Public Transportation: Bus & Rail
Walk Score: 48
Grocery Store(s): Safeway, Giant, Harris Teeter, Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, Food Lion
Local High School: Gaithersburg, Quince Orchard, Watkins Mill
Gaithersburg, MD is divided into east and west sections, separated by I-270. The eastern section of the city is older and is the original portion of the town before more recent growth. Landmarks and buildings from that time can still be seen in many places but especially in the historic central business district of Gaithersburg called “Olde Town”. The east side also includes Lakeforest Mall, City Hall, and the Montgomery County Fair grounds.
The west side of Gaithersburg has several upscale neighborhoods that were designed with smart growth techniques embracing the concept of New Urbanism, which promotes walkable neighborhoods containing a range of housing and job types. These neighborhoods include the award-winning Kentlands community, the Lakelands community, and the Washingtonian Center (better known as The Rio), a popular shopping/business district. Another three New Urbanism communities are currently under construction, including Crown Farm, Watkins Mill Town Center, and the massive “Science City.”
The Gaithersburg “Science City” will have 17.5 million sq. feet of development, an estimated 52,500 jobs, 9,000 residential units, 4 light rail stops, and 4 BRT routes. It will be home to a major hospital, academic institutions, and private biotechnology companies. The Life Sciences City (LSC) will serve as a premier location for the largest concentration in the U.S. of advanced technology companies. Shady Grove Adventist Hospital, Johns Hopkins University-Montgomery County Campus (JHU-MCC), the Universities at Shady Grove, and biotechnology companies such as Human Genome Sciences, BioReliance, and the J. Craig Venter Institute are all slated to be located in the Life Sciences City of Gaithersburg. The federal government’s General Services Administration also recently selected the JHU-MCC site for the National Cancer Institute’s consolidated headquarters.
The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is headquartered in Gaithersburg directly west of I-270. Other major employers in the city include IBM, Lockheed Martin Information Systems and Global Services business area headquarters, MedImmune/AstraZeneca, and the French multinational corporation, Sodexo.