The 5,400 Units on the Boards for Downtown Bethesda

by Nena Perry-Brown

Downtown Bethesda's residential pipeline is akin to Hydra — cut out one project, and two more take its place. Although a few projects have fallen off the map in recent years, the residential pipeline is only growing, and while the Bethesda Downtown Design Advisory Panel hasn't met since February, the county's Planning Board is still (virtually) in operation. 

Below, we catch up with what is on the boards on the Maryland side of Wisconsin Avenue.

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

Battery Lane District

The Montgomery County Planning Board (MCPB) approved this sizeable redevelopment a couple of weeks ago. Brown Development, which developed the mid-century residential buildings and 806 units in the Battery Lane District, is planning a five-site development on Battery Lane between Old Georgetown Road and Woodmont Avenue (map) that will add 653 units and 6,000 square feet of non-residential use to the site. 

Details and renderings of each new building are forthcoming, and 20% of the units will be moderately-priced dwelling units (MPDUs); DNC Architects, Cooper Carry, and KGD Architecture will be the designers. The development is expected to be constructed in phases over 10-15 years.

8015 Old Georgetown Road

The county planning board approved a sketch plan last September that would replace a church and three single-family houses on the 2.5 acres at 8015 Old Georgetown Road (map) with a 90 foot-tall residential development. Developer JLB Partners is proposing up to 310 units (15% MPDUs) and roughly 230 parking spaces below- and partially at-grade. SK+I Architecture is the design architect. A site plan application is expected soon.

The Artena

MCPB approved a site plan in July 2019 for this project, which would deliver 330 market-rate and 111 moderately-priced residential units atop 20,000 square feet of commercial space at 8000 Wisconsin Avenue (map). Developed by Aksoylu Properties, the building will also include 311 vehicular and 102 bicycle spaces. SK+I Architecture is the designer. 

4702 West Virginia Avenue

Broad Branch Development has filed an amended sketch plan application to build a 35 foot-tall, 19-unit condo building to replace a single-family house at 4702 West Virginia Avenue (map). The SK+I Architecture-designed building will include 15-18 parking spaces, and the project is scheduled for review by MCPB later this month.

8001 Wisconsin Avenue

Developer BF Saul shared plans for this mixed-use project at the end of February, which would replace all of the buildings on the block bound by Wisconsin Avenue and Tilbury Street from Highland to West Virginia Avenues (map). As proposed, a nine-story building would deliver up to 350 apartments atop up to 15,000 square feet of retail fronting Wisconsin Avenue, along with a 70 foot-wide, publicly-accessible park along Tilbury. There will also be 345 parking spaces across three below-grade levels. Torti Gallas + Partners is the design architect.

7900 Wisconsin Avenue

Last week, MCPB approved a site plan amendment for this project, which is already under construction at 7900 Wisconsin Avenue (map). As amended, the 17-story development will deliver 322 apartments (rather than 450) above a restaurant and a Trader Joe's. The development will also include 49 MPDUs and 340 (rather than 445) parking spaces. JBG SMITH is the developer and FX Fowle is the architect.

The Claiborne

Novo Properties and DBT Development Group received site plan approval in February for this mixed-use development, which will replace the former Steamers Seafood building at 4820 Auburn Avenue (map). Rather than 84 condos, the development will now deliver 58 market-rate condos without requiring the developer to provide affordable housing on-site. The 110 foot-tall building will also include up to 2,800 square feet of non-residential space. SK+I Architecture is the designer.

NOTE: The architect for this project was added after publication.

4915 Auburn Avenue

The Auburn Building Association plans to raze its mid-century office at 4915 Auburn Avenue (map) to replace it with up to 175 residential units (31 affordable) above up to 12,500 square feet of commercial space. The units will be spread across two Shalom Baranes-designed buildings that are four and 11 stories, with a public plaza in between. The commercial space will be along Norfolk Avenue, and this stretch of the avenue is also expected to become a shared street in the future. The development will also include up to 100 residential parking spaces and 85 bike spaces.

MCPB approved the site plan application for this project in September 2019.

St. Elmo Apartments

This Lenkin Company-helmed development at 4922 St. Elmo Avenue (map) will eventually deliver 279 residential units and 6,000 square feet of commercial space. Fifteen percent of the residences will be MPDUs, and the 225 foot-tall building will also provide 215-225 parking spaces and 100 bicycle spaces below-grade. David M. Schwarz Architects is the designer.

Avondale Street

In March, SJ Investments shared plans with the community to replace the multi-unit buildings at 4526 and 4530 Avondale Street (map) with a 7-story building, delivering 60 units. The unit mix will span from studios to one-bedrooms with dens, and nine of the units will be moderately-priced. There will be up to 21 parking spaces on a below-grade level. Perkins Eastman is the architect.

La Madeleine Redevelopment

A site plan application was approved in November for what is expected to be another Solaire-branded mixed-use development at the former site of La Madeleine at 7607 Old Georgetown Road (map). The Washington Property Company project will be 225 feet tall, 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.

Maizon Bethesda

Framing is going up at Arlington Road between Edgemoor and Moorland Lanes (map), where ZOM Living and Mitsui Fudosan America are building a 229-unit rental development. The unit mix will span studios to three-bedrooms, and 15% of the units will be MPDUs. SK+I Architecture is the designer.

Edgemont Bethesda II

Framing is also underway on the second component of the Edgemont Bethesda at 4885 Edgemoor Lane (map), which will deliver 154 condos (15% MPDUs) across a 15-story building. The building will include ground-floor commercial space and 74 parking spaces. Equity Residential is the developer and SK+I Architecture is the designer.

4824 Edgemoor Lane

Acumen Companies is looking to put a 12-story, 77-unit condo building on the 0.18-acre site at 4824 Edgemoor Lane (map). The unit mix will include one-bedrooms with and without dens and two-bedrooms, and 15% of the condos will be MPDUs. The building will also have 38 bicycle spaces on the ground floor, and 62 vehicular spaces in an automated garage with two turntables. Bonstra|Haresign is the architect.

4 Bethesda Metro Center

Brookfield Properties plans to add 479 residential units atop the Metro station at 4 Bethesda Metro Center (map). The 290 foot-tall building will 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 bicycle spaces for residents, improvements to the Metro station, and a roughly 42,000 square-foot public plaza. MCPB approved the amended preliminary plan application in December.

Bethesda Senior Living

MCPB approved a sketch plan application last week for this senior housing development that will replace the gas station at 7340 Wisconsin Avenue (map). Contract purchaser South Bay Partners is proposing a 250 foot-tall building with 345 senior units above 5,000 square feet of retail. The apartments will be divided among memory care, assisted living, and independent living, and the building will also have two levels of underground parking with 70-80 spaces.

CallisonRTKL is the building architect. This site was previously slated for 225 apartments.

Metro Tower

MCPB approved the site plan application for this development in September, which will replace the existing office and commercial buildings and parking garage at 7316 Wisconsin Avenue (map) with a 250 foot-tall mixed-use building. Owner Saul Centers expects to deliver 311 market-rate and 55 moderately-priced residential units above up to 11,000 square feet of commercial space. The project will include 160 vehicular and 96 bicycle parking spaces, and will also enlarge the adjacent public plaza from 4,672 to 9,183 square feet. Torti Gallas + Partners is the building designer. 

The Wilson and The Elm

Exterior work is almost done on the mixed-use development at the former site of the Apex building and future site of Bethesda's Purple Line stop at 7272 Wisconsin Avenue (map). The Elm is the residential portion of the development, delivering 400 market-rate and 60 moderately-priced apartments in two 28-story volumes connected by an amenity "Skybridge". 

The Wilson is an office building, and Fox 5 will relocate there next year. The development will also include 14,572 square feet of retail and 7,500 square feet of open public space. Carr Properties and Insight Property Group are the developers and Shalom Baranes is the architect.

Farm Women's Cooperative Market

MCPB approved a sketch plan for the site of the historic Farm Women's Cooperative Market last October, with the resulting development expected to deliver up to 585 units (15% MPDUs) and 35,305 square feet of non-residential space. EYA and Bernstein Management Corporation are helming the development at 7155 Wisconsin Avenue (map), and in either case, the market is expected to be moved just northward and restored, with nearly 4,200 square feet of the building incorporated into the new construction.

The west side of the project will include up to 260 units and up to 7,500 square feet of non-residential use, while there are two options for the east side: In Option A, there would be another 325 units, including townhouses atop the current Lot 10, and up to 27,805 square feet of non-residential space. In Option B, there would be up to 230 additional units and up to 5,000 square feet of non-residential space. Cunningham Quill Architects is the designer.

7000 Wisconsin Avenue

MCPB approved a site plan application last month for this mixed-use development at 6936-7000 Wisconsin Avenue (map), originally planned to include a movie theater. Now, the 110 foot-tall project will deliver 164 market-rate and 36 moderately-priced apartments, along with roughly 8,000 square feet of commercial space. 

Woodfield Development and Starr Capital are the developers, and SK+I Architecture is the designer. 

See other articles related to: downtown bethesda, development rundown, bethesda

This article originally published at https://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/the-5400-units-on-the-boards-for-downtown-bethesda/16803

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