The former Nike missile site is a relic of the Cold War and was constructed for anti-aircraft defense. Credit: Tim Pruss

Plans to develop a former Nike Missile site located on Muddy Branch Road are on track, with a sketch plan approved June 20 by the Gaithersburg Planning commission and a Schematic Development Plan in the works. The project, which will bring 380 multi-family residential units, open green space and amenities for residents, continues to draw concerns from residents in the surrounding neighborhoods.

Next, the development company on the project, Pleasants Development LLC, will submit a Schematic Development Plan to the planning commission, a preliminary plan which includes design renderings of the site. At this time, it is unknown when the preliminary plans will be submitted, which will be the next time for the public to provide comment.

Jeff Reisner, Vice President of the Lakelands Ridge homeowner’s association, wrote in an email to MoCo360 on Friday, “Approval of the sketch plan does not come as a surprise to us.” Although the Lakelands Ridge has had “cordial and cooperative” interactions with Pleasants Development, he said the community still have major concerns regarding the development.

Until Pleasants Development submits the schematic Development Plan, Reisner said the surrounding communities won’t know if their concerns have been addressed.

Clarksburg-based Pleasants Development will transform the former missile site into 380 units of housing across four buildings. Credit: Via Gaithersburg Planning Commission

The Gaithersburg Planning Commission approved the sketch plan from Clarksburg-based Pleasants Development/Muddy Branch Investments, LLC, which has projects across the Washington, D.C.-Maryland-Virginia region. The company has two complete luxury apartment communities in Germantown: Millstone at Kingsview and Kingsview Village.

Located at 770 Muddy Branch Road, the new development at the former missile site will be Pleasants Development’s third Montgomery County project.


The approved sketch plan includes 380 units across four buildings with a height of up to five stories. The approximately 13.73-acre site will also have up to 40% green space with gathering areas, open lawns and sports courts, according to officials at a public hearing on the sketch plan in March.

Originally named the Rockville W-92 Facility, the property is a relic of the Cold War. Built in 1954, the area became a U.S. Army launch site part of the anti-aircraft missile program called Project Nike. The launch site contains three missile silos and a collection of barracks and out-buildings, according to the Maryland Department of the Environment.

Sketch plans for the site include a Nike missile site commemorative feature, but it is unknown what that will look like at this time.


According to Gaithersburg Planning officials, in 1967 the property was annexed into the City of Gaithersburg. Later in 1974, Project Nike was discontinued and, in the years following, the site was used for testing and other activities by the Consumer Product Safety Commission and later by the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

In 2012, the federal government stopped using the site and sold the property to Pleasants Development through a bidding process in January 2022 for $12 million, according to records. The site is a mixed-use development zone.

A Maryland Department of the Environment report says portions of the former missile site have been remediated for chemical contamination, but there is currently no evidence of contamination at levels that could be considered significant.


Surrounding the former missile site are the Timberbrook, Lakelands Ridge and Shady Grove communities, the Muddy Branch Square shopping center, the Lakelands Ridge conservation area and city-owned land.

Members of the Gaithersburg community expressed concerns during a March 20 public hearing about the project regarding cut-through traffic, environmental impact and the height of the buildings, MoCo360 reported at the time.

An attorney that represented the Lakelands Ridge Homeowners Association, spoke at the March public hearing and expressed concerns with construction affecting the homes in the existing communities as well as looking for options of barriers between the communities to mitigate cut-through traffic.


The approved sketch plan includes two pedestrian connections: to School Drive and with Muddy Branch square shopping center. There is no direct pedestrian connection between the project and the nearby Lakelands Ridge community.

Pleasants Development LLC did not immediately respond Wednesday to MoCo360’s phone calls and emails for request to comment.