Tag Archives: bethesda condos

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.

Bethesda Downtown Sector Plan Dissenter Speaks

Marc Elrich, the one Montgomery County Council member to vote against the Bethesda Downtown Sector plan explains his vote here.

Bethesda Downtown Sector Plan Cont.

Reactions to the Sector Plan are coming in. Here is one take from our friends at Bethesda Magazine. Of particular interest was a point on additional development:

 

The plan opens the door to about 4.2 million square feet of additional development.

That might sound like a lot, but the county planning director and the chair of the Montgomery County Planning Board assert that the proposed Bethesda plan is modest in scale.

To put the number in context, county staff reports show that 23.6 million square feet of development existed in Bethesda as of September 2014. Ongoing and approved projects add up to another 4.6 million square feet. Included in that number is a roughly 940,000-square-foot redevelopment plan for the site of the Apex building at 7272 Wisconsin Ave.

What’s not included? Marriott International’s proposal to construct roughly 400,000 square feet near Woodmont Triangle for the company’s headquarters and a flagship hotel. That project will consume some of the 4.2 million square feet of new building space allowed by the Bethesda plan.

It will be interesting to get a variety of takes on this and other aspects of the plan. Feel free to email me at raj@rajabout.com

New Bethesda Downtown Sector Plan Approved

Friends,

I have not had a chance to go through the full document, so am simply going to provide the Council summary at this point.

More information to follow!

The Montgomery County Planning Department, part of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, is proud to announce that the Montgomery County Council approved its Bethesda Downtown Sector Plan on Thursday, May 25, 2017.  The Council voted 8 to 1 in favor of adopting the plan with only Councilmember Mark Elrich opposing the action.

Consult the Council’s resolution for more details about their approval of the plan.

The new Sector Plan is an update to the approved and adopted 1994 Bethesda Central Business District Sector Plan and the 2006 Woodmont Triangle Amendment.

 

The plan builds on the success of Downtown Bethesda by offering ways to strengthen its centers of activity – Bethesda Row, Wisconsin Avenue corridor, Woodmont Triangle and other established and emerging districts – over the next 20 years. The plan focuses on creating a downtown that is economically sustainable, environmentally sustainable and socially sustainable.

The Bethesda Downtown Sector Plan offers exciting new ways to achieve its goals. An innovative tool that will be employed is a new way of allocating density. The plan assigns heights, but density will be allocated through the Bethesda Overlay Zone and plans will be judged in terms of their contributions to open space, affordable housing and design excellence.

In addition, the plan recommends a high performance area that incentivizes energy-efficient buildings, increased tree canopy and innovative stormwater management in order to create a truly sustainable downtown.

Other recommendations will help create numerous new parks, preserve important community and historic resources, such as the Bethesda Farm Women’s Cooperative Market, and provide more affordable housing in the downtown. Projects will be required to provide a minimum 15 percent of moderately priced dwelling units (MPDUs), not 12.5 percent as is typically required.

New design guidelines for the plan area and specific details about the Bethesda Overlay Zone are now being developed.

Rentals: Bethesda Urban Living

A few of our readers have asked that we share some information/ thoughts and opinions on the Bethesda rental scene.  SO, we are going to write an occasional post on the different rental options/ buildings in our area. Of course, if anyone wants to have a more detailed discussion, they can reach me directly at raj@rajabout.com or (240)486-3921.

 

Picture of the Day: Where is This?

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Thanks Nandos!

One week ago we decided to spend Inauguration Day at Nando’s in Bethesda and I just wanted to take a moment to thank the wonderful folks there for a terrific lunch — we popped over there for food, some good cheer and positive vibes on that important day and they did not disappoint. Find below a picture of the back of the back of one of their marketing team (he is sporting the “everyone is welcome” concept on his tshirt) and a picture of a cool mural inside the restaurant:


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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.

 

The Whitehall Condos Bethesda

Hi friends,

As I have mentioned previously, I am going to post periodically about the downtown Bethesda condominium/ real estate market.  In that spirit, I just wanted to take a moment to chat about the Whitehall condominium building on Battery lane. 

It is a building I know well but I popped by earlier in the week to look at a few units that are on the market and wanted to share my updated thoughts.

  1. The value in the Whitehall is still based in the terrific size of the units.  It is an older building in an area that seems to have a new condo building popping up at every turn, but this ensures that the price per sq foot and the overall size remain as its big plus points.
  2. The facilities are decent at the Whitehall – the 24 hour front desk, copious parking, a meeting room, pool and a gym are useful benefits.
  3. The condo fee is on the higher side but that should not be a deal breaker – you get a lot for your money and there are some extenuating circumstances (happy to discuss offline).
  4. There are tangible variations between the prices and types of unit currently on the market. Some are worth serious condition for buyers currently in the market.

As ever, I am happy to discuss the Whitehall/ other Bethesda condos or real estate matters with you one on one. I can be reached at raj@rajabout.com or (240)486-3921.

Cheers!

 

Bethesda Real Estate: Both Under Contract and Available

Hi folks,

Just wanted to share a little “insider” real estate process info with you. When you look at properties on a number of the public facing real estate portals, they will use words like “pending” to note when the property is “under contract.” Generally speaking, this information is fairly accurate and the property is, in fact, not available.

However, if you are working through a good real estate agent, they are sometimes able to uncover that rare property that is “under contract” and also “available.” Confused? Actually it is fairly straight forward and the mechanics can be explained in detail by a good real estate agent (I am also happy to discuss with you one on one).

The reason I wanted to raise this is that I was looking at available condo units in Bethesda for a client and the very best unit I found was one which fell into this grey zone. I am not sure if the client will buy the unit but it is a prospect that did not seem available.

So if you are looking at property in Bethesda or anywhere else, confirm that you too have a shot and finding properties in this “grey zone.”

As ever, I am happy to discuss this or any other real estate matter with you – my email raj@rajabout.com and cell (240)486-3921.

 

Cheers!