Archives August 2021

North Bethesda’s Critical Challenge: Fixing The ‘Unfriendly And Unsafe Walk’ Across Rockville Pike

The North Bethesda area is continuing to grow, with Pike & Rose adding new office tenants and retail amenities, but developers still say the area needs greater public investment to help make it more attractive to companies and residents. 

From Bisnow

Executives from Federal Realty Investment Trust, Willco and LCOR, three of the most active developers in the area, said Thursday on Bisnow’s Welcome to North Bethesda event at Pike & Rose that the county needs to make greater infrastructure investments to connect the mixed-use project to the White Flint Metro station and to other nearby developments to make the area more walkable.  

Federal Realty in April signed four new tenants at 909 Rose, the Pike & Rose office building that delivered last year, bringing the 212K SF building to two-thirds leased. Federal Realty Vice President Jay Brinson said the building has landed tenants because of the development’s walkability, but he wants to see the county invest in more infrastructure in the surrounding area, something Federal Realty CEO Don Wood has been pushing for years.

“We’re getting tenants coming from throughout the county and they’re willing to pay a premium in rent over their current locations because they see the value in what they’re getting here,” Brinson said. “If North Bethesda’s future is going to be successful, we have to continue to build on that, and that means connecting the various development parcels together, focusing on making Rockville Pike more friendly for pedestrians coming from the Metro entrance.”

The area could stand to benefit from the $1 trillion infrastructure bill that passed the Senate Tuesday, including $110B in investments for roads, bridges and highways and $66B for passenger and freight rail. 

Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich said he supports more infrastructure investment, and he is “interested in entertaining” tax-increment financing packages, a public investment tool that the District uses often but that hasn’t previously been used in Montgomery County. A major land use plan currently going through the Montgomery County Council recommends the use of TIF packages. 

“We’re going to change the way we do business, we’re going to change the way we build infrastructure,” Elrich said. “The business community has said over and over that the lack of transportation in this county is an impediment to growth.”  

In order to fund more infrastructure investments, Elrich said the county needs to expand its tax base by adding more private employers, an area where Montgomery County has lagged behind other parts of the region. Elrich said he hopes to draw activity from the county’s booming I-270 life sciences corridor to the North Bethesda area to help grow its tax base.  

The county is working on a deal with WMATA at the White Flint Metro station to create a life sciences hub, and Elrich said he is seeing interest from life sciences companies to relocate to the area. He said he thinks it could replicate Kendall Square, the Cambridge, Massachusetts, life sciences hub with the highest rents in the country.

“I think we’re going to be able to make this place take off,” Elrich said. “And frankly, if this takes off, we get a signature development in Montgomery County. We don’t have signature developments like Fairfax does. Bethesda’s not a signature development. It’s big, it’s important, but it’s not a shiny gold object, and Fairfax has managed to pull off some shiny gold objects. We’ve got to figure out how to compete in that space.”

Brinson, speaking on the panel after Elrich, said he sees Pike & Rose as a “gold shining star,” of Montgomery County’s development. He also said he thinks the area could benefit from the life sciences activity.

Federal Realty received Montgomery County Planning Board approval last month to swap out a planned multifamily building at Pike & Rose with a 10-story research and development facility, the Washington Business Journal reported. The developer hasn’t committed to building the life sciences use but said it is exploring the potential. 

In order to land life sciences tenants at the rent prices it would take to make the project pencil, Brinson said the area needs infrastructure improvements to make it more walkable and connected. 

“To get those high-rise rents that we need there, to get people to pay those premiums, you need to have those amenities,” he said. “As great as it is here at Pike & Rose, it’s only 23 acres. It needs to be much broader. It needs to be a connected urban grid. We have so many office tenants, and many that aren’t coming here they look down the street at that Metro entrance and go, ‘That’s an awfully long walk for our employees, and it’s an unfriendly and unsafe walk.'”

One of the developments that could expand the area’s urban street grid is Willco‘s Rose Village, a 20-acre project planned for up to 2,063 residential units directly to the west of Pike & Rose. Willco Chairman Gary Cohen said he sees the project as an extension of Pike & Rose that should make the area feel like one unified community. 

Cohen also said he wants to see more infrastructure investment in the area. He praised the plans for a second, northern entrance to the White Flint Metro station, which could soon be renamed the North Bethesda station. But the new entrance would still be on the east side of Rockville Pike, across the busy thoroughfare from Pike & Rose and Rose Village, and Cohen said it needs a new pedestrian connection. 

“The infrastructure is important,” Cohen said. “The fact the North Bethesda Metro is coming closer, that’s great. When they get off the Metro, how are they going to get to the other side? Are we going to build a bridge or a tunnel? Are we going to make Rockville Pike more friendly to cross? That’s a big deal.”

Montgomery County Council Member Andrew Friedson, who represents the North Bethesda area, said he led the effort to restore funding for the second Metro station entrance, and he also wants to see more improvements to pedestrian infrastructure. 

“We’ve been pushing a lot on pedestrian safety and the walkability of the urban environment,” Friedson said. “If you show a potential tenant an area and say, ‘This is an urban lifestyle,’ and they can’t cross the street, they’re not going to sign a lease. That’s up to us on the public side.”

LCOR earlier this year delivered the 294-unit Arrowwood apartment building, the third phase of its project at 5410 McGrath Blvd., less than a half-mile from the White Flint Metro station. LCOR Executive Vice President Harmar Thompson said its residents want better connectivity in the area. 

“Infrastructure in this market is something that’s greatly needed to tie all of these great projects together,” he said. “It’s what our residents want. They want green space. They want walkability. They want to be able to transgress the Pike, and they want easy access to the Metro.”

Industrious Director of Real Estate Peri Demestihas said connectivity and walkability are important for the members of its new 43K SF flexible office space in the 909 Rose building, which opened Monday. 

“Making sure walking around is safe and crossing the road is safe, that’s huge,” Demestihas said. “Our members expect that. That’s usually outside of our control, but it’s something we pay attention to when we do site selection.”Contact Jon Banister at jon.banister@bisnow.com

Learn more about the upcoming Randolph Road Traffic Detour/Closure August 12, 6 pm.

From Pepeo

Pepco’s contractor, CW & Sons Infrastructure, is projected to mobilize this month on Randolph Rd. from Parklawn Dr. to Nebel St. to begin excavation of the 27’x40’ entry pit for the micro- tunnel operation to support the new substation on Nebel Street.

The traffic control plan will allow East bound traffic only on Randolph Rd. West bound traffic will be detoured down Parklawn Dr. to Rockville Pike-MD-355. Sidewalks on Randolph Rd. will remain open to pedestrians throughout the duration of the micro-tunnel construction. While working during the permitted hours, flaggers will be posted to help coordinate traffic going to local businesses. All traffic control measures will remain in place 24/7 until the work is completed. Please let me know if you have any further questions.

Learn more about this major road detour/closure at a Pepco Teams Meeting (limit of 200 people allowed)

Microsoft Teams meeting Join on your computer or mobile app Thursday, August 12 at 6 pm

Click here to join the meeting

Join with a video conferencing device exelon@m.webex.com

Video Conference ID: 116 477 804 4

Alternate VTC instructions

Or call in (audio only) +1 443-529-0267,,553560317#   United States, Baltimore

Phone Conference ID: 553 560 317#

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For more info, contact Tami Watkins at PEPCO at twatkins@pepco.com.

And here’s an article from Bethesda Beat on this subject.

Grand Park Development Meeting

Grand Park Development (“Grand Park”) and Silverstone SSL Bethesda GP (“Silverstone”) invite you to attend a virtual pre-application meeting to review a proposed redevelopment application of the property located at 11565, 11575, and 11605 Old Georgetown Road, in Rockville, Maryland (the “Property”).

The Property is zoned CR-4.0, C-2.0, R-3.5, H-250. The Property is approximately 5.93 acres (net tract area). Grand Park plans on filing a Preliminary Plan Amendment to modify the use to include up to 200 Residential Care Facility Units; to revise the Adequate Public Facilities validity periods for Phase 1 and Phase 2; and to make minor revisions to the garage and loading access points, internal to the development. Silverstone plans on filing a Site Plan for the first phase of the overall Grand Park Development.

This first phase encompasses .9 acres and is located in the western portion of the property. The Site Plan proposes a Residential Care Facility – up to 210 units and 18,000 sf of retail .

Date/Time: Wednesday, August 11, 2021 at 7:00 PM1
Virtual Location: https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/532572885
Call in Number: (408) 650-3123 Access Code: 532-572-885
Presentation available: on August 6, 2021 at https://bit.ly/3AQ6EQd

Comments can be made during the meeting via noted methods, or submitted by e-mail to paharris@lerchearly.com outside the meeting. Please note that if your computer does not have a microphone and you would like to provide comments during the meeting, you will need to use the call-in number provided above or through the GoTo Meeting
comment box.

They are holding a pre-submission community meeting to share their plans with you and give you an opportunity to provide input. At this meeting, the Applicant will discuss the proposal and answer any questions. The Applicant will be filing the Applications with the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (“M-NCPPC”) shortly after the meeting. Once filed, the Application will be assigned a site plan application number. For more information about the development review process, please contact M-NCPPC at 301-495-4610 or visit their website at www.montgomeryplanning.org.

Because this meeting will be held virtually, they are asking you to provide your name and contact information for inclusion on the meeting attendee list at https://bit.ly/3wBEsx5. If you would like to be added to the mailing list for future project updates, please make that selection when completing your information. The link to provide your contact information will remain available until August 12th at 5:00 p.m.

Will you be attending the North Bethesda Bisnow Event?

Event website: https://www.bisnow.com/events/washington-dc/neighborhood/welcome-to-north-bethesda-6640

Discount code: FWF20


As rents continue to climb in Southern Bethesda, residents and tenants alike are looking north for new live-work-play opportunities. From a surge in life science tenants to new companies investing in White Flint and Rockville, join Bisnow on August 12th to learn how you can make the best investment in this emerging submarket of Montgomery County.
:

What You’ll Learn:

  • Major Projects Update: How Pike & Rose and many more stood their ground amidst the Coronavirus pandemic
  • As Downtown Bethesda grows expensive, what tenants are flocking to Rockville and White Flint?
  • How much does transit play a role in the development and investment of these neighborhoods?
  • How much is the life science surge affecting development and investment plans in Northern MoCo?
  • Repurposing retail: as large tenants like Lord & Taylor fade, what will be down to flip and repurpose these massive spaces?

How You’ll Do More Business: As rents continue to climb in Southern Bethesda, residents and tenants alike are looking north for new live-work-play opportunities. From a surge in life science tenants to new companies investing in White Flint and Rockville, learn how you can make the best investment in this emerging submarket of Montgomery County.

Who You’ll Meet: North Montgomery County’s top tenants, owners/developers, public officials, and investors.

What Does Your Ticket Get You: Bisnow events bring together the biggest power players in the industry to identify opportunities, build your network and expand your business. With the largest audience of commercial real estate professionals in the world, no one knows how to help your business more than us. 

August Events at NoBe Market

Join NoBe Market  Friday, August 6th at 8:00pm for a FREE showing of the cheerful and fun for all ages story of Max and his pet friends adventures, in The Secret Life of Pets 2 [PG]. Bring your camp chairs and coolers to enjoy a fun night under the stars. The movie starts at 8PM and will be located in the Main Retail Plaza of NoBe Market.

RESERVE A SPOT

Join NoBe Market and local fitness center for kids, My Gym Potomac on August 7th for an outdoor Mommy + Me Movement and Music class! This class is suited for little ones from ages three to six years old with other ages welcome when accompanied by parent support.

DETAILS

  • Limited capacity at 35 kids in the plaza.
  • Class will start at 10:00am sharp to beat the heat.
  • Please BYO-mat and water bottles.

RESERVE A SPOT

Join ExtendYoga this Saturday, August 7th at 8:45am sharp to start your weekend off with an Outdoor Yoga Flow on the plaza. Focus on linking conscious breath while awakening your strength, energy, and flexibility in a FREE* 50min yoga flow! This yoga flow is open to all levels and ages, from non-yogis to advanced yogis with a valid *Eventbrite ticket. Limited Capacity at 50 yogis in our expansive plaza. Tickets do not guarantee a spot, but only ticketed participants will be given a spot on the day of the class. First come, first served. Please BYO-mat, water, and sweat towel.

RESERVE A SPOT

Welcome to Self Storage Plus in Kensington

Written by Self Storage Plus

With a convenient location, and month to month leasing, Self Storage Plus near North Bethesda is dedicated to helping people store belongings and maintain peace of mind while doing so.

Our secure storage facility offers residents of Rockville, North Bethesda and Rollins Park a convenient place to store their belongings. We are located just off Rockville Pike (355), located behind Shoppers, a short trip for those near Pike and Rose Shopping Center and apartments. We are conveniently located just 10 minutes away from Ring House independent living, 20 minutes from Leisure World and minutes away from White Flint Plaza and Mall.

Affordable Storage Units in Kensington, MD

We aim to serve the Bethesda, North Bethesda and South Kensington  community with convenient, flexible options to fit any storage unit need. We welcome those moving to Lone Oak in need of long-term storage, such as military personnel, as well as those in need of a standard storage unit for personal belongings.

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Need to know if a specific item is in stock? Just give us a call and one of our team members will let you know.

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4900 Nicholson Ct Kensington, MD 20895 240-560-3300 Self Storage Units in Kensington, MD | Self Storage Plus