The 22 New Developments on the Boards For Downtown Bethesda

  • March 22nd 2022

by Nena Perry-Brown

Downtown Bethesda is in the thick of a construction wave, with several projects breaking ground in the past year even as at least 700 residential units, a new Fox 5 headquarters, and the neighborhood's second Trader Joe's have all delivered. 

Below, UrbanTurf takes a look at the latest residential development happenings along and adjacent to this stretch of Wisconsin Avenue.

In case you missed them, here are the other neighborhoods we have covered so far this year:

4901 Battery Lane

In January, the Montgomery County Planning Board approved a proposal to replace a pair of apartment buildings at 4901 Battery Lane (map) with a 12-story building that would deliver 339 market-rate and 60 moderately-priced (MPDU) apartments. The building would provide 322 vehicular parking and 95 long-term bicycle spaces, and the unit mix would span from studio to two-bedrooms. WC Smith is the developer and SK+I Architecture is the designer.

Battery Lane District

Brown Development has cited Covid as a hindrance, but is still working toward  redeveloping the six-building, 806-unit mid-century Battery Lane District, located on Battery Lane between Old Georgetown Road and Woodmont Avenue (map). The multi-phase development, which will replace 477 of the existing units, got sketch plan approval from the planning board in 2019. Over the course of 10-15 years, the new development is expected to deliver 1,530 new units and up to 12,000 square feet of commercial space.

Twenty percent of the new units will be moderately priced (MPDUs), and each of the existing building sites will be redeveloped one at a time on a rolling basis. The development will also include improvements to the North Bethesda Trolley Trail. DNC Architects, Cooper Carry, and KGD Architecture will be the designers. 

8015 Old Georgetown Road

Demolition began on the Christ Lutheran Church at 8015 Old Georgetown Road (map) this month to make way for a new church facility and a mixed-use development. Last June, JLB Realty received approval to add a 90 foot-tall development with 224 apartments, 73 live/work units, and up to 6,000 square feet of amenity indoor/outdoor co-working space to the 2.5-acre site.

Thirty of the apartments and 15 of the live/work units would be MPDUs, and the overall unit mix will be one- and two-bedrooms. The development would also include up to 298 parking spaces and 95 bicycle storage spaces. SK+I Architecture is the designer.

The Artena

Demolition of 8000 Wisconsin Avenue (map) is finally imminent three years after this project got planning board approval. The development is expected to deliver 330 market-rate units and 111 MPDUs above 20,000 square feet of commercial space, along with 311 vehicular and 102 bicycle spaces. Aksoylu Properties is the developer; SK+I Architecture is the designer. 

4702 West Virginia Avenue

A construction permit application is under review for a 35 foot-tall, 19-unit condo building that would replace the single-family house at 4702 West Virginia Avenue (map). The project would include 15-18 parking spaces. Broad Branch Development got the project entitled and SK+I Architecture is the designer.

8001 Wisconsin Avenue

In April, the county planning board is expected to review sketch and preliminary plan applications filed in December 2020 for a block-sized development bound by Wisconsin Avenue and Tilbury Street from Highland to West Virginia Avenues (map). The nine-story building is proposed to deliver up to 350 apartments atop 15,000 square feet of Wisconsin Avenue-fronting retail, along with a 70 foot-wide, publicly-accessible park along Tilbury.

There would be at least 350 parking spaces, and the development would also require the county to abandon the alley that bisects the site. BF Saul is the developer; Torti Gallas + Partners is the design architect.

The Claiborne

Construction has yet to begin at 4820 Auburn Avenue (map), although the site is slated for a 110 foot-tall, 58-unit condo development with up to 2,800 square feet of commercial space. Novo Properties and DBT Development Group are the developers; SK+I Architecture is the designer.

4915 Auburn Avenue

The Auburn Building Association's mid-century office building at 4915 Auburn Avenue (map) has been razed to make way for a pair of buildings delivering 144 market-rate and 31 affordable units and up to 12,500 square feet of commercial space. The buildings will have a public plaza between them and the commercial space will front a section of Norfolk Avenue expected to eventually become a shared street. The development would also include up to 100 residential parking spaces and 85 bike spaces. Shalom Baranes is the architect. 

Hampden East

In July, the planning board approved a preliminary plan by Washington Property Company (WPC) and Douglas Development to replace the former's Bethesda headquarters at 4719 Hampden Lane (map) with a 262 foot-tall mixed-use building. The development would include 150 residential units (17.6% MPDUs) with 330,000 square feet of office above and up to 10,000 square feet of double-height retail below, potentially including an indoor/outdoor café at Hampden and East Lanes.

Deep setbacks between the residential and office floors would create outdoor amenity spaces, and the office tenants and residents would share a roof deck. There will also be up to 300 parking spaces on 3-4 below-grade levels. Shalom Baranes Associates is the architect. 

7-Eleven Redevelopment

Last January, Bethesda Land and Bethmont presented a new redevelopment vision for the half-block of Fairmont Avenue between Wisconsin and Woodmont Avenues (map), proposing a 314 foot-tall building with 450 units (25% MPDUs) and 14,750 square feet of ground floor retail. However, plans are expected to change due to the addition of other adjacent sites. Design Collective is the architect.

Midas Redevelopment

In February, the planning board approved a site plan application for a 90 foot-tall, 110-unit development to replace the Midas auto shop at 4725 Cheltenham Drive (map). Eight of the units would be live/work units and 17 would be MPDUs; no parking will be provided aside from 53 long-term bicycle spaces. The majority of the unit mix is junior one-bedrooms. Community Three is the developer, Eric Colbert & Associates is the architect and Soltesz is the landscape architect.

St. Elmo Apartments

Demolition is underway at 4922 St. Elmo Avenue (map), where the Lenkin Company is working on a 225 foot-tall project with 279 residential units and 6,000 square feet of commercial space. Forty-two of the residences will be MPDUs, and the building will also provide 215-225 parking spaces and 100 bicycle spaces below-grade. David M. Schwarz Architects is the designer. 

The Avondale

In November, the planning board granted site plan approval to a development that would replace the two-story multi-unit buildings at 4526 and 4530 Avondale Street (map) with a 7-story, 60-unit building. Nine of the units will be MPDUs, and there will be up to 22 below-grade parking spaces and 30 bicycle spaces.  SJ Investments is the developer and Perkins Eastman is the architect. 

Solaire 7607

The former La Madeleine site at 7607 Old Georgetown Road (map) has been excavated as WPC is working on a 225 foot-tall development, delivering 170 market-rate and 30 moderately-priced apartments above up to 1,700 square feet of retail. The Shalom Baranes-designed building will also include 138 vehicular and 95 bicycle spaces. The project is expected to deliver in late 2023.

4824 Edgemoor Lane

Last March, the Planning Board approved a 12-story, 76-unit condo development at 4824 Edgemoor Lane (map). As designed by Bonstra|Haresign, the project will provide below-grade space for 65 vehicles courtesy of two valet car elevators, and there will also be 38 bicycle spaces on the ground floor. The building will have a mural by Jeff Huntington on the western façade; Acumen Companies is the developer.

4405 East-West Highway

Earlier this month, Perseus TDC announced its acquisition of the five-story, 65,000-square-foot office building at 4405 East-West Highway (map) and its plans to redevelop the site with a 10-story, 300 -plus unit residential project. Construction is expected to begin in 2024.

4 Bethesda Metro Center

At the end of 2019, the planning board approved a preliminary plan application by Brookfield Properties to add a 290 foot-tall building with 479 apartments atop the Metro station at 4 Bethesda Metro Center (map). However, it may take a couple more years before much else happens. In January, the planning board passed a resolution granting the developer until October 2024 to submit a site plan application.

As previously-approved, the building would also include up to 20,600 square feet of ground-floor commercial space, and at least 15% of the apartments will be MPDUs. The project will also include 107 resident bicycle spaces, a 42,000 square-foot public plaza, and improvements to the configuration of the station.

Hampden House

Demolition has been underway for months on the existing office and commercial buildings and parking garage at 7316 Wisconsin Avenue (map), where Saul Centers aims to deliver 311 market-rate units and 55 MPDUs above 11,000 square feet of commercial space in a 250 foot-tall building. The project will have 233 vehicular and 96 bicycle parking spaces and will also nearly double the size of the adjacent public plaza. Torti Gallas + Partners is the architect. 

Farm Women's Cooperative Market

In October 2019, the planning board approved a significantly pared back plan for the site of the historic Farm Women's Cooperative Market at 7155 Wisconsin Avenue (map), where mixed-use development has long been on the boards. The resulting development is expected to move the market building northward, restore it, and add up to 585 units (15% MPDUs) and 35,305 square feet of non-residential space. EYA and Bernstein Management Corporation are helming the development; Cunningham Quill Architects is the designer. Additional details are still forthcoming, although neighboring Chevy Chase is forking over some money to encourage park construction at the site.

7126 Wisconsin Avenue

Last July, the county's Development Review Committee considered a new proposal by Foulger Pratt for a residential development at 7126 Wisconsin Avenue (map). The development would be up to 225 feet tall and would deliver 360 apartments (15% MPDUs) above 7,184 square feet of retail. SK+I Architecture is the designer.

Bethesda Row Infill

In November, the planning board approved a sketch plan application for an L-shaped infill development behind Bethesda Row, at Bethesda Avenue and Arlington Road (map). The 100 foot-tall Federal Realty project would deliver 250 apartments above 14,000 square feet of retail; 17.6% of the units would be MPDUs.

As designed by Hickok Cole, many of the units would have balconies, and the retail would have folding garage doors. There would be an interior "private passageway" between the new construction and Bethesda Row, and there would be 242 parking spaces at- and below-grade and via a mechanized stacked system. There would also be a bike room on the ground floor and a roof deck with pergola.

The Camille

Construction is underway on a 14-story development at 6936-7000 Wisconsin Avenue (map) slated to deliver 164 market-rate units and 36 MPDUs above roughly 6,000 square feet of commercial space and 124 parking spaces. Woodfield Development and Starr Capital are the developers, and SK+I Architecture is the designer. The development is expected to deliver in September 2023.

This article originally published at https://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/the-22-new-developments-on-the-boards-for-downrtown-bethesda/19418.

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