Silver Spring’s Argent Could Return By Year’s End

by Will Smith


Just over a year ago, Silver Spring’s newest condo, the 96-unit Argent, held its grand opening. The building was well-located at 1200 Blair Mill Road (map), just a five-minute walk to the downtown Silver Spring Metro and ten minutes to that area’s many shops and restaurants. But unfortunately for the project, spring 2009 was one of the worst times in modern history to deliver new condominiums. A few months passed, and Argent had a hard time selling units. In August, the project halted sales, and by the beginning of this year the developer Perseus Realty had returned the building to the bank.

Since then Argent has sat empty as the bank looked for a buyer. There are signs that a sale might happen within the next couple months, which could mean the project is reintroduced to the market later this year or early next. But the exact fate of the building won’t be clear until the lender actually sells it and the new owner announces its plans. It is also unclear whether Argent would come back as condos or as apartments, or even if it would still be called Argent (probably not).

The story is reminiscent of The Dumont condominium in Mount Vernon Triangle, which also delivered at a bad time, couldn’t sell enough units, was ultimately foreclosed upon, and sold to a new buyer. The buyer, Equity Residential, converted the project to apartments and rechristened it 425 Mass. Since its relaunch this spring, the lease-up has been brisk, and the project’s woes appear to be behind it.

Hopefully for Argent, its fate will also improve under new ownership.

See other articles related to: silver spring, argent

This article originally published at https://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/silver_springs_argent_could_return_by_years-end/2292


  1. jag said at 11:29 am on Friday July 23, 2010:

    Thanks for the research! It’s amazing that this building is sitting vacant, considering the area. But, like you said, Spring 2009 = nightmare.  Thankfully, they finished construction of the building (even of the “public space” which is some pretty cool looking modern pillars and seating).  It’d be 100x worse if they defaulted while still under construction and screwed up the view down Newell St., Blair Mill, and East-West.

  1. Bonnie said at 11:35 am on Friday July 23, 2010:

    The only item that might compare the Argent to the Dumont is that both buildings sat empty.  As much as I love Montgomery County, Silver Spring is not Mass Ave.

    This was supposed to be a 37 million dollar development for 96 units.  What bank, even in the good times, would provide deep financing at $375,000 a unit in Silver Spring.  How much is the bank stuck with?

  1. jag said at 11:55 am on Friday July 23, 2010:

    Haha, I think he’s just saying that the two buildings epically failed in similar ways. But still, I think they’re decently comparable in a number of ways, including demographics (age 20s-early 30s) and area (high density residential; walking distance to retail core/public transportation). Obviously, it’s different considering scale, density, schools, and of course price (sure wish I had $2700 a month to flush on Dumont rent!), but overall I’d say it’s comparing different types of apples, not apples and oranges.

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