Roadside to Replace Tastee Diner With Mixed-Use Development in Silver Spring


Roadside Development is turning a longtime railcar-shaped diner into a mixed-use community in Silver Spring, Md.

The developer acquired the 77-year-old Tastee Diner at 8601 Cameron Street, a staple of the town, after owner Gene Wilkes decided it was time to retire. Roadside already owned the adjacent Capital One bank branch lot at 8676 Georgia Avenue, having acquired it in August of 2022 for $2.7 million — giving Roadside a full block to redevelop.

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Built in 1946, the diner’s railroad car design sat at its original Silver Spring location at the corner of Wayne and Georgia avenues before being acquired by Wilkes in 1988. In 2000, Wilkes moved a portion of the dining cab to its current home as a way to make room for the construction of the Discovery Channel headquarters.

The redevelopment will honor the diner’s Silver Spring location by incorporating the original 800-square-foot dining car into the future mixed-use residential project.

“Roadside has a strong presence in the DMV market and has long been looking to expand into Montgomery County with a mixed-use project,” Jeff Edelstein, a partner at Roadside Development, told Commercial Observer. “When Gene Wilkes approached us about purchasing the site, we felt that it was the right opportunity to create a mixed-use residential project in this area, especially with other exciting developments in the area including the new aquatic center that will be coming to Silver Spring.”

The Washington, D.C.-based developer is known for its adaptive reuse of commercial properties, such as the transformation of the former Fannie Mae campus into City Ridge, a 1.2 million-square-foot development in the District.

Roadside is still in the early stage of design and isn’t able to provide an exact timeline or project costs at this time, according to the company.

Keith Loria can be reached at