Germantown has quickly become a major development hotspot, as our recent article on a 148-unit proposal in the neighborhood would suggest. But wouldn’t you know it, there are actually two other sizable projects proposed just a hop, skip, and a jump away from our last visit. The surface lots at both 5230 Germantown Ave. and 5322 Germantown Ave. both have plans for major additions to this historic area. As you can see below, both of these properties sit close to the heart of the neighborhood along what is a mostly in-filled corridor.

An aerial view shows the two properties in question
A look at the empty lot at 5230 Germantown Ave., immediately next to the John Bechtel House
A look at the surface lot at 5322 Germantown Ave.

5230 Germantown Ave. is currently a somewhat sad empty property, though it sits directly next to its historically protected neighbor: The John Bechtel House, which was built back in 1742 (!) and was home to the famous writer in the 18th century. Olympia Holdings are the developers here, with KJO Architecture leading the design of a 40-unit, mixed-use proposal. After an initial angular design was pitched, neighborhood feedback led to a shift in approach, with the new plans featuring a more traditional look, set off by the curved entryway along the front of the structure. The developers utilized a green roof bonus to bump up the density, adding an additional eight units to this CMX-2.5 zoned property. There is no car parking included, but 14 bicycle spaces will join a commercial space along the ground floor, according to zoning records.

A look at the original concept for the site
And a look at the updated design
An aerial rendering of the updated design
A closer look at the ground floor, with the curved entryway
The building will sit close to its historically protected neighbor

While short on details, the plans for 5322 Germantown Ave. are just as exciting. Currently a nicely landscaped surface parking lot, a zoning document from last week indicates that a similar project is likely to rise here. Look for 46 units over five stories, with a ground floor commercial space and parking for 19 cars. Weinstein Properties is the owner here, though records don’t yet indicate the architect for this proposal.

These projects would bring 86 new units to the main commercial stretch of Germantown, injecting more residential vibrancy to this increasingly appealing (and changing) area. We would imagine that there will be parking concerns regarding the influx of units, but we are all for additional density along this transit-accessible corridor. And with both projects seemingly proceeding by right, parking concerns won’t change the likelihood or viability of either building. The CMX-2.5 zoning for both of these properties seems extremely appropriate, allowing for more density and height along a key commercial strip. Now, if we could just see a couple (dozen) more projects like this nearby, plus some adaptive reuse while we’re at it, Germantown would be cooking indeed.