14 hours, two meetings. Yes, FoWF Executive Director Amy Ginsburg attended both Monday night’s White Flint Implementation Meeting and Tuesday morning’s White Flint Downtown Advisory Committee Meeting so she could let you know what happened at each.
First, the White Flint Implementation Meeting.
Nkosi Yearwood of the Montgomery Planning Department reported:
East Village North Bethesda Gateway project was approved by the Planning Board this past Thursday.
On September 22, the Planning Board will hold a hearing for the Pike and Rose amendment. This amendment decreases the number of residential units in its Phase 2 build-out from 236 to 198 and increases parking. There will also be improvements to public streets and a park, including sculptured benches.
Tonight, September 14, 7 pm at the Strathmore mansion is a public meeting with the developers of the Grosvenor-Strathmore surface parking area.
Dee Metz of the County Executive’s Office reported:
Nebel Street bike lanes are very close to done. Bringing the separated bike lanes to Nicholson will be phase two of the project.
The County finalized an agreement with SHA to turn the portion of Old Georgetown Road from Executive Boulevard to Route 355 to County control. Dee also noted that the SHA is far more cognizant of the need to make the Pike District a walkable area.
SHA approved a light at the intersection of Towne Road and Rose Avenue.
The Western Workaround’s Market Street will begin construction this fall. There will be more trees planted than chopped down around the Western Workaround.
Tina Benjamin of the County Executive’s Office reported:
Donnelly Construction will begin building the Conference Center parking garage in the fall. It will have 650 spaces, 6 levels, and a covered walkway leading directly to the ballroom level.
During the year of construction, patrons will be shuttled to the Conference Center from a parking garage on Executive Boulevard.
The underground bio-retention facility and two above-ground bio-retention facilities will absorb more water than is currently absorbed at the site.
Eddie Meder of the Gables reported:
Their project on Old Georgetown Road will feature three interconnected buildings of between three and six stories as well as a parking deck. Gables plans 442 units.
The design hasn’t changed since the site plan was approved in 2015, and they are a couple of weeks away from filing for building permits.
Costs have gone up 10% since approval, and some original features have not translated well from conception to actual plans. Therefore, the Gables is making a few small changes.
Gables is removing the 50′ high pedestrian bridges between buildings that would have only been used by residents because they are located over the Pepco transformers.
They are eliminating a few apartments to enlarge the fitness and amenity space.
There will be a green roof on the garage, but the dog park had to be eliminated due to cost-prohibitive environmental rules.
Bioswales in the courtyard for storm water management will compliment storm water vaults.
The facade has been tweaked, including removing the sun shade due to fire code issues.
The bike share location was also altered.
There will likely be a supplemental CIP appropriation to pay for the County’s portion of the Gables garage. (250 spaces for the aquatic center.) The furthest spaces in the new garage will be closer to the swim center than the furthest spaces on the current surface parking lot. The Parks Department is working on a design for the new Wall Park.
Brian Downie of BF Saul reported in answer to a question that construction of Saul Centers West will begin in 2018 at the earliest.
Now the White Flint Downtown Advisory Committee Meeting.
Ken Hartman of the BCC Regional Center reported:
Banners on Marinelli branding the Pike District must wait for the light poles to be replaced which should happen soon.
He is looking at landscaping and placing street furniture at the corner of Marinelli and Route 355.
Dee Metz of the County Executive’s Building reported:
Dee repeated everything she had said during the Implementation Committee meeting (see above).
She added that VOB is starting to move forward with their project, including purchasing the Capital One building.
She also added that Phase 2 of the Western Workaround is funded in the FY18 budget.
Peggy Schwartz of the Transportation Management District reported:
Walk & Ride is September 12 through 30th.
Brian Downie of BF Saul and Ginane Italiano of the Bethesda Chamber reported:
The strategic planning committee is meeting every two weeks to meet its September 2017 mandate to report to the County Executive its recommendations for the creation of an urban district or BID in the Pike District. They are starting by working with a consultant to conduct focus groups with businesses, residents, and property owners to learn what services are needed and wanted in the Pike District.
Next month is a critical time for getting support for proposed state legislation that changes the requirement from 80% to 51% of property owners to approve the formation of a BID.
Francine Waters of Lerner Enterprises reported:
FallFest is October 8 from noon to 2:00 pm on Marinelli Road. FallFest features music by the Nighthawks, a ribbon cutting with County Executive Ike Leggett, food trucks, and kids activities. She encouraged the committee to volunteer at the event. To promote the event, postcards were mailed to homes in the 20852, 20895, and 20896 zip codes. Postcards will also be distributed at the Twinbrook, White Flint, and Grosvenor metro stations in late September. There are also four bus shelter posters along Route 355 advertising the event. It will be a signature event of the Pike District that will be fun for all ages.