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Galaxy Apartments Open in Downtown Silver Spring, MD

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Public Private Partnership Delivers Public Art Spaces, Affordable and Market Rate Housing and Public Parking in the Heart of Downtown Silver SpringSilver Spring, MD, February 13, 2012 – The stars aligned two years ago when developer RST Development and Montgomery County, MD combined forces to launch construction on the Galaxy, a new five-story, 195-unit, mid-rise rental apartment building in downtown Silver Spring, MD. Leased and managed by Hercules Real Estate, the Galaxy's leasing center was recently opened to prospective residents. A stunning, decorated model apartment is open for touring, public art is dazzling pedestrians and dozens of one, two and two bedroom with den apartments have been pre-leased. The Galaxy brings 82 affordable apartments and 113 market units to this dynamic section of Silver Spring.

"The Galaxy is opening its doors to residents at a very opportune time in the market," said RST Development Principal, Scott Copeland. "Our location in the core of Silver Spring's arts district, walking distance to the Metro, has great appeal to the growing number of individuals and families who want to rent in a close-in location. We brought in top local design talent and artists to create a fresh, contemporary design and a decidedly urban feel to this project."

"The Galaxy team is fulfilling its promise to bring affordable and market rate housing as well as additional parking to downtown Silver Spring," said Richard Y. Nelson, Jr., Director of the Montgomery County – Department of Housing and Community Affairs. "This public-private initiative demonstrates the opportunity we have for win-win-win developments in Montgomery County. The Galaxy is a win for residents of many income levels, a win for the County in bringing additional parking for a 24-7 neighborhood and a win for a development team that is opening the right product at exactly the right time."

Galaxy residents will enjoy an abundance of light and air at this stylish addition to downtown Silver Spring. A public plaza greets residents and their guests as they approach the project and a peaceful interior courtyard with benches and sculpture provides for both a quiet visit and allows for tranquil views from balconies and patios. A green roof provides eco-friendly storm water management and solar panels reduce the building's energy load.

Creating a pedestrian friendly path through the block between 13th Street and King Street, a new Art Walk will offer the opportunity for art installations by local artists. A stunning mural by acclaimed local artist, Martha Jackson Jarvis, greets residents at the entrance to the building.

Downtown Silver Spring combines convenience and extraordinary transportation access with an eclectic mix of dining, shopping, and entertainment. Galaxy residents will have front door access to the free VanGo shuttle service that serves more than two dozen Silver Spring stops, making outings to the many concerts, arts and crafts fairs, farmers market and cultural festivals easy and affordable. The Silver Spring Metro station is close to the project and three bus shelters with real-time schedule information flank the project. Bicyclists will find plentiful storage and the 368-car underground garage provides 208 dedicated spaces for residents as well as car share parking and public parking. A full service concierge and an Onsite Transportation Benefits Coordinator bring convenience and efficiency to life at the Galaxy.

Galaxy amenities include a large, luxurious clubroom with pool table, flat screen televisions and a Wii™ station as well as a cyber café with a Wi-Fi Hotspot. A fully equipped private fitness center sports glass windows to the plaza. Aparhttp://www.herculesliving.com/admin/index.cfm?adminFunction=editPage#tments are designed with condo-grade finishes, from custom cabinetry to granite countertops and stainless steel appliances to ceramic floors, full-size washers and dryers, walk-in closets, patios and balconies. Families will enjoy not only the easy walk to local favorite restaurants, grocery stores such as Whole Foods, movies and shops but also the private "tot lot" with creatively designed play equipment.

The Galaxy was developed by RST Development after an extensive property assemblage and is an example of a public private partnership working together for jobs, affordable housing and development. The financing included a tax-exempt bond mortgage of $38.5 million provided by the Montgomery County Housing Opportunities Commission, along with a $5 million loan from the Montgomery County Department of Housing and Community Affairs, from the County's Housing Initiative Fund. The County also provided a Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILOT) agreement. The Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development provided Low Income Housing Tax Credits. The 368-space parking garage is the result of a partnership between RST Development and the Montgomery County Parking Lot District, who owned the surface lot that existed prior to development.

The Galaxy team is comprised of top quality firms in the areas of design and construction: