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.
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