Saturday, April 23, 2011

Now Financed, Arlington Road Development in Bethesda Awakens

Keating Development - the Pennsylvania-based firm behind the development of The Phoenix in Clarendon and renovation of its historic post office, may soon be able to repeat that accomplishment in Bethesda. Keating has been planning Arlington Road, a mixed-use residential development and conversion of what is now a post office for years, and now reportedly has funding and a decision from the U.S. Postal Service, removing obstacles in the path of development. In 2009 Keating completed its Clarendon project, now on the Federal Register of Historic Places, and has since been working on its Bethesda sequel. "Now that it's funded, it's just a question of when," said Christopher Gordon, Principal for Kishimoto Gordon Dalaya (KGD), the architect for the project. Keating initially applied for approval of the mixed-use project at 7001 Arlington Road back in 2007. The project will add a four-story, 105 unit building to the 2.5 acre plot, with 40,000 s.f. of commercial space dedicated to a post office and over 300 parking spaces below the building. Construction had also been thwarted by the USPS, which owns the land, and which had not determined the ultimate use of the facility. But according to Gordon, the USPS has recently decided that the building will become a distribution facility. Significant design features include retail frontage on Arlington Road and the tapering of the building toward Capital Crescent Trail, "so it wont create a large amount of mass on the trail itself," said Gordon. Design plans will remain as they were approved, said Gordon. 

Bethesda, Maryland Real Estate Development News


Anonymous said...

Nice street front and interesting blending of styes. Looks like another win for Bethesda Urbanism

Anonymous said...

This has been be a greatly under used property. The location will provide another great place for people to live in Bethesda. A short walk to mass transit, shopping and recreation.

On the down side I see traffic during peak hours increasing as there is no left turn lane into the property and the near by light stacks car past the current post office entrance.

Anonymous said...

I hope Bethesda does not turn into another Clarenden.Don't want a cookie cutter look.Let's keep away corporate chain stores.

Frank said...

It looks like the US Postal Service may build a single, new facility to serve Bethesda, at a new location, and close both the Wisconsin Ave. and Arlington Rd. facilities.

Frank said...

The US Postal Service held a public meeting on July 27 regarding the future of these sites.

Both sites will close in the near future. They will be replaced by a single "retail-only" post office somewhere in downtown Bethesda. Functions will include sale of stamps, envelopes, mailing of oversized letters and parcels, etc., and PO boxes. The new facility is planned to be 4,000 square feet - half the size of the Wisconsin Avenue facility. All "back-office" functions - sorting, delivery, etc. - will be consolidated in an existing postal facility outside of Bethesda. The site of the retail facility has not been announced as the search for the location is in its earliest stages.

The USPS already sold the Wisconsin Avenue facility to Donohoe Corp. about three months ago and is leasing it back from them. This will close as soon as the retail facility is open. The schedule for closing the Arlington Road facility is not known at this time.

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