A new Montgomery County-based development firm plans to bring 112 new brownstone townhouses to the front yard of the $100 million Strathmore Music Center and Mansion. Symphony Park at Strathmore is the first signature project for Streetscape Partners, a two-year-old firm that recently won the right to develop the 18-acre site at the southeast corner of the intersection of Strathmore Avenue and Rockville Pike in North Bethesda thanks to the financial backing of Lubert-Adler Partners, LP. The community will offer new residents access to the Grosvenor-Strathmore Metro and select membership with the Strathmore.
According to Ron Kaplan, Co-managing Principal at Streetscape, the four-story townhouses will each have a deck and most will have a "mews," front green space or garden with an alley in the back for access to the two-car garage. The fourth story of each home is a loft. The project offers "significantly more open space than most of these types of developments" added Kaplan. The developer described the finishes as "real materials" meaning brick and stone and solid wood doors. The design team tried to evoke the appearance of Georgetown, and Boston's back bay, a "sophisticated" community, according to Kaplan.
Not all 18 acres will be developed for housing; the team is donating five acres for use by Montgomery County as an outdoor amphitheater for public performances, linked to Strathmore. Additionally, the plan includes a new "Symphony Park Forest," several acres of "forested land created from scratch" with the planting of 200 some odd trees to line a new walk way between the community and the Arts Center, explained Kaplan.
Kaplan described that site as "one of the best pieces of land for residential development in the whole county (Montgomery)." The land previously belonged to the American Speech Language Hearing Association (ASHA) and had been under contract with residential developer Centex; Streetscape snapped it up when market conditions forced Centex to renege on its contract after several years of pre-development planning. Streetscape inherited the footprint, including the agreed upon number of homes from the original buyer and retained architects, Lessard Group, to rework the design. Though Kaplan assured his designs "increase the quality" changing the previous plans "pretty significantly." According to Kaplan, the team has all of its approvals from the County and expects to begin land development in the fall with the first model units appearing next spring. Sales will also begin this fall.
North Bethesda, Maryland real estate development news