July 29, 2021


KENSINGTON, MD. On July 28, 2021, the Housing Opportunities Commission of Montgomery County (HOC) gathered with public and private partners to celebrate the topping out milestone for Elizabeth House III – the cornerstone of Silver Spring’s Elizabeth Square community and future home to the South County Regional Recreation and Aquatic Center (SCRRAC).

ESThe topping out event - a traditional builder’s milestone and celebration of reaching the highest point of construction – was attended by key construction, development, financing, and programmatic partners including representatives from Lee Development Group, Costello Construction, Jones Lang LaSalle, PNC Bank, R4 Capital, KGD Architecture, and Holy Cross Health. Also present were Montgomery County government partners, including representatives from the Department of General Services and the Department of Recreation, as well as Council President Tom Hucker, Council Vice President Gabe Albornoz, and Councilmember Will Jawando.

“All nine members of the County Council understand deeply that we have a housing crisis and we need all types of housing – particularly affordable housing, particularly senior affordable housing – but housing at all levels all across the county,” said Council President Tom Hucker. “This [Elizabeth Square] is a part of the solution, it’s a big part of the solution…we’re very committed to affordable housing and we’re very lucky to have partners like yourselves.”

“We have reached not only a physical pinnacle, but a figurative one, as well,” noted HOC Executive Director Stacy Spann. “This signifies a new beginning, and a celebration of partnership, community and what you can achieve when you value and work hard at both.”

In fact, HOC and partner Lee Development Group, in undertaking the large-scale development of Elizabeth Square located in the heart of downtown Silver Spring, will produce 887 residential units, 6,000 square feet of retail space and ample community and recreation space when the project is complete. The entire development will occupy 770,000 square feet and add 436 residential units to the area.

Moreover, Elizabeth Square will change how HOC connects customers to high-quality, amenity-rich housing while appealing to market rate renters. Elizabeth Square combines affordable housing with public health amenities to create a sustainable, mixed-income, multi-generational environment. The public aquatic and recreation center amenities featured on the ground level will invigorate the area and demonstrate how HOC is re-imagining affordable housing. The center will include an eight lane lap pool, multi-purpose therapy pool, spa, fitness area, basketball court, locker rooms and supportive spaces. The recreation center is designed to open onto a central plaza to increase public access and open space. Elizabeth House III will also house a Holy Cross Health-affiliated wellness center.

ES2 “While today we celebrate a historic partnership between HOC, County government, and the private sector in delivery of the built environment – what is perhaps most exciting are the prospective opportunities this community will bring to its residents: health, wellness, recreation, educational and career resources – these are critical connections that the Commission has come to expect from every development we do,” said HOC Board Chair Roy Priest. “We expect it because Mr. Spann has spent many years instilling the value of being a customer-oriented agency – always putting people at the center of the result. After nearly a decade of service to HOC, he leaves us poised to deliver a pipeline of opportunities that will endeavor to meet the promise of more thoughtful, diverse and economically inclusive communities.”

Elizabeth Square and Elizabeth House III represent the innovation in housing development that HOC has come to be known for during Spann’s tenure as Executive Director at HOC, often characterized by unconventional financing structures and partnerships. During Spann’s term, the agency partnered with best-in-class private sector construction, development, financing and programmatic partners to meet its mission, grew its portfolio and deeply invested in communities to ensure persons from all walks of life could benefit from all that Montgomery County has to offer.  With Spann at the helm, the agency garnered numerous accolades and awards – including the Urban Land Institute’s Jack Kemp Excellence in Affordable and Workforce Housing Award – while significantly expanding its footprint within the county, the number of units under its control and supportive services offered to individuals and families across Montgomery County. Spann tendered his resignation to the Commission in May 2021. Acting Executive Director and Secretary-Treasurer Kayrine Brown will take over for Spann on August 1, 2021.



About the Housing Opportunities Commission of Montgomery County (HOC)

The Housing Opportunities Commission of Montgomery County provides affordable housing and supportive services that enhance the lives of low- and moderate-income families and individuals. HOC is a property owner and operator, and a vertically-integrated developer, focusing on three things: getting people housed, keeping people housed, and helping customers reach their fullest potential. HOC serves more than 15,000 Montgomery County residents, owns more than 8,000 rental units, and provides assistance to more than 7,000 low-income households – many of whom are seniors and persons with disabilities – through the Housing Choice Voucher program.

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