Greg Trimmer presented JBG’s amended site plan for the North Bethesda Market II development project, located at Rockville Pike and Executive Boulevard, at this month’s White Flint Implementation meeting. The original site plan was approved in early 2012, however, there have been a few prevailing factors that have stopped the project from moving forward.
The first challenge JBG faced with this project was the office market. The original site plan included a 200,000 sq. foot office building as a main building. After much deliberation and analysis of the office market in the area, JBG decided to take the office building out of the plan. The second challenge was the residential pipeline. There are many high-priced apartments being constructed in the area causing high competition between developers to provide unique and exciting amenities to attract future residents. Even with these challenges, JBG has remained committed to creating this site and now is moving forward with the project.
Even though there are a few changes to the site plan, JBG still upholds its 5 main goals for the development project: a sense of place, design excellence, pedestrian focus, connection with North Bethesda Market I, and integration of uses.
The NoBe II project is designed from the inside out with the main plaza, featured in the picture below, as the heart of the plan. An upper plaza was added to the plan, which will consist of half public space for community members and half private space for residents., giving the plan two outdoor spaces. The plazas will provide space for the community members to participate in various activities and programming. Overall, there will be about 18,000 sq. feet of public space. Working with Olin Studios, JBG hopes to add aesthetically pleasing features such as water fountains and LED paneled steps to make the development unique.
Though JBG decided to eliminate the office building, they will add a small residential building to add more residential space to the development. This building will be a 12-story building, including retail on the second floor. This will be a condominium building with 80 residential units. JBG hopes to attract young professionals with these 1 and 2 bedroom apartments. The residential tower, the iconic element of the project, remains the same and will have only rental units. The residential tower is currently designed to be the county’s tallest building. The retail on the first floor of the residential tower will face Rockville Pike but it will be setback from the road, as the dedication of the right of way from the county has already been given.
The 2-story retail building will also remain. The lobby of this retail building will face Executive Boulevard, while the retail stores themselves will face inside towards the plaza. In addition, JBG hopes to use the roof for addition space for programming and activities for both residents and community members.
The existing office building on the corner of Woodglen Drive and Executive Boulevard will remain intact during the first 2 phases of the project. JBG will reevaluate the building after a few years to possible have a phase 3, said Greg Trimmer. This all depends on the how the office market changes in the coming years.
Phase I of NoBe II will include the construction of the residential tower. Phase II will include the new residential building, as well as the retail building. Phase III will eventually deal with the existing office building on the corner of Executive Boulevard and Woodglen Drive. JBG hopes to start Phase 1 by 2015.