? Do you, like Lenny Levy, view the Archstone community as an attractice amenity? How would you like to see Olde Towne improved? Tell us in the comments!

Greg Cohen December 13, 2012 at 10:12 PM
Thanks for the added input and context, Matt!
Mike B December 17, 2012 at 08:42 AM
I agree with the comments about the nightlife/music venue. I'm not sure what the building houses now, but several years ago, on Diamond Ave there was a club called The Old Town Firehouse Cue (before that it was Buffallo Billiards). That was a great place that was always packed. They had a lot great local and national acts there. Unfortunately the owners, a husband and wife, were going through a messy divorce and had to close the place. Seeing as how there is a severe lack of music venues left in Montgomery County, a similar club could provide a large draw of people. I know there are many who would argue saying that the music venues closed due to lack of business/interest, but I beleieve that it was because there was such an overabundance that the market was oversaturated. In addition, I believe a major problem in turning Old Towne Gaithersburg into a "local destination" that has not been addressed is the railroad crossing. Unless you're a local who knows to pass Summit and take Brookes to avoid the tracks there's a good chance you may find yourself sitting at the intersection of Summit and Diamond for 10 minutes, or sometimes more. Personally I feel that a bridge over the tracks would make the area more inviting to businesses.
Sharon December 17, 2012 at 03:58 PM
Clark Day January 27, 2013 at 04:19 PM
As long as there are 5 check cashing stores within walking distance of each other in Olde Towne there will not be successful growth.
Old Town Supporter March 26, 2013 at 05:40 PM
Before you can attract the "right mix of retail tenants" the retailers need to see significant numbers of people with disposable income living in Old Towne. The Archstone project is just a small part of what needs to occur to both attract and retain this critical demographic. The more that the area can attract high earning 25 - 34 year olds the more that restaurants, boutiques and other businesses will be attracted to the area. This will help to create a virtuous cycle of improvement rather than the fits and starts stagnation that has plagued the area for years. To achieve this success, the City simply needs to set high standards and then get out of the way.


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