Monday, August 30, 2010

North Bethesda Developers Seek Density as Solution to Sprawl


Developers of North Bethesda, having just completed the county's tallest residential building and the Pike's largest recent project, are hoping for an encore. Now nearing completion of the North Bethesda Market, developer JBG has begun courting the community for a second phase, seeking an increase in density for new office and residences that will produce demand for the 200,000 s.f. of retail built in the first phase.

Developers of Rockville Pike in North Bethesda have long hoped that if development continues, and smart urban planning matches pace, the congested corridor might make the triple-jump to a walkable urban district. JBG unveiled initial plans to the community last week, still just conceptual, that would add 745,000 s.f. of development with a 40% increase in density to the block just north of its current project. JBG isn't the only player in the game, as the White Flint Sector Plan highlights several other major developments in the area, including Federal Realty's "Mid-Pike Plaza," and LCOR's White Flint development. JBG submitted initial plans to the Montgomery National Capital Park and Planning Commission early on Friday the 27th, depicting additional retail fronting Rockville Pike and a series of residences on the block behind it. Approval could take anywhere from 18 to 24 months, so construction on the newest phase is not expected to start until late 2012 or early 2013.

After announcing earlier this summer that Florida-based restaurants Season 52 and Dolcé Amoré Café, along with furniture juggernauts Arhaus, will join Whole Foods and L.A. Fitness at the round table of tenants in the nearly completed North Bethesda Market, JBG hopes to broaden the scope of NoBe (or NoBeMa, take your pick) with an array of new residencies, office space, and expanded retail options. NoBe sales representatives said they are hoping Whole Foods will open for shoppers by spring of next year.

The new site extends the Market north to Nicholson Lane, replacing three low density 40-year-old office and retail buildings, and one new office and retail building. Torti Gallas will stay on as the planning architect. One of the goals in maintaining some sort of unifying theme within the development is the extension of Paseo north into Phase II.
Paseo is the "concept of an intimate, pedestrian-oriented, retail lined street" that is meant to tie together the residential and commercial aspects of the project.

Senior VP of Marketing Matthew Blocher depicts the community feedback so far as positive, as developers expect the enthusiasm surrounding the opening of the first phase to carry over as they continue to unveil second stage plans. But one of the obstacles to moving forward with redevelopment is getting the community and county officials on-board with the increased density. Developers say a minimum base density of 3.5 FAR is necessary to buoy the requisite investment, and appropriate given the proximity to the White Flint Metro, but authors of the White Flint Sector Plan currently recommend 2.5 FAR. County officials have been keen on spurring the kind of redevelopment that JBG is pursuing across the region, but have also been conscious of just how fast that growth is developed.

Washington D.C. Real Estate Development News

12 comments:

Eric said...

This is White Flint, you twat. Calling it North Bethesda is insulting.

Brooks Butler Hays on Aug 30, 2010, 1:34:00 PM said...

i don't know what a twat is eric, but it doesn't sound very nice.

i mention both north bethesda and white flint in the article. but don't direct your anger solely at me, it is after all the developer who has named the project "north bethesda market"

nonetheless, i apologize if you feel insulted

Anonymous said...

No one here is a twat, but you did use the DC map in the top left corner. I'll call it an honest mistake which makes you human (an insult only in the Planet of the Apes movies).

Anonymous said...

Anyone who thinks they know where North Bethesda, White Flint and Rockville start and end is full of shit. Even people that live there have different definitions, as do the businesses. I admit that North Bethesda is a marketing ploy, but its stuck and people use it. Get over yourself Eric.

North Mississippi All Stars said...

Amazing commentary so far. The whole North Bethesda thing has been a pet peeve for years. Anything north of the beltway is Rockville. Sorry. North Bethesda is Rockville. Now I find it amazing that North Bethesda (Rockville) got North Bethesda’d by White Flint. Hey Rockville, you started it. To simplify, let’s call a spade a spade and just refer to Rockville as Stripmall (at least for now). Oh, and Eric, you're a DB.

Michael said...

Hell, some people probably refer to parts of Frederick as North Bethesda. I for one am excited about the potential development in the White Flint/NoBe/SoRo area. Traffic will always be an issue on Rockville Pike but it's still not Rt 7 in Tysons. If there's going to be development and individuals willing to invest I say keep it in MoCo.

Anonymous said...

Hi,
At risk of getting insulted like some of the other people who commented, I will keep it clean. If you look at a map, it actually says "North Bethesda". This is terminology is not some sort of marketing scheme, it is the actual location on a map.

Anonymous said...

Google Maps says....

Rockville Pike & Nicholson Ln
North Bethesda, MD 20852

Looks like the only twat here is eric

Anonymous said...

North Bethesda is roughly the 20852 zip code. Oh, and this site is west of the first phase, not north as the article states.

Anonymous said...

eric, you twat.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Michael: projects like North Bethesda Market that transform this area from strip mall to walkable urban neighborhoods are all for the good. "North Bethesda" is a Census-designated place with clear boundaries—not a marketing ploy (or insult) –and it is not Rockville, an incorporated town. I don't mind "White Flint" but that name is as much a marketing ploy as North Bethesda (the White Flint Metro station was named to match the shopping mall). By whatever name, this area is a perfect candidate for the new urbanism. I live and work here, and know the area well

Anonymous said...

I grew up in North Bethesda and also own property there. It is not a part of Rockville. If you try to get services as a Rockville-resident, you will not qualify with a North Bethesda address. Educate yourself.

 

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