Monday, October 12, 2009

South Silver Spring carves out its own sense of community - Gazette

Block party highlights how far area has come

by Jason Tomassini | Staff Writer | Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2009

With residents examining local wares like avant-garde hats and dog clothes, munching on Indian and Mediterranean food and most either toting a puppy, a baby or a beer, one thing became abundantly clear Saturday at the South Silver Spring Block Party: south Silver Spring is not what it used to be.

The neighborhood once associated with industrial warehouses, vacant office buildings and vagrants is now home to new high-rise residential buildings, active streets and young families. It's not the Silver Spring of old and it's not even the new downtown Silver Spring. It's distinctively south Silver Spring, and, for the first time in awhile, that's a good thing.

"This neighborhood, as opposed to the downtown area, is where people who live in Silver Spring and know the area want to come," said David Richards, 29, who lives in the Aurora Condominiums on East West Highway, said from the Hook and Ladder beer garden at the Saturday's third annual block party.

Roughly 1,200 residential units have been recently completed in south Silver Spring, and about 900 more are under construction or will begin occupancy soon, according to data from the Silver Spring Regional Services Center Web site.

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