Archives September 2021

Harpswell Strategies: Ten Things I Know About the MoCo Economy (and you should too!)

Here are some highlights from the Harpswell Strategies post, although you should read the entire post to better understand what they think of the Montgomery County economy. Interesting stuff.

INCOME AND PRODUCTION

MO CO PERSONAL INCOME COMES LESS FROM WAGES AND SALARIES THAN YOU THINK

WAGE AND SALARY INCOME IN MO CO IS INCREASING MORE SLOWLY THAN ELSEWHERE

OVER-RELIANCE ON PROGRESSIVE TAXATION HISTORICALLY HAS BEEN PROBLEMATIC

SECTORS AND INDUSTRIES

GOVERNMENT AND GOVERNMENT ENTERPRISES IS OUR ECONOMIC STABILIZER

MANUFACTURING IS PERFORMING WELL IN MO CO BUT PROBABLY HAS LIMITED UPSIDE

OFFICE-INCLINED INDUSTRIES ARE PERFORMING VERY POORLY

EMPLOYMENT AND UNEMPLOYMENT

JULY EMPLOYMENT NUMBERS LOOKED PROMISING

GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT

RESIDENTIAL DEVELOPMENT IS USUALLY “NET NEGATIVE” FROM A FISCAL STANDPOINT

AFFORDABLE HOUSING MIGHT BE AN EXAMPLE OF “TOO MUCH OF A GOOD THING”

PLACES AND PLACEMAKING

MONTGOMERY COUNTY NEEDS TO INVEST HEAVILY IN BUILDING “PLACES”

Developer moving ahead with Strathmore Square project in North Bethesda

First phase will have 220 units; total project could have about 2,200

From Bethesda Beat

Plans are moving ahead for the first phase of a 2,200-unit development in North Bethesda. The project will create a walkable neighborhood near the Grosvenor-Strathmore Metro station.

The first phase of the Strathmore Square project will have 220 units in two buildings along Tuckerman Lane. One building would have 50 units and 93,000 square feet, including 3,500 square feet for retail. The other building would have 170 units and 212,000 square feet, with 7,000 square feet for retail. Both buildings are expected to have apartments, although the smaller one might be condominiums.

Work on a new parking garage at the Grosvenor metro has been completed. The garage will have an area to park about 100 bicycles.

The Planning Board’s early approval in 2018 was for a project with 1.9 million square feet, including an 11-story hotel, retail space and office buildings. For now, though, the developer is focused on the two buildings in the first phase.

Read the rest of the article at Bethesda Beat.

North Bethesda Metro Station?

The area around Metro’s White Flint Station has changed, including the dismantling of its namesake White Flint Mall. In keeping with the area’s growing development and identity, Metro’s Board of Directors is considering whether to change the name to North Bethesda Station. With the White Flint name no longer relevant to the surrounding community, Montgomery County requested the name be changed to North Bethesda Station after consulting with business and community leaders.

In the spring, Friends of White Flint held a well-attended online community meeting about changing the name of the metro station. At the start of the meeting, there was a great diversity of opinions about changing the name of the White Flint metro station, including many suggestions for what that name ought to be, but by the end of the meeting, there was consensus around the name North Bethesda.

Want to give WMATA your opinion? Here’s the link.    

And click here to read The Washington Post story on the name change.

M-NCPPC Walk Audit Toolkit Training

The Pedestrian Master Plan team will host a virtual training to share the draft Pedestrian Audit Toolkit. During the training, participants will learn how to use the toolkit to lead pedestrian audits in The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission Gants to help make the County more pedestrian-friendly. Here’s a way you can help that effort. Sign up to learn how to conduct a pedestrian audit of your community. http://ow.ly/l9BR50G6kAQ

What is a Walk Audit?
Walk Audits are used to identify barriers to walking and bicycling. Neighbors walk the streets together and note what makes the streets feel comfortable for walking and what is missing. Walk Audits assess
street infrastructure and conditions, documenting barriers, positive features, activities, and perceptions of the walking environment.

The results from a Walk Audit can be used to advocate for safer streets for all. Share the results with decision makers and the agency who is responsible for managing a particular roadway. The results
can also help build community support to build a grassroots campaign to slow down traffic or attract media attention.

To organize a Walk Audit in your community, there are three phases: 1) Prep and Promote 2) Walk and Coverage and 3) Recap and Analyze.

Learn more about a Walk Audit at http://montgomeryplanning.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/Walk-Audit-Toolkit-1.0.pdf.

Welcome to the Pike District, Call Your Mother

Call Your Mother opened yesterday at 11807 Grand Park Ave at Pike & Rose, selling their famous wood-fired bagels. Enjoy savory favorites like the Royal Palm and the Horizon. Sweet more your speed? Try the Grand Villa or the Paradise Manor. Preview the menu and get ready to find your favorite!

Call Your Mother serves bagel sandwiches that include the Gleneagle with salmon, cream cheese, cucumbers, and shallots, among other tasty and unique sandwiches.

Customers can also order one bagel for $2.50, three for $7.50 and 13 for $22. Call Your Mother offers seven types of bagels.

Currently, hours are from 8 am to 2 pm, and they recommend you order ahead on weekends.

Community Briefing on Strathmore Square

From Matt Harris, Andy Altman and Ron Kaplan of Fivesquares:

We wanted to reach out to let you know about a community briefing on Tuesday, September 21 where we will present the final site plan for phase 1 of Strathmore Square that we will be submitting to M-NCPPC next week. While it has been awhile since we last met (via zoom), we have been hard at work advancing Strathmore Square to bring it to fruition.

The community briefing, as required by M-NCPPC, will be held via GoToMeeting on Tuesday evening, September 21, and it would be great if you could join.  The link for the online meeting is https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/435920533.

Click here to see the presentation we will be giving that describes phase 1, which includes buildings 3a and 3b, the park and the main spine road serving the site.

Bethesda Trolley Trail to Montrose Parkway Ride, Saturday September 18

Come join WABA, the Montgomery Planning Department, and Better Block Foundation on September 18th at 10am, for a family friendly, no rider left behind ride as we explore the Bethesda Trolley Trail and Executive Boulevard protected bike lanes going to the Pike District and Montrose Parkway Trail.

We’ll meet up at the Bethesda Metro Kiss n Ride lot (near the elevators going down to the Metro station) and ride to the Bethesda Trolley Trail entrance at Norfolk Street, taking the trail up to the Pike District. After a brief stop at the Montrose Parkway Trail, we will ride back on the Pike Connector trail to Wall Local Park for activities for all ages.

For more information on the Planning Department’s Advancing the Pike District Initiative and an interactive map of the Pike District Connector see their information page here. There is also even more information in the flyer from the Better Block Foundation.

Be sure to register, to help us plan for turnout.

MCPS scales down plans for Woodward High as costs increase

Capacity cut from 2,700 students to 2,160 students

From Bethesda Beat

As costs increase, Montgomery County Public Schools has adjusted its plans for the renovated Charles W. Woodward High School, removing several classrooms and reducing the maximum capacity by about 540 students.

Original plans called for an enrollment of 2,700 students, but on Thursday, the school board voted to approve new plans that cut the capacity to 2,160 students. Sixteen classrooms will be removed to shrink the school’s size by about 35,575 square feet.

Adjusting the plan now will allow for it to remain on schedule while still accomplishing three key goals:

• House students from Northwood High while their school is rebuilt

• Reopen as its own school once Northwood students depart

• Be home to a high school arts program

Read the rest of the article at Bethesda Beat.