With Rockville Center, a substantial mixed-use project in the booming Washington, D.C., suburbs, Essex Capital demonstrated its ability to execute large master planning projects, in the process revitalizing a downtown neighborhood with an exciting development embraced by the community. Essex Capital saw the potential in the rising transit-accessible Washington suburbs and seized on the opportunity to purchase the 10-acre site in the city of Rockville, which had been overlooked by others.

Located near the Rockville Metro Station and Maryland Route 355 in downtown Rockville, a historic Maryland city that was beginning to recognize the advantages of the one-seat ride to downtown D.C., the property was mostly occupied by a dilapidated shopping mall, which Essex Capital razed. The company then created and executed the long-term master plan for the property, a $300 million development with 1.3 million planned square feet of office space, housing, retail, and restaurants. Essex Capital also enlisted the global architecture firm HOK to fine-tune the project's "town square" aesthetic.

The redevelopment of Rockville Center included many complex and ultimately successful development initiatives, including a new subterranean 13-screen movie theater and, at 255 Rockville Pike, the conversion of an empty department store shell into a 200,000 square foot office building that became the county's headquarters. Essex Capital also planned and built several "development pads," individual sites primed for new construction that were then resold to other developers, or held on to as long-term investments.

Another major component of the project involved replacing the failed mall superblock with a traditional block and grid system, to which all new buildings were adapted. Working with local, county, and state government officials, Essex Capital was also responsible for building the project’s infrastructure, including roads, sidewalks, sewers, parking garages, plazas and public green space. Space was also provided for the town's library and arts center, creating a lasting bond with the people of Montgomery County.

As one journalist wrote of the site’s transformation from an urban blight to a thriving commercial and residential hub, "The revitalization of this section of the City of Rockville has created a pedestrian friendly gathering place and an ideal space for public events such as farmers’ markets, concerts, and community festivals."

© Essex Capital, 2012