Work continues on Pike + Rose, the new neighborhood being built at the soon-to-be-former Mid-Pike Plaza shopping center at Rockville Pike and Old Georgetown Road. The project already looks very different compared to our last visit to the construction site last month.
1 of the 3 buildings in the project’s first phase, a 174-unit mid-rise apartment building dubbed PerSei, appears to have topped out. Meanwhile, 11800 Grand Park Avenue, an office building, has almost reached its full height, but Pallas, a high-rise building with 300 apartments, has just gotten off the ground. The 3 buildings will share 150,000 square feet of retail, including ground-floor shops and restaurants, and a parking garage.
Developer Federal Realty Investment Trust plans to complete the rest of Pike + Rose in 3 phases over the next 5 years. When finished, the project will contain an additional 430,000 square feet of retail, 1,500 new residences, 1.1 million square feet of offices and a luxury hotel.
Now that 2 of the buildings are close to topping out, we can start to see how they will relate to each other, to the street, and to White Flint as a whole.
In keeping with the White Flint Sector Plan, the buildings at Pike + Rose come right up to Old Georgetown Road, which is envisioned as an urban street with wide sidewalks, bike paths, and restaurants with outdoor dining. “I’ve got 6 leases signed with restaurants on Old Georgetown Road,” said Evan Goldman, vice president of development at Federal Realty, at a recent meeting about rebuilding the street. “I want outdoor cafes and street trees.”
The Montgomery County Department of Transportation has been reluctant to make changes to Old Georgetown in the near term, meaning that it may remain a cars-only zone for the indefinite future. But one day, the street and the buildings on it might look like this:
It’s still business as usual at Mid-Pike Plaza, the strip mall that Pike + Rose will eventually replace. From the parking lot, you can get another view of 11800 Grand Park Avenue, which on its lower floors will have a high-end iPic movie theatre and a live music venue operated in conjunction with Strathmore. Both of these are scheduled to open in fall 2014.
Comparing the current photo to the rendering below, you can start to see what Grand Park Avenue will look like: a fairly narrow street lined by wide sidewalks with street trees and outdoor seating. Judging from the proportions, it might be comparable to Maryland Avenue in Rockville Town Square, another Federal Realty project.
It’ll be interesting to see how this project evolves over time. As I wrote last year, one of the challenges facing Pike + Rose is becoming an authentic gathering place for the community. It’s one thing to put up buildings and lay out streets, but another entirely to make a place where people will want to spend their time.
And it might happen, judging from the weekly Pike Central Farm Market held in the parking lot of Mid-Pike Plaza each Saturday. The market hosts over 40 local vendors selling everything from fresh vegetables to wine, and when Friends of White Flint had a table there 2 weeks ago, it was packed. Eventually, this market will move to one of the squares inside Pike + Rose.
The buildings and public spaces may not be done yet, but the people and activity are already here. That’s a good sign for when Pike + Rose becomes a reality.
For more photos of Pike + Rose under construction, check out this slideshow.