Live Norfolk Condominiums

I recently popped by the site of the new Norfolk Condominium project (7770 Norfolk) and was pleased to see that they are making really good progress. The building infrastructure seems to be quite far along and the site itself was humming with activity. It is a bit early to discuss the details of the project but I did want to make a few basic points.

First, the location of this condo project is fantastic – nestled in fast developing “old” Bethesda, the Norfolk condos are across the street from the fountain at Veterans triangle ensuring that the residents are a stone throwing distance from:
Bold Bite, BGR, Jetties, Tastee Diner, Woodmont Grill, Black’s Kitchen and a whole lot more! They will be able to enjoy the summer music of Veteran’s triangle, stroll down Norfolk to other restaurants and the summer outdoor film series AND will be on the Bethesda Circulator route.

Second, prices for the units are geared towards a larger swath of the population than some other recent projects. With units scheduled to start in the $400-$500K range there are going to be good opportunities for buyers.

Third, with the increase in rental prices in the surrounding area – buying may well be a better option for many looking to remain in Bethesda while living in a high end building.

There is lots more to say about this project but for now I wanted to point out that if you are interested in looking/ possibly buying a condo in the Bethesda area (including new projects like 7770 Norfolk) feel free to drop me an email at raj@rajabout.com or give me a call at (240)48-3921.

I’d be happy to assist you with all your real estate needs (for all my contact info you can also look to the right of the blog).

7770 norfolk next door to starbucks

 

Bethesda Circulator New Hours

new circulator hours

The Darcy Condominiums are Stunning

We have referenced the Darcy Condominiums in the past here at Bethesda Actually (see here) but I wanted to take a moment to touch on three things.

First, we popped by to preview a couple of units on Tuesday and discovered that residents are moving in, the front desk is being manned by a terrific fellow and, most significantly, the units really are fantastic – high end finishes and a classy touch in their design. We saw a couple of the larger (1550 sq feet) units and a couple that are slightly smaller but still have decent space. The building itself has some nice features including a wonderful meeting space and guest suites.

The second point, is that it is really interesting to note that there is a historical nod to Bethesda’s past in the naming of this condo project. My Bethesda Actually partner in blogging, Tom Moran, wrote about Bethesda’s routes and Darcy’s store here and the project has embraced this with some delightful artwork in the common areas.

Third, I wanted to point out that if you are interested in looking/ possibly buying a condo in the Bethesda area (including new projects like The Darcy) feel free to drop me an email at raj@rajabout.com or give me a call at (240)48-3921.

I’d be happy to assist you with all your real estate needs (for all my contact info look to the right of the blog).

Here is a snippet of Tom’s story on Darcy’s store to give you a flavor of Bethesda’s past

“Originally named “Darcy’s Store” after local business owner William E. Darcy, the growing town acquired its definitive name in 1871 when postmaster Robert Franck named it after the Bethesda Meeting House, a Presbyterian church…..”

Cheers!

the darcy

 

 

Capital Crescent Trail a Little Bit of History

Just wanted to repost this for our new readers:(Images: Environmental Protection Agency, public domain; APK licensed under cc-sa-3.0)

Long-term Bethesda residents may remember the Capital Crescent Trail in its previous incarnation as the Georgetown Branch of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad (B&O).  It’s hard today to imagine heavy freight trains passing through the buzzing yet relaxed Bethesda downtown, emerging around Barnes & Noble before crossing Woodmont and trundling past Bethesda Row Cinema in the direction of Silver Spring.  But as recently as 1985, trains regularly rumbled along our favourite local trail.

Building began on the Georgetown Branch in 1892 and reached Chevy Chase the same year.  The railroad was originally intended to cross the Potomac River just north of the DC line and connect with the B&O-controlled Virginia Midland Railroad at Fairfax.

But financial problems forced a halt to proceedings and the B&O lost control of the Virginia Midland Railroad.  Revised plans on a less grand scale finally saw the line completed as far as Georgetown by 1910.  Trains ran along the route for the next 75 years, serving the Potomac Electric Power Company (PEPCO), the Washington Mill and Federal government buildings.  But with the changing nature of Georgetown’s historic waterfront and a shift away from industry, the line became obsolete and finally closed in 1985.

In 1988, the Georgetown Branch of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad between Silver Spring and the DC line was purchased by the Montgomery County Government under the Trails System Act of 1968.  Two years later, the National Park Service purchased the remaining 4.3 miles of the right-of-way between Georgetown and the DC/Maryland boundary and the Capital Crescent Trail as we know it was born.  On the DC side it was developed as a component of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park.

The abandoned Arizona Avenue Railroad Bridge was utilized and volunteers built a wooden deck over the structure for walkers and cyclists.  This was replaced with concrete decking two years later and the seven mile paved section of the Capital Crescent Trail from Georgetown to Bethesda was formally dedicated in December 1996.

A further trail bridge was added in 1996 over River Road.  Known as the Dalecarlia Bridge, the structure reused components of an original bridge that carried the Georgetown Branch over the Washington and Great Falls Electric Railroad, a now-abandoned streetcar line that, despite its name, never made it as far as Great Falls and came to be known as the Cabin John Trolley.

In June 2000, Montgomery County committed $1.3 million to repair the Rock Creek Trestle, which had been damaged by arson.  The trestle was dedicated on May 31, 2003 and today, if you’re feeling energetic enough, you can begin at Georgetown, lunch in Bethesda and take tea in Silver Spring.  If the improved weather that we’re currently having holds, this could be the perfect weekend stroll.

Darcy’s Store is a weekly feature article about the history of Bethesda

Beautiful Mural @ Bethesda Chocolates HQ

bethesda choc pic

Coffee and Real Estate Bethesda

We are seeing incredible changes in the real estate sector in Bethesda (and the broader area). New projects are seeing the development of high end apartment buildings, condominiums, town home and single family homes. Additionally, there are substantial changes in the commercial real estate area and these are impacting where people want to live and the space that they need.

As regular readers of this blog know, in my day job I am a real estate professional (associate broker/ realtor with Coldwell Banker RB Bethesda licensed in MD, DC and VA), so I am tracking these changes a lot more closely than your average resident. My take is that the new inventory coming onto the market, coupled with the rehab and tear down boom, is a real benefit to buyers BUT these buyers need to have a very clear sense of what their broad real estate/life goals are before they commit to a purchase.

I am going to be holding a few small coffee gatherings with people interested in buying or selling in Bethesda (and the broader Washington, DC metro market). We are going to chat about the market, the opportunities for investment and some of the big changes in the area that buyers and sellers need to know about.

If you are interested in joining one of these coffee sessions, drop me an email at raj@rajabout.com and put “RSVP coffee and real estate” in the subject line.

Cheers!

Bethesda Mews Update

Just a quick update on Bethesda Mews. I popped over to take a look at the latest tweaks and noted with real interest that they are building a rather delightful environmental feature towards the back of the project. In other good news there are 2-3 really nice homes getting close to delivery including my favorite plot in the entire project. If you have any interest in checking it out or just want more info give me a call at (240)486-3921 or drop an email raj@rajabout.com.

Cheers!

Mews 1 lr

Jetties Milkshake!

Just wanted to give a quick shout out to the folks at Jetties in Veteran’s Triangle.

We enjoyed a couple of wonderful milkshakes and salads over there – cheers!

 

DSCF4978

 

 

Woodmont Grill

Planning to go to Woodmont Grill for a work happy hour this evening – anyone have recommendations re: the food or drink menu?

Reflections on the Planning Process

Hi folks, just wanted to pop in and share a couple of thoughts about the County planning process and how it impacts our little town of Bethesda.

First, and most significantly, our little town is growing up (literally!) very fast. If you walk from Battery Lane in Old Bethesda to Barnes and Nobles in New Bethesda you will see 6-7 new apartment buildings that have either just been completed or are about to be completed. Each building means new, and more residents, more density of people and traffic and likely more, and new services, drawn to this emerging group. Each Bethesda resident will have their own take on this growth but it is real and (second point coming up) it is continuing! At the planning session last week it was interesting to see how the bulk of the time seemed to be spent with developers pushing for more density or trying to ensure the proposed increases would be set in stone. The number of large apartment buildings that have been proposed and that developers are advocating for, is astonishing.

Third, the new housing stock is high end and expensive. The MPDU rental program does not work effectively and people making decent money are being priced out of Bethesda – it is remarkable that young professionals making $40-50K can barely find housing that meets their needs.

Moving away from housing it is also worth noting that there is a lack of imagination at the county level when it comes to greening the community and making it more livable. That is a surprise for a place as progressive as Bethesda but a point worth noting.

The last point regarding the planning meeting is that it is crucial that the citizenry engage much more than they are currently doing. There are still opportunities to influence the Bethesda plan and if we don’t want to wake up and look like Northern Virginia the time to engage is now.

Please feel free to leave your thoughts below – these are important discussions that need to be had in public.