The former Silver Spring police station may become a home for budding artists, as a new station nearby is set to open in May.
County Executive Isiah Leggett has assigned the 50-year-old building at 801 Sligo Ave. in downtown Silver Spring to the Department of Housing and Community Affairs to pursue the development of the site, to include a range of housing opportunities and an art element, according to a recent report from the Silver Spring Regional Center.
“Our initial concept is affordable artist live/work housing and workforce housing,” Jalal Greene, chief of division of housing in Montgomery County, wrote in an email to The Gazette.
The art element can be a number of options such as an exhibit space or an artist incubator space, Greene wrote.
County officials will begin reaching out for community input in late March.
But the report states there was considerable community input and redeveloping the place to artistic use was one of the frequent recommendations.
“In large part, these discussions took place at various community meetings with Silver Spring residents, in particular Fenton Village,” Greg Ossont, deputy director of the county’s Department of General Services, wrote in an email.
The new 32,844-square-foot Silver Spring police station, at the intersection of New Hampshire Avenue and U.S. 29, cost $25 million and is funded as part of $40 million in capital projects meant for police projects.
The new location is owned by the county.
According to county documents, the existing Silver Spring police station was built in 1962, and does not provide adequate work space for staff, is not equipped to accommodate future technology, and has no public meeting spaces.
County officials said the new police station is “very strategic” and will provide “state of the art” equipment and “better” security systems.
A ribbon cutting date hasn’t been set.