Germantown, Maryland is an urban census-designated area located 26 miles north of Washington, D.C. It is the farthest city north of Montgomery County’s commercial centers and is the youngest in terms of commercial development. Laid out as a corridor city by Montgomery County, the area encompasses six square miles bounded to the north by Little Seneca Lake and to the south by Great Seneca Creek. The area is most accessible by car via Interstate 270 and Germantown Road. Public transportation is also available via Montgomery County Department of Transportation’s bus routes 68 and 71, with major stops at the Germantown Transit Center and Germantown MARC station.
The area is primarily supported by professional, scientific, and technical services as well as healthcare and social assistance. It is the fastest growing area in Montgomery County and is the third-most populous area in Maryland. Unemployment stands at 4.7% and job growth is expected to increase by 36.1% in the next 10 years. Montgomery County has become a hotbed of biotech activity with the draw of the I-270 tech corridor. Over 370 bioscience companies call I-270 home. Local and state economic development partnerships are bolstering the area and setting it up to become a top three biotech hub by 2023.
The area is quickly developing and hosts a great selection of retail options at the Neelsville Village Center, which features a Giant Food, Starbucks, and Dress Barn and is located adjacent to the Milestone Center, which features Walmart, BestBuy, and Target. Top Golf recently announced plans to begin construction of a 65,000-square-foot location on Century Boulevard with an expected opening as late as 2018. The three-level Germantown location will be open year-round and will
include 3,000 square feet of private event space as well as 102 climate-controlled hitting bays. Montgomery County has committed to a Sector Plan for Germantown that promotes mixed-use diverse communities and an attractive public realm. Its goals are coming to fruition as developers continue to commit to the future of this promising area. Matan Companies received approval last year to facilitate the transition of the Milestone Center office park into a mixed-use community by developing three seven-story buildings with 485 new residential units and 28,250 square feet of retail. Lerner Enterprises has announced phase one construction of a mixed-use community in Northern Germantown named Black Hills, which will offer 3 million square feet of upscale office, residential, and retail development. Construction is slated to begin in 2017 and is expected to offer appealing outdoor spaces as well as a bridge over I-270. Major employers include The United States Department of Energy, Hughes Network System LLC, Qiagen North American, and Earth Network Systems, Inc.
The featured properties in this month’s rent comparable survey represent six communities in Germantown, Maryland built between 1985 and 2015. Unit sizes in this comp set range from 690 square feet for one-bedroom units to 1,466 square feet for three-bedroom units. Most older vintage communities in the area have received renovations offering granite countertops, stainless steel appliances, and hardwood flooring or wood-look vinyl. In-unit washer/dryers are standard and community amenities include fitness centers, clubhouses, and pools. Application fees are anywhere from $25 to $50 and pets are allowed in all communities although, many require substantial pet deposits and monthly pet fees. Select utilities (gas, water, sewer, trash, etc.) are often included in the rent.
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