Thursday, September 13, 2007

Downtown Bethesda Condominium Pair Gets First Stamp of Approval


The Montgomery County Planning Board staff has issued its report recommending approval of a site plan to jointly develop a pair of parking lots in downtown Bethesda into mixed-use, multi-family condominiums with as many as 250 residential units in LEED certified buildings, construction of which will require a closing and realignment of Woodmont Avenue south of Bethesda Avenue. Lot 31, now sporting a metered parking lot at the crossroads of Bethesda and Woodmont Avenues - on the west side - and Lot 31A, across Woodmont Avenue to the east, are now on track for development as the southern gateway to Bethesda (depicted above, looking south), a predominantly glass and brick duo with a combined 250 units (up to 146 in the west building and 97 in the east), 40,000 s.f. of retail space and as many as 1480 underground parking spaces.


Both the 3-acre and the one-third acre lots are currently owned by the county, and will be jointly developed between the county and the development team, itself a joint venture between DC-based PN Hoffman and Stonebridge Development. The County will require 12.5% of the units built as MPDUs (moderately priced dwelling units) and an additional 35 as workforce housing. The conditional approval by the Planning Board will require conformity to a list of preconditions, including traffic, structural, public space, affordable housing, and bike trail accommodations, limiting the building height to 90 feet to the east of Woodmont, though stepping down to 65 feet at street level, considerably shorter than the 143-foot Seasons apartment building to the immediate east, and to a maximum of 54 feet to the west of Woodmont. Retail will accommodate outdoor seating, extending Bethesda Row to the south, and significant concessions will be made for the Capitol Crescent Trail, including additional bike racks and a "drop-off" point on Woodmont where bikers can unload from vehicles onto a new branch of the trail on the south side of the west building, providing an additional access point to the bike trail from Woodmont, which will be shifted to the west to line up Woodmont more directly where it crosses Bethesda Avenue.

PNH and Stonebridge most recently jointly developed Chase Point Condominiums in Chevy Chase DC. The staff report is not final, but signals a likelihood the full Board will approve the project. A hearing on the issue will be held September 20th.

Bethesda Maryland real estate development news

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