The Montgomery County Planning Board approved plans for the JBG Companies and MacFarlane Partners' North Bethesda Market II last week, continuing the area's stunning streak of approved megadevelopments.While the name "North Bethesda Market II" may conjure visions of one of those upscale bodegas that has prosciutto and a surprisingly good wine aisle, that is not the case here. North Bethesda Market II will consist of four separate structures offering as many as 414 residential units and 368,000 square feet of retail. The roster of tenants is stacked with heavyweights; Whole Foods, L.A. Fitness, Arhaus, Seasons 52, and Brio, with others to come. The centrally-located 4.4 acre site is a block from the White Flint metro station, across from White Flint Mall, and just west of Rockville Pike. Of course, it's also right next door toNorth Bethesda Market I (which features the tallest building in Montgomery County).
"NBM1 has been very successful," said Charlie Maier, spokesman for JBG, when asked about the follow-up project. "The site used to be a one-level motel and now it's a model for development in the Wisconsin Avenue corridor." Maier also said JBG is looking to 4Q 2012 for groundbreaking.
The centerpiece of NBMII is a 26-story, nearly 300 foot tall residential tower that will eclipse its sibling development's tower as the tallest structure in MoCo. The Studios Architecture-designed monolith features a stepped facade and balconies that will look out onto a European-influenced interior plaza designed by landscape architects Olin. The eye-catching building is sloped slightly backwards to catch the maximum amount of sunlight and, like the other three buildings, will feature a green roof. Architectural journals have gushed over the design, and the Washington Post likened it to "a Mayan Temple whose glass bricks have been shaken earthquake-like out of position." Units are planned as rentals, though developers have kept the condominium option open. Elsewhere in the development, developers also plan a movie theater with 175,000 square feet of office space above.
The development continues the recent(ish) trend of transitioning sprawling 50s-style car-centric low-slung areas into dense, vertical, mixed-use, pedestrian-friendly urban-style areas, leading to the question of, five years from now, will there be anything left for me to make snarky remarks about at dinner parties? Revitalization in White Flint was catalyzed (much as it was in adjacent Wheaton), when Montgomery County planners approved an updated White Flint Sector Master Plan in early 2010, and shows no signs of slowing down. Aside from the North Bethesda Markets, the Pike and Rose gained approval in February, and the Falkland Chase whole-block development was approved in January.
Montgomery County real estate development news