Montgomery County's tallest residential tower is now in North Bethesda, a 24-story highrise across from the White Flint Mall that earned the distinction just yesterday. The JBG Companies capped the residential portion of the North Bethesda Market on Thursday with the pouring of concrete on the top floor.
In addition to the 187-unit tower just off Rockville Pike, North Bethesda Market will feature a new 6-story, 210-unit apartment building and 200,000 square feet of on-site retail space, including Whole Foods (expected to open next summer / fall) and L.A. Fitness, the only retailers to sign up, to date. All the buildings will face an interior courtyard raised above street level. All of the 397 units, about 15% of which will be affordable, are intended to be rental apartments, according to JBG.
Despite yesterday's milestone, future residents will have to wait another year to enjoy its "upgraded amenities," if the developer's construction assumptions are correct. JBG says amenities for the new building include a swimming pool, fitness center, billiards lounge, Wii, theater room, and an "exquisitely manicured rooftop courtyard with stunning panoramic views." Completion of the project will also extend Executive Avenue to Rockville Pike.
HKS Architects was responsible for the design of the overall project. Mike Nicolaus, Managing Director of the DC office of HKS, said the project has been in the works since 2004, highlighting the complexity of zoning approval on the busy corridor. Nicolaus said height was important because the county was looking for a 'gateway' to North Bethesda from the south. "That was part of the rationale for approving something of this height; an important part of the approval process." Regarding the future of the area, Nicolaus thinks Rockville Pike will be much like the Rosslyn-Ballston corridor in density and texture. "Someday soon that that entire neighborhood is going to be very dense." HKS has designed numerous large scale projects in the area, including Waterview in Rosslyn and Gallery Place in DC's Chinatown. Torti Gallas performed initial site designs, Clark Construction is the project's general contractor.
The project, then in the planning stage, was recognized in 2005 by the Washington Smart Growth Alliance. JBG is one of the largest real estate developers in the DC area.