JBG already planned to build in the same block at 7200 Woodmont Avenue, located between Elm Street and Bethesda Avenue. Shalom Baranes Associates designed the project with landscape design by Oehme van Sweden Landscape Architects.
Plans for the new section involve constructing two additional floors of office space on the existing Artery Building, adding retail space along the ground level, and building a new 182,950 s.f. hotel.
|The hotel (center) and office/retail space along Bethesda Avenue|
Amended plans also add 168,950 s.f. of office space, 25,088 s.f. of retail space and eliminate 22,974 s.f. of space for the 210 residential units.
Incorporation of the Capital Crescent Trail (mostly the alternate route along Bethesda Avenue) continued to raise concerns for the Board. Some feared that the increased foot traffic along Bethesda Avenue could create safety and logistical problems for trail users. But they ultimately were satisfied with the plan to use landscaping, curbs, outdoor dining areas and pavement changes to separate the sidewalk from the trail.
Trail construction hinges on the future Purple Line, Lot 31, and third-phase construction. All parties agreed that if the trail benchmarks are reached after construction of the second phase and before the third phase starts, the company can choose to either build the trail or pay the county to do it.
The Board did not raise any significant concerns with the rest of the plan. If fully constructed, Woodmont East would provide a link extending the revamped downtown area.
JBG's Holly Hull said the development is "extending and celebrating Bethesda Row."
Woodmont East will focus on the pedestrian experiences, presenters said. Following the lead of Bethesda Row, the sidewalks will be next to retail spaces. Outdoor dining will be pushed way from the buildings to keep the sidewalks clear. Artistic benches scattered throughout the property offer a place to "lounge." And building setbacks will give the appearance of low building heights.
Robert Sponseller, principal at Shalom Baranes Associates, said they strayed from the standard approach in designing this project. "We have designed from the public space up."
When completed, Woodmont East will have more than 1 million square feet of new and repurposed office, retail, residential and hotel space. Construction could start as early as 2013.
Bethesda, Maryland, real estate development news