Tag Archives: bethesda urban living

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 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

Bethesda Downtown Sector Plan Cont.

As promised yesterday, I am digging into the plan for nuggets and things to be happy/ worry about. This one struck me as a good recommendation:

“Page 41: Modify language under A. Bethesda Circulator Expansion as follows: A more robust Circulator Bus route should be considered to serve an expanded Downtown Bethesda. That route should include service to the Battery Lane and Pearl Districts,[. Potential new stops should include the following locations (see Figure 2.10: Proposed Circulator Route Revisions):] new Bethesda South Metrorail station/Purple Line station on Elm Street, the Pearl District, and Medical Center Metrorail station.”

I like the idea of the Circulator connecting residents to both Bethesda and Medical Center metro stops. Hopefully with easier, all weather, access to metro, we will see more downtown residents able to leave the car at home and use metro a bit more.

More nuggets etc. to follow!

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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.

Development in Old Bethesda Moving Quickly: National Daycare Next?

Just heard from some friends that there is a chance that a national daycare may well be opening a branch in “Old” Bethesda —- specifically at the location across from Battery Park. Will try to contact the agents for the building to find out more!

The Park:

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The Building:DSC00022

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.

 

Condo Update: The Lauren

This condo project is really a class apart from many other regional offerings. I popped by recently to take a close look at the new model unit and some of the buildings high end features.  The building has residents already moved in but several units are still available for purchase.

A few of the key details are as follows:

1. A 35 unit, 8 story luxury building

2. Incredible features throughout the building from the condo units to the common areas

3. High end touches include a community lounge with private wine lockers for the residents

4. Condos range from 1-3 bedrooms at the penthouse (7300 approx sq feet of inside and outside space) is still fully available and listed a bit above $10 million

As ever, I am happy to discuss the Lauren, other Bethesda condos or any other real estate matter one on one. I can be reached by email (raj@rajabout.com) and cell (240)486 3921.


Pic: The Lauren
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Thanks Bethesda Chocolate!

Mrs. Bethesda Actually just had a big birthday and as part of her present asked for a small sampling of chocolates from Bethesda Chocolate.

She received and has really enjoyed her chocolates!

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Condo Update: Cheval Bethesda

Hi friends,

Just an update on the Cheval Condo building in Bethesda. I popped by the site earlier in the week and it seems that work is moving at a steady pace. Their delivery date is still looking like early 2018. As a reminder, a few key aspects of the building are as follows:

1. It will be a 17 story building with 71 units

2. One, two and three bedroom units will be available (the three bedroom units really will be a hot item I would imagine)

3. Prices range from $700s to $3million + and square footage tops out at just over 2700 for the largest units

4. Garage parking and a host of amenities will be offered

If you are interested in the Cheval, the Bethesda condo market or have any other real estate needs/questions, please get in touch — my email is raj@rajabout.com and phone is 240 486 3921

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Summer in Bethesda

Well friends, another day and another season! Today feels like early summer, a balmy 70 degrees or so is the projected high and it is already a glorious day. If you are like me when it comes to the weather, you probably have two conflicting feelings about this:

1. A feeling of happiness brought about by blue sky, warm “summer” rays, a lack of humidity and (so far) no mosquitoes.

2. A feeling of panic that the climate is completely out of wack and we are all, in the years to come, in trouble unless we can collectively take action really, really quickly!

My solution to this contradiction is the following: restore your spirits by walking and enjoying the amazing weather AND channel some of your restored energy into reminding our leaders (elected and otherwise) that they need to do much more about climate change (paging Gov. Hogan).

So, in the spirit of renewal, take a look at this picture from my morning walk (and please feel free to share your own at raj@rajabout.com):

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