Historic Buildings in Kensington Could See New Life as Part of Senior Living Facility Project

Developers proposed five-story building with up to 135 dwelling units


Plans for a senior living facility in Kensington call for a five-story building that would reuse historic structures once occupied by the Mizell Lumber & Hardware Co.

Developers for Solera Reserve at Kensington, a project spanning properties at 10500 St. Paul St. and 10540 Metropolitan Ave., are requesting permission to build up to 139,850 square feet, according to an application filed last month with the planning department.

“The Project will provide desired new housing opportunities in Kensington to facilitate the creation of a more vibrant Town Center,” the development application stated. “Additionally, through adaptive reuse of the historic Mizell … buildings along St. Paul Street, the Project will promote and maintain the historic character of Kensington, balancing the reminders of the past with a look to the future.”

The roughly 60-foot-tall center would feature about 66 independent living units, 45 assisted living units and 24 memory care units, along with a fitness center, a coffee shop and a salon, the plans show. Residents would live on floors 2 through 5. The ground level would include the commercial kitchen, a central dining room and shared amenities such as a bistro and wine bar, a great room and a game room.

Floorplan for Solera Reserve at Kensington. Via Montgomery County Planning Department.

The developers, McCaffery Interests and Solera Senior Living, want to repurpose one of the historic buildings as a coffee shop that would have entrances onto the street and into the senior living facility. The other will accommodate the spa and salon that will serve residents, the plans state.

The two structures were built in the 1930s and have been used until recently by the lumber company, the developers’ application states.

The new building will form a U-shape surrounding an outdoor courtyard that will have seating areas, walking paths and a water feature. The project will provide about 103 parking spaces, the plans show. 

The planning department is reviewing the sketch plan application before presenting it to the planning board.

Bethany Rodgers can be reached at bethany.rodgers@bethesdamagazine.com.

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