By Matt Laslo
Montgomery County, Maryland officials say a new economic development district in Silver Spring is just the start of an effort to revitalize the area.
A massive drill is driving into the wet clay just a stone's throw from the Silver Spring Metro. It's the future sight of an apartment complex, but Steve Silverman, the Director of Economic Development in Montgomery County, says it's much more than that.
"Oh this is the beginning. More vibrancy adjacent to Metro. It's urban planning at its best," says Silverman.
Another apartment building is planned and officials are hoping to attract more businesses into the area. When all the construction is finished officials say close to 1,000 residents will move closer to the Silver Spring Transit Center, which is also still under construction.
Delegate Tom Hucker says building living spaces near public transit hubs is important for Maryland because the state is expected to gain one million new residents in the next two decades.
"The challenge to us is making sure that we give them places to work and places to live that are smart and don't diminish our quality of life," says Hucker.
The project is estimated to cost around $100 million, $5 million of which is coming from Montgomery County.