On June 6, Morris and Ritchie Associates (MRA) held a presubmission meeting for a Site development Plan for a new office building on the W.R. Grace property on Grace Drive off Cedar Lane. The plan calls for the construction of an 88,000 square foot building,
associated storm water management, and additional parking. The improvements will be located adjacent to Grace Drive immediately to the right of the existing main entrance. There is currently a second entrance to the east which is not used. That entrance will become the primary entrance for the employees using the new building. Traffic studies were done and there should be no significant impact on Grace Drive as the employees come and go at different times. No road improvements are required although they would like to see designated bike lanes on Grace Drive.
The purpose of the building is to provide conference space and a cafeteria on the first floor and administrative offices on the second and third floors. Eventually an additional 125 employees will be housed on the campus. The conference space will only be used by employees of W.R. Grace and not by outsiders using the space.
The building will be constructed to LEED Silver specifications. The parking lot will be constructed of pervious pavement. Although the existing row of aging pine trees along the road will be removed, there will be an extensive new landscaping plan for the project. The large mature woodlands to the rear of the campus will be undisturbed. The chain link fence along the road frontage will be replaced with a wrought iron fence. If all county approvals are obtained, construction should begin by the end of the year with a 12 month completion date once the work begins.
Representatives noted that the 66 acre parcel to the west of the campus (closest to the homes in River Hill) is up for sale. Any development on that parcel would require its own pre-submission process. In addition, Grace owns 13 acres of residentially zoned land to the east of its campus. During the next Comprehensive Rezoning, Grace will ask the county to rezone that land to PEC to match the zoning on the rest of the 100 acre campus.
This information was provided by Joan Lancos,
Land Use Liaison for the Hickory Ridge Community Association.