Category Archives: Downtown Bethesda Sector Plan

Breaking News: Amazon Bookstore Coming to Bethesda

Looks like a few folks (including our friends at Bethesda Magazine) have heard that Amazon will be opening a bookstore in the Urban Country space.

Wonderful news although I wish they had take the Barnes and Nobles space!!!

 

 

More Bikes!!!

Literally!!! Well, these orange delights are called Mobike so the pun works!!!!IMG_3843

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Reflections on Capital of the Future/ Where We’ll Live Cont.

Capital of the Future/ Where We’ll Live Cont.
Another interesting list is titled: Retirement Spots: The most members of the 65-and-up crowd will settle in these counties by 2040 (by % of total population):
Howard County (22.8%), Frederick County (22.4%), Fauquier County (21.9%), Charles County (21.4%) and Anne Arundel County (20.5%).
I found this one quite interesting, again for the places not on it. I did think that MoCo and Fairfax would be on this list. I have had a lot of clients recently looking to buy retirement property in Virginia (Alexandria, Fairfax and Arlington) as a tax hedge for estate planning.
What do you think? Any surprises on this list for you?

Reflections on Capital of the Future Cont.

The Washingtonian Special titled “Capital of the Future” included a fascinating piece titled “Where We’ll Live” based on projections for 2030 based on data from Maryland Department of Planning, Uni of Virginia Cooper Center, Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments and the Urban Institute.

There were three sub categories that I found really interesting. The first:
“Must Love Kids” looked at places with the most residents 19 and younger in 2040 (by percentage of the total population) and listed the top 5 as:
Loudoun County (31.9%), Stafford County (30.6%), Prince William County (29.7%), Spotsylvania County (28.2%) and King George County (28%).
This did surprise me a little — I actually thought Montgomery County would sneak onto that list. I spend a lot of time looking at real estate throughout the county and have felt that there has been a big spike in young county residents, a spike that has coincided with the increase in housing density.
Anecdotally,  here in Bethesda where I live and have my office, there are a lot of new apt. and condo buildings coming online and I am seeing significant numbers of families with young kids in these homes.
I would watch this prediction closely, we may well see MoCo and others making a push up the list in years to come.
What do you think?
If you have a young family would you consider condo or apt. living?
What neighborhoods and counties seem most kid friendly to you?

Happy Monday Bethesda!

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Bethesda Real Estate Investing Meetups

Hi friends,

I have been asked by a few people to start a Bethesda Real Estate Investing meetup that is grounded in easy to understand systems and models. This is something I am happy to do but just wanted to get a sense from folks what other specific things are missing from existing seminar/ meet ups etc.

So! Please give me a call at (240)486-3921 or drop me an email to raj@rajabout.com with your thoughts.

1. Do you have strong feelings about format, timing, content, size etc. Now is the time to make your voice heard.

I want to make sure that this meetup/ seminar series is incredibly useful to attendees and that we can work together to build strong investment portfolios.

Cheers,

Raj

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Marriott Finalizes Details for Downtown Bethesda Move

This is an important moment. Marriott announces:

“…that it has signed agreements with the Bernstein Cos. and Boston Properties for the new corporate headquarters and flagship Marriott Hotel at 7500 Wisconsin Ave….The $600 million Bethesda campus will include a 22-story office building connected by a landscaped public plaza to the Marriott-branded hotel.”

This has massive implications for the downtown Bethesda area – more workers, residents and visitors. That brings real opportunities in the real estate, food and entertainment spaces but also challenges to schooling and transportation.

What do you think of this move? Drop me an email to raj@rajabout.com

Washington Post Covers Element 28

I noticed that the Washington Post recently covered the new Bethesda apt building “Element 28″ and touched on the broader growth of high-rises in a piece titled: “High-end, transit-oriented apartments rise in Bethesda.” 

It got me thinking about the future a little bit….and I wanted to share this thought with you:

I hope that the spike in apartment buildings and new residents leads to a renewal of community in Bethesda. The risk is that things go the other way and we become more siloed but I believe that with some effort, imagination and constructive engagement with local gov., we can build a Bethesda that captures the best of years past with new energy and dynamism for the future.

Grosvenor Metro Development (North Bethesda)

Hi friends,

I wanted to take a minute and forward this notice to you:

Grosvenor Metro Development
Planning Board to Hear Testimony on June 29
Make Your Voice Heard, In Person or In Writing

On June 29, the county Planning Board will hear public testimony on staff’s draft plan for the remaining undeveloped land at the Grosvenor-Strathmore station. A copy of the draft plan is at the Parkside management office, which you are welcome to consult in the office. To consult an online copy, go to http://montgomeryplanning.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Public-Hearing-Draftlowres.pdf.

The agenda for the 29th will be posted two weeks beforehand (go to http://montgomeryplanningboard.org/agendas/). Information about signing up to testify or submitting written testimony will be at that same site.

The most critical issue to be decided is DENSITY, which will affect both the number of dwelling units to be built and the building heights.

NUMBER OF DWELLING UNITS: Staff is recommending a FAR (floor area ratio) of 2.5, or approximately 1,145 dwelling units. The developer is pushing for a FAR of 3.5 (1,650 dwelling units) or a FAR of 3.0 (1,400 dwelling units).

BUILDING HEIGHTS: With a FAR of 2.5, the site would be filled with residential buildings except for one small green community gathering place up by the Metro entrance (to be called a “civic green”). The residential buildings would be stepped up from 4 stories facing Strathmore Park across Tuckerman to higher buildings (maximum 16 stories) midway up the slope and culminating in two “signature” buildings at the top of the slope, by the Metro station. These two buildings would be 260 feet high, or approximately 26 stories each. If a FAR of 3.5 or 3.0 were approved, the two high rises would be higher still, and the other buildings on the site could also be higher than under the staff proposal.
For a fuller picture, please review the draft plan itself. And then write to the Planning Board expressing your opinion, or sign up to testify on June 29.

Downtown Bethesda Sector Plan: Building Design Guidelines

The next phase of the sector plan will see the design of buildings and guidelines be discussed in some detail. Here is a snap shot of the next phase from our friends at Bethesda Magazine:

“The design guidelines that are under development will help define the look and feel that planners want to encourage in downtown Bethesda. The rules are coming as a companion to the Bethesda Downtown Sector Plan that the County Council approved last week and are being written after a series of public outreach meetings.”