Friday, June 15, 2012

Bethesda Industrial Site to Be Remade as Residential Complex

A moribund, paved-over industrial site just off of Little Falls Parkway in Bethesda is slated to be replaced with a 30-townhome housing development.

The 1.8 acre property at 5400 Butler Road is bracketed by Little Falls Parkway and Butler Road, between River Road and Massachusetts Avenue, and surrounded on three sides by parkland.  Presently the site of the BETCO complex of buildings and surface parking lots, plans call for the site to be razed, the pavement removed, and replaced with a Lessard Group-designed "scale-appropriate residential community" of 30 single-family garage-centered homes.

"We actually just got our planning board approval last week for the site plan and preliminary plan," said Stephanie Marcus of lead developer EYA Development.  "We hope to start construction at very end of this year or early in 2013."

Five of the townhouses (16.67%) will be moderately-priced units, and just under forty percent of the new site will be green space, up from basically zero percent at the current site.  Plans also call for about 2 parking spaces per market rate unit and one per MPDU, totaling approximately 64 spaces.

The developers have made several optional concessions, including
removing the existing pavement at their own cost, throwing in an extra MPDU (they're only required to include four), installing stormwater management at their own cost, and setting the amount of green space at 38%, 8% above the requirement.  The project will also remedy the BETCO plant debris' encroachment onto nearby parkland.

The plan itself is somewhat unremarkable - let's face it, a development of townhomes excites pretty much no one - but it's essentially making something from nothing, and in the big picture the removal of the pavement, remediation of parkland encroachment, and significant addition of greenspace, more than makes up for what may be lacking aesthetically.

Bethesda, Maryland real estate development news


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Good post except for one thing. The storm water management plans are NOT optional. They are required by regulation.

Carole Maslin on Jun 15, 2012, 4:45:00 PM said...

I am actually excited by this development. The Maryland economy is moribund compared to DC and VA according to Stephen Fuller of George Mason University and townhomes within walking distance to metro are perfect for downsizers and workers moving here from out of state.

Anonymous said...

Moribund? Tell that to the NIMBYs fighting most all of the dozens of developments underway and the dozens more slated for Bethesda, Silver Spring, Wheaton, and White Flint (I'm less familiar with other areas of the county also seeing substantial growth prospects, e.g. Gaithersburg and Germantown). You'd think the sky is falling the way many MoCo residents act in response to the growth.

Anonymous said...

"Garage-centered homes." The directness and honesty of that phrase is startling, given the PR blather that, too often, DCmud "reporters" swallow without skepticism.

It describes precisely what this development gives to MoCo--people whose lives (and of course "homes") revolve around their cars. This isn't smart planning at all. Shame on MoCo.

Anonymous said...

This property is not near a metro. Car-centered is not a surprise, nor is it unreasonable.

Holly Worthington said...

This is a great use of an ugly tract of land. That building has been an eyesore forever. I am delighted to hear this.

Zach said...

I agree with the comments above, this is an unsightly piece of land right now. Looking forward to following the progress of this project.


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