Tag Archives: real estate bethesda

600 Unit Building Near Bethesda Marriott Pooks Hill?

We just heard that there is a fairly detailed proposal for a 600 unit residential building to be developed between the Bethesda Marriott and the Promenade Coop Building on Pooks Hill.  My friend and colleague, Peggy Bresler, just mentioned that there is an application for development with the county as well as a sketch plan (see below). We will provide more info as we get it.

Please let us know if you have any more details and feel free to get in touch if this is of particular interest. My email raj@rajabout.com

IMG_4258 (1)



Art in Bethesda: Where is this piece?

art outside gallery bethesda

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.


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.


More on Battery Park!

We posted a link to this Bethesda Magazine article recently and just noticed a comment there by Paul Vincent, a local resident, that is worth posting here in part so it gets wider coverage and continues the discussion:

……I invite Kraut to walk down Norfolk Ave on a sunny day to observe the park in use and to investigate the motives of the petitioners. While seated at a picnic table shaded by tulip poplars and cottonwood trees, he can observe groups of young children playing safely, teenagers and young adults using the basketball courts, residents walking dogs, parents and grandparents wheeling infants on the path, elderly persons sitting quietly, and passersby stopping for a few minutes to rest in the shade and listen to the birds singing….I am sure he will find that surrounding residents feel as I do: The park is a quiet, safe place for residents to recreate and enjoy the outdoors primarily BECAUSE Norfolk Avenue does not connect with Battery Lane!”

Paul then goes on to ask a few questions:

“1) Kronenburg suggests a need for greater access to Battery Lane. But access to what? Between Woodmont and Old Georgetown, Battery Lane is lined with apartments–the residents of these apartments are the pedestrians, bicyclists, and recreators who oppose the road.

2) According to Kronenburg, the recommendations include expanding the park to the east if the low-rise office building and Sherwin Williams are redeveloped or sold. Is that a promise? Where’s the guarantee? What will that “redevelopment” entail? another highrise? What will this expanded park look like in the shadow of another high-rise? We have a park filled with mature trees now. Let’s not lose that.

3) Kronenburg says that the plans are to make Norfolk more cyclist friendly. I cycle up and down Norfolk everyday. Norfolk Avenue is wide; it has stops signs and traffic lights that slow the traffic. In my view, it’s the safest road in Bethesda.

4) Kronenburg argues for “a more pronounced bicycle link” between Woodmont triangle and Battery Lane Park. What does that mean? We’re talking about a few hundred yards. Wouldn’t a few strategically placed signs suffice? Let’s do that tomorrow.

5) Finally, Kronenburg mentions a walking path. Norfolk has sidewalks already. They seem pretty functional to me. Is the plan to do away with sidewalks so that pedestrians are walking in the street or sharing a bicycle lane?

Kronenburg and Kraut miss the point. We have a park now that is cut off from automobile traffic. It’s a safe, well-used treasure that improves the quality of life for residents and provides habitat for plants, birds, and other wildlife.”

Very important points are raised here – ones that the authorities must consider at their hearing.

Interested in Investing in Real Estate (Bethesda and Beyond)?


Starting in September, a colleague and I will be holding the first of a series of free seminars on real estate investing. These seminars are going to be geared towards folks who are interested in investing in the real estate market but have not had the time to think about all the different opportunities/ issues involved.

If you would like to attend please email rajlaw@yahoo.com and put “real estate seminar” in the subject line.

We are still trying to work out the logistics (day/ time etc) and will be seeking input on those matters from the folks who RSVP.



Symphony Park at Strathmore (Bethesda North)

Speaking of interesting real estate projects…..there is no doubt that Symphony Park is a project that I have felt really good about from the moment they broke ground a couple of years ago.

The location is fantastic – the project blends into the grounds of Strathmore Music hall in north Bethesda and is just south of the new development scheduled for the White Flint mall area.

The concept is wonderful – this green space and arts integrated community gives owners the opportunity to interact with the nationally renowned Music hall while living in a serene green environment.

The properties themselves are fantastic – they have won numerous awards and have features including optional elevators, high end kitchens and wonderful floor plans.

I’d love to take you to Symphony Park to tour their model homes and meet their sales VP. The final phase is on tap for delivery. So, if you want to chat about Symphony Park or any other real estate matter, drop me a line at rajlaw@yahoo.com or give me a call at (240)486-3921. Cheers!

Bethesda: An Encouraging Housing Market Reminder

This morning someone sent me an article from the NYT discussing why the DC Metro area real estate market was so strong. There are many good points in the piece and it is worth reading/ taking another look. There is one paragraph in particular that seemed worth highlighting:

“Finally, greater D.C.’s housing market has benefited from its many great mixed-used, walkable neighborhoods, which continue to command a premium even in today’s housing market. Some of the old ones in the city — Georgetown and Dupont Circle, Logan Circle and the U Street Corridor – are well known. But many others, both in the inner-ring suburbs like Alexandria and Arlington, Bethesda and Silver Spring, and even further out in Tyson’s Corner, Virginia and Columbia, Md. – are showing the world the way to rebuild denser, more vibrant suburbs, which attract people and command higher prices.”

It was nice to see our home town referred to so postively in the piece. Of course this is nothing we don’t already know but thought it was worth flagging for you.

As ever, please do not hesitate to get in touch if I can help you with any real estate matter. Best way to reach me is email rajlaw@yahoo.com – cheers!

Home Buyers Seminar this Weekend!


This weekend we will be holding a Home Buyers Seminar in Bethesda at our office. The talk will cover issues ranging from financing to short sale/foreclosures/ new construction to buying a resale home. Give me a call at (240)486-3921 if you would like to RSVP to attend. It is on Saturday morning at 11am. 


New Rental and Mixed Use Development on Trillium Site

Friends, as you know the luxury condo project (Trilium) at 8400 Wisconsin Ave never really got off the ground. It now seems that StonebridgeCarras and Walton Street Capital LLC are taking it over and building a mixed use rental and commercial project. There are a few details in this report and we will certainly be digging in and getting more info for you.