Monday, April 23, 2007

Boomtown Bethesda – Yet More Development


Just when we thought there couldn’t possibly be another inch of space left for development in the Bethesda Row neighborhood, the real estate market again proves us wrong. Things are expected to get very busy and congested at the former parking lots at the corners of Woodmont and Bethesda Avenues, at the south end of the Bethesda Row shops, if two new projects become reality.

First up is a mixed-use project planned for the northeast corner of Bethesda and Woodmont (named Woodmont East - Phase II). Applications submitted by developer JBG show a 121,090-sf hotel, over 36,000 sf of retail, 78,300 of office space, and 250 apartment units (32 of which will be Moderately Priced Dwelling Units or MPDUs) in a five-story (or more) building. The Montgomery County Development Review Committee is expected to next pick up discussion of this project on May 7.

The second development is a joint public-private project between PN Hoffman/Stonebridge Associates and Montgomery County that will take up the southeast and southwest corners of Woodmont and Bethesda (Lots 31 and 31A). Pictured is an early rendering of the project looking south down Woodmont Avenue. Preliminary plans call for 250 hi-rise condominium units (some of which will be MPDUs) with pricing starting in the $600,000 range, plus 40,000 sf of retail. There will also be an underground parking lot to accommodate over 1,500 cars (mostly public). Woodmont Avenue is expected to be relocated and redesigned a bit, but will continue to run through this project. The development will also ensure access to the nearby Capital Crescent Trial. Groundbreaking is expected for Summer 2008, with completion in 2011.

These projects join a number of other new developments in the Bethesda Row area, including the renovated Chase (377 condo units), the Bethesda Row extension (180 rentals), 7001 Arlington Road (111 condo units), 4913-4921 Hampden Lane (60 condo units), and 4901 Hampden Lane (70 condo units).

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