Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Mid-Pike Plaza Warmly Received By MoCo Planning Board



The Montgomery County Planning Board gave initial approval last week to the preliminary site plans for Pike & Rose, the replacement for Mid-Pike Plaza, an ambitious vision that would dramatically transform a 24-acre parcel in White Flint, at the intersection of Rockville Pike and Old Georgetown Road.

The preliminary plan, from Rockville-based REIT Federal Realty Investment Trust, proposes to convert the existing surface-parking-and-strip-mall into mixed-use pedestrian- and bike-friendly mega-development with interspersed public green spaces. The final buildout, which was designed by WDG Architecture and Baltimore-based Design Collective, would come in at just under 3.5 million square feet, with approximately half of that total being residential. A list of tenants for the finished development includes AT&T, Bank of America, and CVS, among many others, including - notably - an 8-screen, reserved-seating iPic theater.

Though the project represents a massive facelift for the area, planners have surprisingly received no complaints regarding the project from adjacent property owners or other members of the public, and the planning board was largely receptive to the plans at last week's meeting. Of course, final approval is contingent on developers meeting a long list of conditions, including providing recreation facilities, street improvements, bike parking, vegetated rooftops, and a per-residential-unit payment of just over 1800 dollars to Montgomery County schools.

In accordance with the latest trends in urban planning, plans for Mid-Pike Plaza place heavy emphasis on pedestrian-friendly access, traffic reduction, public spaces, and green solutions. The project, for example, includes a "road diet" that would sharply reduce traffic in the area, largely by reducing Old Georgetown Road to four lanes from six, and a "dramatic" reduction in parking. Phase One also includes generous apportioning of public green spaces; included in the site plan are two pedestrian plazas and a public green that would altogether account for 1.3 acres (of a total 6.7 Phase One acres). Planners have also required Federal Realty to include vegetated roofs on most of the buildings. Smaller pockets parks are splashed throughout the development, and most of the public spaces will be linked by a "recreation loop" of bike lanes and walking paths.

Construction is slated to commence in three phases, proceeding roughly from the southwest corner of the property and proceeding roughly northeast. Phase One, tentatively scheduled to break ground this August, will start with Building 10, located in the very southwesterly corner, a 200-foot-tall, 319-unit residential building with 13,300 square feet of commercial space, Building 11 (directly to the east of Building 10), a 100-foot-tall 251,000 square foot u-shaped office tower with ground floor commercial space, and Building 12, a 70-foot building which will front Old Georgetown Road, and consist of 174 residential units and just over 50,000 square feet of commercial space. Per an agreement with the county, the two residential buildings in Phase One would offer 12.5% moderately priced dwelling units (MPDUs). Phase Two would represent the approximate center of the trapezoidal parcel, and Phase Three would complete the north end of the development as well as fill in spaces on the west and southeast margins.

North Bethesda real estate development news

11 comments:

jag said...

Wow. Very ambitious and very much welcomed (speaking as a MoCo resident).

Anonymous said...

When will they actually start construction. Do we know who the GC is?

Anonymous said...

Federal's site says mid-2012. No idea if that's accurate or not.

Adam L on Feb 28, 2012, 8:20:00 PM said...

This looks like a great project. I just wish that instead of being concerned about the impact on local schools that the developers are equally concerned about affects of projects like this (all over the region) have on public transportation networks. The Metro is a huge economic generator but it's falling apart just as more and more developers advertise its proximity and convenience.

Anonymous said...

Build it higher.

Ben said...

As someone who lives across the street from this, I say: bring it on. I'll miss the temporary loss of some of the businesses currently occupying the strip mall--particularly the CVS and the Knightsbridge gift shop, which has some really nice thing. But this area just screams out for more density--having a Metro station surrounded by literally seas of parking just doesn't make sense at this point. So, I can't wait for this to get started.

Critically Urban on Feb 29, 2012, 11:17:00 AM said...

Ok, Adam, I think your comment about Metro is highly exaggerated, but I agree that as White Flint continues to redevelop, the County must continue to focus on the nearby and intermediate transportation network as dictated by the White Flint Sector Plan. The Rockville Pike BRT or dedicated streetcar line and an area shuttle system such as Bethesda's Circulator and Silver Spring's VanGo would go a long way to helping with that "last mile".

I know you so I know I don't have to remind you that after years of deferred repairs, Metro is going through a period of intense maintenance and rehabilitation that will eventually lead to a lower level of sustained maintenance that should have been the normal starting 15 years ago. Metro is not new anymore and so things will continually need to be maintained, fixed if they break, and hopefully improved over time, just like any other established subway system. I think it's important that developers and politicians continue to advertise when projects are close by to Metro to continue to boost ridership and thus the incentive to invest in the system. At the same time, because we already have Metro, continuing to improve public transit connections between sites that Metro does not currently reach, such as targeted local bus lines, BRT, or light rail/streetcar lines should be just as, if not more, important.

Michael Woods on Feb 29, 2012, 12:52:00 PM said...

This sounds like a great project. I think converting the space to a mostly-residential use will be a better use than a mall.

Anonymous said...

They missed a tremendous opportunity to provide a major, urban, green park space, which they could have done and kept the same density.

Ximena Hernandez-Cata said...

I see this as an ambitious but very exciting project and I am happy to see that Phase I is already on the way. I will not miss any of the present retail stores, as long as most of them find a place in the new buildings, particularly the Knightsbridge Gift shop, which is the classiest of them all now that G Street Fabrics moved away. I agree with the need for moderate housing in that area and a mix will be a good way of dealing with it. I hope this project allows for green areas, trees and plantings along the streets, as well as rooftop greenery and swimming pools for the residents. Please do not underestimate the need for parking spaces. Not everyone can take the bus to this location to shop, eat at a restaurant, and particularly go to the movies at night. If you live in Bethesda, Potomac, DC, or Kensington, you just have to get there by car, if only to carry home the things you buy. Good luck!

Samion Eric on Oct 25, 2013, 1:16:00 AM said...

An unbelievable blog. This blog will indisputably be definitely recommended to my friends as well.
Radella

 

DCmud - The Urban Real Estate Digest of Washington DC Copyright © 2008 Black Brown Pop Template by Ipiet's Blogger Template