At the end of this month, the Montgomery County Planning Board will likely hand down its approval - with possible amendments - to Donohoe Development Company's Woodmont Central, the multi-phased, mixed use project that will redefine the urban landscape of the underutilized Woodmont Triangle area. "We've been working on this project for many years," said Peter Gartlan, President of Donohoe. "We've made many amendments, we've gotten our site plans re-approved and we're looking forward to moving ahead with our plans."
The biggest draw for the area is 8280 Wisconsin Avenue, now the site of a Texaco station, the area's only car wash. Once the building is razed, Donohoe will develop a 91,600 s.f. Class A office building with 11,000 s.f. of retail. Gartlan said he hopes to break ground on this facet of the project in 2013.
Nevertheless, Donohoe plans to break ground on the two residential buildings in the second quarter of 2012. First up is Phase 1B, also known as The Gallery of Bethesda at 4800 Auburn Avenue. The building will replace old commercial buildings and surface parking with 234 units, 5400 s.f. of retail and its own pedestrian street with public art displays. The second building, now dubbed Phase 2, also know as The Gallery of Bethesda II, will be a 221-unit building at 4850 Rugby Avenue with 19,500 s.f. of ground floor retail. WDG Architecture is on the hook for design of each of the three buildings.
The Montgomery County Planning Board has already approved the preliminary plans of a project that's been in the works following the amendment to the 2006 Bethesda Sector Plan.
Until the 2006 amendment, said Gartlan, density was site-specific. "The adjustment that allows non-contiguous transfer of density was changed specifically to help cultivate the redevelopment of Woodmont Triangle, which is what used to be the center of Bethesda," said Gartlan. Because of the amendment, Donohoe was able to transfer density from one of their sites to another. "We have designed our plans in accordance with the adjustment, working closely with the city, which seems to really like our final designs."
Jad Donohoe, Development Director for the company, told DCMud, "[The transfer is] a new idea and the thought was that because there is such fragmented ownership in that section of Bethesda, this would be a way to bring the density needed to make more of a Bethesda Row-type of experience."
Woodmont Central is much further along than another huge Donohoe project, the hotel, jazz club and retail outlets the company is planning to build called the Arts at 5th and I in Mt. Vernon Triangle. Because the project has yet to be financed, ground breaking isn't yet on the horizon.
Bethesda, MD real estate development news