Thursday, May 29, 2008

Bethesda Condo Gets the Go-Ahead

Plans for Rugby Avenue Condominiums at 4851 Rugby Avenue went before the Montgomery County Planning Board for a second time this morning and were approved. In the fall of 2007, developers Polinger Shannon & Luchs (cleverly disguised as 4851 Rugby Avenue LLC) were denied their application for a 10-story, 71-unit condo building with 1,250 s.f. of public art studio space and told that the plans exceeded the nine-story (90 feet) zoning limit. The new plan shows a lower height and increased art space.

The Woodmont Triangle project will now include only 61 condominium units, 8 of which will be affordable, 2,000 s.f. for four art studios, and a 3,277 s.f. outdoor public plaza. Now nine stories, the building will replace two small office buildings on the north side of Rugby Avenue at the intersection of Auburn and Rugby Avenues, and will include two and a half levels of underground parking.

"Obviously we are in the Bethesda Central Business District – which is a dynamic market in and of itself," said Elliot Schnitzer, a manager at Polinger. "Walter Reed is relocating to Bethesda Naval. Our site is between the Medical Center and Bethesda Metro stops and in walking distance to Bethesda Naval," he said.

Schnitzer also told DCMud that the developers will now work with Guy Martin of CORE Architects on construction drawings. When asked about the likelihood of joining the go-rental trend, Schnitzer said the company was standing by their condo plans. As DCMud reported last week, Triumph Development canceled its plans for 4901 Hampden Lane in the center of the Bethesda shopping district just last week, citing the approval process and market factors.

“People who have changed to rental have already broken ground. We hope to time it to hopefully hit the market on the rebound,” he said. A construction schedule has not been set, though the project will certainly beat out its neighbor - 4823 Rugby Ave. - which has submitted plans for a 24-unit building but remains in the 'concept' phase.


Anonymous said...

How is this going to work if they can't even get a project going across from the Metro? I wish them luck, but the location is a bit outside the center, and things are kind of industrial right there. At least the neighborhood does have sidewalks, which is a good start. With such an intrepid vision for a neighborhood in need, shame on the county for not approving something bigger - and its not far from Metro. Boneheads.

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