Category Archives: Latest News

MPDU’s and the Bethesda Downtown Sector Plan Cont.

As I was digging into the plan I saw that there was an increased commitment to MPDU’s. As an aside, if anyone would like to discuss this program with me, feel free to give me a call at (240)486-3921 or send an email to raj@rajabout.com:

“Add more units to the marketplace by [providing] requiring a minimum 15 percent MPDUs for optional method residential development within Downtown Bethesda.  Provide 15 percent MPDUs on-site as a first priority.  [Preserve existing market-rate affordable housing by identifying some sites as Priority Sending Sites for density averaging. Affordable Housing Sending Sites that choose to transfer their density must enter into a rental agreement to retain 30 percent of their existing affordable housing units, defined as 65 percent of area median income (AMI) or below, for 20 years.]  Provide an incentive to encourage 25% or more MPDUs (by allowing an increase in FAR without additional payments otherwise required for increases in FAR).

Trader Joes Moving to Old Bethesda?

Heard on the grapevine that Trader Joes are considering a move to “Old” Bethesda – specifically looking at the space being developed across from Triangle Towers and the Gallery. If so, it would be a really smart move for them to make — all of the new buildings and the surrounding area would provide a strong customer base. It is also true that the current location is putting off some customers due to the challenges of accessing the store/ parking lot.

Future TJ’s Site in the Snow?:

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Tough Temple Cross Fit Has Moved – Is Senior Home a Step Closer?

The Tough Temple Cross fit has moved locations and has a sign out front for Fedex/UPS deliveries. Curious to know whether the assisting living facility slated for that space is now a step closer to breaking ground. Of course the dance studio is still there but evidence does suggest we are inching closer to a redevelopment project for Rugby Avenue.  It seems that Bethesda Urban Living for seniors is on the horizon!

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Marriott Downtown Bethesda Continued

Just a follow up to last weeks post – here are a few more details on the Marriott downtown Bethesda HQ move – taken from Marriott directly via this link. What do you think? Good move for the Bethesda Urban downtown area?

What will be built? When will it open?
The new $600 million Marriott headquarters envisions a state-of-the-art campus with an approximately 700,000-square-foot office building, a 230+ room Marriott hotel and a pedestrian plaza connecting the two buildings that will also be open as a public connection between Wisconsin and Woodmont avenues. Under current plans, the office building and hotel would open in 2022.


Tell me more about the hotel
It will be a flagship Marriott hotel with over 8,000 square-feet of flexible meeting and ballroom space for meetings, conferences, banquets and events. The hotel will also offer exceptional dining and social amenities including a ground-floor restaurant offering outdoor dining on the pedestrian plaza, a specialty coffee shop and a seasonal rooftop dining terrace.


How tall will the buildings be?
As currently envisioned, the office building is proposed for 22-stories. The hotel is proposed for 12 stories.

 

Marriott International Moving HQ to Downtown Bethesda

Marriott just announced they would be moving their HQ to Downtown Bethesda.  This will further transform the Bethesda Urban/ downtown area.

Take a look at the link and below (taken from Marriott International) for more information/ FAQ’s etc.:

 

Why was this site selected?
The selected location at 7750 Wisconsin Avenue is ideally situated just a short walk from Metro and adjacent to ample parking options. It is near the heart of the Bethesda Central Business District with abundant resources for dining, shopping and other services that will support Marriott, its guests and employees.

Rezoning Single Family Homes (SFH): MoCo Councilman Riemer Provokes Strong Reaction

I noticed that MoCo Councilman Reimer recently noted an interest in allowing SFH to be rezoned to accommodate duplexes. This idea has already provoked strong reactions – take a look at this comment from Robert Dyer (CEO of Suburban News Network).

What do you think? Is Reimer right to consider allowing SFH’s to be rezoned?

Is the density a boon or a problem for our area?

Or do you agree with Robert Dyer?

Feel free to drop me a note at raj@rajabout.com and we will share the most interesting comments here at Bethesda Actually.

Investor Article 2017

Hi friends,

I am planning on writing a series of real estate investor articles this year for my client base. I will go ahead and post the ones with some relevance to Bethesda here. The first one, below, looks at the connection between Russian cyber attacks and real estate investment. Puzzled? Well read on and all will be revealed!

 

Russian Cyber Hacking and Real Estate Growth: Washington, DC Metro Market Investor Column 2017

The 2016 election campaign is finally, thankfully, over but as anyone paying attention to the news will know, the fallout continues. While the post-election discussions taking place are animated and wide ranging, there is one area in particular that should be of interest to real estate investors, namely the focus on Russian cyber actions during the election.

Puzzled? Trying to determine why those two subjects should be in the same sentence?

Well, consider what happened to the Washington, DC metro market after the horrific 9/11 attacks; the government massively increased its national security/ military/ intelligence spending and that drove economic growth in the region for several years. This growth had a positive effect on prices and some, including me, would argue allowed the Washington, DC metro market to ride out the Great Recession better than the rest of the country.

Now, post-election, cyber security seems to be positioned as the new “hot” issue for government action. Policymakers of all stripes are starting to recognize that other countries have developed significant capabilities in this area. If past is prologue, the natural response will be to dramatically increase spending to ensure that the US is the dominant country in the cyber/ national security space in the years to come.

Some commentators may be surprised at the suggestion that cyber security growth will take place in the Washington, DC metro area and not in Silicon Valley or even some of America’s emerging tech hubs. First, I do not want to suggest that there won’t be growth in those areas, clearly there will be. However, the DC metro area already has a thriving tech industry (it has been called the Silicon Valley of the east for a number of years) and can collaborate on cyber security with its neighbors in government/ intelligence and the military. This geographic proximity and intersection, combined with a highly educated workforce, ensures the DC metro market is perfectly positioned to lead the cyber actions job revolution. My belief, shared by others, is that the leadership in this sector will come from the DC metro area.

As the funding increases and these jobs come online (literally and metaphorically), the pressure on housing and house pricing will grow. The beneficiaries of this uptick in economic activity should be real estate investors, home owners and others involved in the real estate sector.

Of course, as in life, nothing is guaranteed and there are details to be parsed out, but I believe that the connection between cyber security and real estate growth should be looked at closely.

Warmly,

Raj

This note is part of an occasional series of investor related pieces that I produce for clients and prospective clients. I appreciate receiving feedback and welcome the opportunity to discuss any aspect of the US real estate market with you or individuals in your network. I can be reached at (240)486-3921 or raj@rajabout.com

All information in this paper (and the associated series of papers) is presented in good faith but its accuracy is not guaranteed. The author, Raj Purohit, is a licensed real estate salesperson in Virginia, Maryland and DC, and is not an attorney (in DC, MD or VA), accountant, financial or tax advisor. The information in this paper should not be used to influence any investment decision. Before making any investment decision, you are advised to consult with legal, financial and tax counsel.

Open Question: How will the Purple Line Change Bethesda

Recently I was discussing this issue with some friends and family and found that there was no real consensus on what the changes will be and whether they will be uniformly positive/ negative or somewhere in between. I thought it would be really interesting to get the thoughts of the community on this question.

Drop me an email at raj@rajabout.com with your feelings re: the Purple line and how it will change Bethesda – we will post a few of them here in the days ahead.

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Happy New Year Bethesda

Dear readers,

I just wanted to take a moment to wish you and your loved ones a Happy New Year!

I have noticed that many pundits, writers etc. have marked the change from 2016-2017 by noting how terrible the last year was and how relieved they are to move into 2017.

My take is slightly different. It is true that there were elections both in the US and around the world that seemed to be filled with negativity but, hidden in plain sight, so many positive things happened last year. Many of these are global and big picture in nature – US carbon emissions dropped, a ninth planet was discovered and Colombia moved closer to peace.

But, in some ways, of equal significance were the millions of positive things that happened much closer to home.

Let me give you three with a local twist:

1. At a local and global level – Bethesda’s NIH started Zika vaccine trials and showed an ability to assist infected people.

2. Bethesda’s Katie Ledecky dominated the Rio Olympic games.

3. Bethesda Green and Bethesda Magazine awarded prizes to groups of individuals and businesses for their contribution to greening our community.

Please email me your thoughts on the best things that happened in 2016 – from the personal to the local to the global.

We will feature the best ones – my email, as ever, raj@rajabout.com

 

 

Bethesda Chocolates is Amazing

Friends,

Make yourself very popular this season and dash over to Bethesda Chocolates as quickly as you can.

I was fortunate enough to attend the pre-launch event this weekend and sampled a host of delightful, decadent morsels of wonderful sweet goodness!

Thinking quickly (which is not easy when you are drinking the best hot chocolate this side of the Sofitel) I snaffled a lot of terrific Christmas presents for friends and family + a selection of truffles and other goodies for Christmas day.

Hurrah and well done Bethesda Chocolate – looking forward to getting my chocolate fix via your store for years to come!

PS They are in soft launch mode at the moment (staffing up etc) and I believe that will be fully open at the turn of the year but they are open at the moment so enjoy and let me know what is your favorite nibble – email me at raj@rajabout.com

 

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