Archives August 2018

Sweet News for Pike & Rose

DC Eater reports:

Chef and owner Caroline Yi’s debut brick-and-mortar location at the budding mixed-use complex (11869 Grand Park Avenue, North Bethesda, Md.) will offer French croissants she makes over three days, as well as brioche doughnuts filled with seasonal jam.

Yi, an avid self-taught baker who grew up in Montgomery County, has already exposed the neighborhood to her goods via an on-site farmer’s market on weekends. Her newest creation is a twice-baked “Elvis” croissant, stuffed with with roasted peanut filling, fresh bananas, and crispy bacon.

Sunday Morning will also serve omelettes and herb-baked eggs, along with toast topped with jam with sea salt and pan con tomate on crusty sourdough. For lunch, there’s a three-cheese grilled cheese and a tuna salad with sprouts on brioche (her mom’s recipe).

Yi, who started baking cookies for her family at age seven, ditched her career in digital marketing and has spent the past three years test batching and perfecting recipes.

OurBus to launch White Flint to NYC bus service

From Robert Dyer’s blog

OurBus, a crowdsourced tech company operating intercity and commuter bus routes, plans to soon offer service between White Flint and New York City. The company plans to perform a pilot test of the route over Labor Day weekend.

A test of the OurBus website finds an available trip to New York City on Labor Day for $25.00. The departure stop is listed as the bus stop at the White Flint Metro station, on the northbound side of Rockville Pike, in front of the Metro station.

OurBus notes that buses will not always be branded “OurBus” (Worldwide Tours & Travel is listed as the charter company for next Monday’s trip). The service offers passengers free WiFi, reclining seats, charging ports, free water, “sanitized” on-board restrooms, and no rescheduling fees. Tickets must be purchased online.


More on Housing as Infrastructure

Casey Anderson, the Chairman of the Planning Board, is writing a enlightening series of posts on the economics and trends that affect Montgomery County on The Third Place. Two recent ones are important enough that I want to repost them on the Friends of White Flint blog. We posted the first one titled,  Real Estate Development *Is* Infrastructure, yesterday.

Today, we discuss More on Housing as Infrastructure. Highlights of this interesting post are below, but it’s worth your time to read the entire article.

If we don’t have enough housing, workers will continue bidding up the cost of existing residences until only the very affluent will be able to afford decent housing in convenient locations. Lower-income residents will either be priced out entirely or face crowded, substandard housing conditions in remote locations with long and difficult commutes.

The problem is that restrictive land use policies tend to hurt the poor and middle class while discouraging businesses from locating and expanding here, because their workers are squeezed by the high cost of housing. This might drive some people away and discourage others from coming in the first place, but it would do so only by raising the cost of living and degrading the quality of life of all but the wealthiest residents – not to mention weakening our tax base by reducing our economic competitiveness.

Along with roads, transit, schools and parks, the provision of housing sufficient to support a high quality of life at affordable prices is a fundamental building block of an equitable and sustainable economy. It might seem counterintuitive, but in addition to exacerbating inequality by keeping out the poor or forcing them into substandard housing far from employment opportunities, high housing costs are also bad for the economy because they drive out younger workers who are priced out of the market and then move to lower-cost areas, leaving behind older residents and a shrinking tax base.

The DC region now has the highest cost of living in the entire US, and Richard Florida has made the point that housing costs are the main driver in cost of living differences. In the above chart, for example, you can see that the main difference in cost of living between Montgomery County and several other jurisdictions comparable in population is represented by housing – food and transportation costs don’t vary all that much. In other words, our high cost of living is almost entirely attributable to housing.

Read the rest of this post here.

Real Estate Development is Infrastructure

Casey Anderson, the Chairman of the Planning Board, is writing a enlightening series of posts on the economics and trends that affect Montgomery County on The Third Place. Two recent ones are important enough that I want to repost them on the Friends of White Flint blog today and tomorrow.

This first one is titled,  Real Estate Development *Is* Infrastructure.  You can read some of its more salient points below, but it is worth grabbing your favorite snack and reading the entire post.

If the supply of housing does not keep up with even modest growth in jobs and population, residents who don’t have much choice about where to live and work will get squeezed hardest while residents who have skills that are most in demand elsewhere (who also tend to get paid more and therefore pay more in taxes) may consider taking a job in a place where they can get more and better housing for their money.

The people whose choices of work location are constrained tend to have fewer skills that command a premium in wages, but this is not uniformly true – for example, people who work for trade associations, think tanks, law and lobbying firms, and other employers oriented around the nation’s capital might not find jobs that suit their skills in Pittsburgh, Austin or Raleigh. On the other hand, if we want to diversify away from reliance on government as the foundation of our job base we need to draw and retain people (and employers) who aren’t tied to the government, such as computer scientists or biologists. In this instance, the relative cost of living (driven largely by housing) is highly relevant to our competitiveness.

That’s why real estate development is essential to what most people think of as economic development, i.e., the ability to encourage employers to bring high quality jobs to Montgomery County. The point is that real estate development is infrastructure. Whether it involves construction of housing, office buildings, or for that matter retail space, real estate development supports economic activity directly and indirectly by serving basic human needs, i.e., creating places for people to live and work (not to mention to get a haircut, visit a doctor, have their clothes dry cleaned or put their kids in day care).

Read Casey Anderson’s entire blog post here.

Western Workaround Construction Should Begin Soon.

Find below MCDOT’s plans for the Western Workaround, Phase Two. Confused about what this oft-mentioned project will do?  You’re not alone.

Basically, the Western Workaround is going to get rid of the big curve on Old Georgetown Road near Executive Boulevard and open up Towne Road (the current dead-end road behind Pike and Rose.) The Western Workaround will create a new intersection with Executive Boulevard, Old Georgetown Road, and Towne Road. The Western Workaround will help create the grid of streets, bike lanes, and walking paths that will make the White Flint/Pike District easier to get around.

Eventually, the part of Executive Boulevard near the Conference Center will connect with Grand Park Avenue in Pike and Rose, crossing over Market Street, the new road behind the Conference Center that was part of Phase One of the Western Workaround.

Want to learn more?  Visit the MCDOT Western Workaround page.


Uniqlo Opens September 1 at Pike & Rose


From Bethesda Beat

UNIQLO, a Japan-based clothing retailer, is opening its first Maryland location at Pike & Rose on Sept. 1.

The 8,000-square-foot store at 11853 Grand Park Ave. will sell the company’s line of apparel, called LifeWear.

The North Bethesda store has planned some special events over its inaugural weekend, with Japanese Taiko drummers performing ahead of the 10 a.m. opening. Shoppers will also receive complimentary sample of Kung Fu Tea.

You can also read more at Washingtonian Magazine.

What a fun first Pike District Promenade

More than a dozen people turned out for our first Pike District Promenade — a smashing success for a humid morning when half of the DC metro area is on vacation.  Participants received excellent AARP swag and truly had a marvelous time walking and chatting on the Bethesda Trolley Trail.

We hope lots more folks will join us next month, Saturday, September 15 at 10am at North Bethesda Market for the next Pike District Promenade.  (We also hope more families and kids will join us.  This may be sponsored by AARP,  but it is very much an all-ages event.)

Check out the plans for Executive Blvd. separated bike lanes

MCDOT presented the plans for the new separated bike lanes on Executive Boulevard during Monday’s White Flint Implementation Committee meeting.  The final design should be completed this year with construction starting late 2018/early 2019.

You can see the entire presentation here — learn about the proposed intersections with Nicholson Lane, Strand Drive, and Woodglen Road; cross-sections showing how cars, bikes, and pedestrians will share the road, and other design details. For those of you who are short on time, here are the a few slides to give you the basics on these exciting new bike lanes.

4 more days to enjoy Restaurant Week!

Eager to try a new Pike District restaurant? Want a reason to return to an old favorite? It’s Restaurant Week when bargains abound.

Here are the Pike District/White Flint restaurants that are participating:


Book Now | Lunch | Dinner
Menus | Lunch: $22 | Dinner: $35

Book Now | Lunch | Dinner
Menus | Lunch: $22 | Dinner: $35

Book Now | Lunch | Dinner
Menus | Lunch: $20 | Dinner: $35

Book Now | Dinner
MenusBrunch: $18 | Dinner: $28

Book Now | Lunch | Dinner
Menus | Brunch: $22 | Lunch: $22 | Dinner: $33

Join us for the Pike District Promenade August 18

My weather app promises sunshine this Saturday for our free Pike District Promenade, so grab your sneakers, your friends, and your family and stroll with us!

Pike District Promenades are an easy and fun way to meet your neighbors, enjoy a walk, and get some fresh air. This month, we will promenade at 10:00 am on Saturday, August 18, meeting up at the North Bethesda Market plaza.  (North Bethesda Market is between Rockville Pike and Woodglen. The plaza is in the middle of Whole Foods, CVS, and Seasons 52.)

Free two-hour parking is available at North Bethesda Market or in the surface lot at the corner of Woodglen and Nicholson.  Better yet, walk or bike to the Pike District Promenade!

(AARP is our sponsor and rumor has it, they will be bringing some giveaways)