Friday, May 04, 2012

Heated Discussion Ends In Trillium Site Approval




In a slip-of-the-tongue Thursday afternoon during the developer’s presentation at the Montgomery County Planning Board Meeting, Harris Teeter was named as the grocery store slated for the StonebridgeCarras residential and retail development at the Trillium Site in downtown Bethesda.


Residents speculated and hoped for various stores including a Harris Teeter and Whole Foods, but it had not been confirmed before today.

In a heated discussion, the StonebridgeCarras team proposing a 9-story, 360-unit apartment building for the recently purchased Trillium Site pushed back against a few key conditions placed on their proposal by Montgomery County Planning Commission staff: calculated vehicle trips and required gateway architecture.

The site, filling the block along Battery Lane between Woodmont and Wisconsin avenues, is designated as a gateway in the master plan, requiring special treatment to the building along both Wisconsin and Woodmont. Neither side disputes that fact, but they do disagree on how to indicate the gateway.

Staff wants special treatment to the corners of the building along the streets, and they argue the special treatment is in the center of the development. Developers say they intentionally created understated, stepped corners to meet the requirement and used different techniques in the center to draw the public into the public space.

The Board weighed both arguments and ultimately decided to allow the developers to keep their deign.

Staff received a handful of community comments that focused on the lost arts incubator space in the new plan,  but that feature was not added back into the development.

With the new plans approved, Stonebridge can continue moving toward development.

Bethesda, Maryland, real estate development news

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