Harwood Flats, an apartment building at 5454 Nicholson Lane in White Flint, is well-along in the construction process. The Foulger-Pratt development will hold 335 units and 4500 square feet of retail space. A second phase of the development will add 232 more units to the site in the future. Delivery of Harwood Flats is anticipated for Q2 2022.
NORTH BETHESDA, Md. — Montgomery County’s Department of General Service has announced the expected project completion date for the Nebel Street Homeless Shelter will be delayed several weeks.
The new expected completion date allows a street utility project to be wrapped up. The utility project must be completed by the utility company to allow DGS to be able to access the gas and water main lines.
The Nebel Street facility is a critical project that will provide temporary shelter for individuals experiencing homelessness and will provide associated services which are insufficient for the current population and future projections. DGS purchased the two-story building located at 11600 Nebel Street in North Bethesda to provide sleeping quarters, meals, and medical and case management services. This new facility will enable the county to implement its new emergency shelter policy for the unhoused population so that they have access to year-round shelter and a temporary place to spend their days until they are connected to permanent housing.
“The Nebel shelter project had been progressing as planned, but the project delay due to the utility work and supply chain issues is unfortunate,” said DGS Director David Dise. “We are sourcing other suppliers and are in regular contact with senior management of Pepco, Washington Gas and WSSC, all of whom are expediting the street utility work. While it is good news there is permanent place for the shelter and a project design that will more effectively serve those in need of shelter, the project delay impacts those who reside in the temporary shelter, the Recreation Department and community members who have waited for their community recreation center and senior center to be reopened.”
This Strathmore Property is currently developed with the vacant St. Angela Hall Retirement Home, open space, and frontage associated with the Academy of the Holy Cross School. The rezoning will allow for the future redevelopment of the Property with up to 125 single-family dwelling units (including a minimum of 15% MPDUs) and a 145-bed residential care facility. An associated Preliminary Forest Conservation Plan and Tree Variance is recommended for approval and discussed in a separate Staff Report. Subsequent Preliminary and Site Plan reviews will be required if the Local Map Amendment is approved.
Permitted uses on the Site include up to 125 single-family detached and attached dwelling units (including a minimum of 15% MPDUs) and a residential care facility (with up to 145 beds).
Commercial uses are not permitted on the Property, except permitted accessory uses associated with the residential care facility.
A natural surface trail must be provided along the western side of the Site that is subject to a public access easement.
The Property is limited to no more than three points of vehicular access from Strathmore Avenue.
The Property must be subdivided to formally delineate the boundary of the area subject to the rezoning at the time of Preliminary Plan.
A Phase I Noise Analysis must be submitted with the Preliminary Plan to identify noise levels that might impact interior and exterior spaces subject to the Planning Department’s Noise Guidelines. The analysis must be performed by a qualified acoustical engineer. If a combined Preliminary/Site Plan is submitted, the Site Plan must include recommendations from a qualified acoustical engineer to mitigate excessive noise levels per the Noise Guidelines. At the time of Preliminary Plan and Site Plan(s) approval, the Applicant must address the following:
The Applicant will upgrade the Strathmore Avenue frontage through the construction of the 10-footwide shared use path and 6-foot-wide green buffer that complies with the North Bethesda/Garrett Park Master Plan, the Bicycle Plan, and other applicable plans and policies.
Create a safe and attractive pedestrian trail that connects open spaces within the development and, to the extent practicable, connects the development with the surrounding community. a) The trail should be of a permeable material (i.e. natural surface, wood chip, wood mulch) that provides good accessibility and low maintenance and seating should be provided along select portions of the natural surface trail that are outside of the floodplain but may lie within the stream valley buffer.
Create an attractive and walkable streetscape on both sides of Street C: a) Continue to coordinate with Staff on the townhouse driveways to create a pedestrian friendly environment.
Create useable public open spaces: a) Consolidate public open space to two or three areas and work with staff to improve the utility of these spaces at the time of Site Plan.
The county and the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority agreed to a memorandum of understanding on the 20.2 acres of WMATA-owned land surrounding the Red Line station about a year ago, and officials with both WMATA and the county say they’re almost ready to solicit proposals from developers for the site. The ultimate goal is to strike a joint development agreement with companies to manage the complex process and finally bring a surge in new construction to the neighborhood that officials have long sought.
But before things can move forward, Metro is working with real estate firm JLL to get a more granular view of the property’s potential, according to Liz Price, WMATA’s new vice president of real estate and parking. Specifically, Price said Metro wants to understand the “highest and best use” of such a large site, and whether County Executive Marc Elrich’s vision of a life sciences-focused campus there is actually achievable.
Elrich, a Democrat seeking his second term in office next year, has spent months arguing that the location is perfect for a four-year university hub focusing on biotech, given its proximity to federal agencies and health care resources. Price said that is certainly a possibility, but not a guarantee — and with an estimated 5 million square feet of development possible at White Flint, she wants to be sure before going farther down that road.
“There is no doubt it’s a prime location,” Price said. “And now that JLL has taken a look at it, we’ll be reviewing those results with the county shortly.”
Montgomery County failed in its bid lure Amazon, the e-commerce giant that opted to build its second headquarters in Arlington, Va.
But top county officials have an alternate vision for the area surrounding the White Flint Metro station — a “life sciences hub” that exploits the presence of the close-by National Institutes of Health and Food and Drug Administration.
“My goal is to produce a signature project that restates Montgomery County’s case as the leading life sciences center in the country,” said Montgomery County Executive Marc B. Elrich (D) in an interview. “(White Flint) is sitting on the Metro. It’s right down from the Beltway, and there’s a ton of under-developed property there.”
Elrich has hired Tom Lewis, who served as chief of staff to former Maryland House Speakers Michael E. Busch (D-Anne Arundel) and Casper R. Taylor Jr. (D-Allegany), to the newly created position of development ombudsman.
In June, Lewis retired from Johns Hopkins University and Medicine, where he spent 16 years as vice president for government and community affairs, a post in which he served as a conduit between the school, state and local government, the private sector, and communities surrounding the campus.
If confirmed by the county council, Lewis would have a similar job nurturing the White Flint project.
“Tom brings this unparalleled level of experience within the state working on these issues, working for one of the premiere global research organizations [and] NIH and FDA on joint projects,” said Chief Administrative Officer Richard S. Madaleno Jr. “Tom was part of the Hopkins team that worked on the Maryland bid for Amazon.”
The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA), the agency that provides rail and bus service in the D.C. region, owns a large, undeveloped parcel adjacent to the White Flint station — and in the coming weeks the agency is expected to solicit requests from potential developers.
WMATA has engaged Jones Lang LaSalle, an internationally-known real estate consultant based in Chicago, to guide its pursuit of partners and a development vision.
Had Amazon chosen Montgomery County, the company was expected to build an 11 million-square-foot complex on several parcels in the North Bethesda area — including potentially where White Flint Mall long stood.
Elrich said he envisions a vibrant, walkable life sciences complex of comparable size, a development that would resemble Kendall Square, a mix of tech companies and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology buildings in Boston.
“It’s an enormous opportunity for place-making,” he said.
Although the bid for Amazon’s “HQ2” fell short, Lewis said he was drawn to the post because of the potential to use White Flint to “magnify” the existing biotech industry in Maryland.
“It’s exciting for lots of reasons,” he said. “And it fits in with some of the work I’ve done in the past.”
Long before the pandemic, Montgomery County has nurtured biotech companies that take advantage of research happening at nearby federal labs. Several county firms, including Novavax, played a role in the development of COVID-19 vaccines.
Elrich said he has been in communication with four universities about establishing an academic presence in White Flint. In June, the county, the University System of Maryland and Montgomery College signed a memorandum of understanding to expand on the region’s “leadership role in life and regulatory sciences education and innovation.”
“There’s no reason Montgomery County can’t — and shouldn’t — be the nation’s undisputed center for life and regulatory sciences,” said University of Maryland System Chancellor Jay A. Perman. “It has a thriving community of industry leaders; a strategic location near federal labs and agencies; and the full partnership of Montgomery College and the University System whose expertise in biotechnology and advanced computing is second-to-none.”
Elrich said he has spoken with top Maryland officials — including Gov. Lawrence J. Hogan Jr. (R), Commerce Secretary Kelly M. Schulz and Transportation Secretary Greg Slater — about the need for state support.
“In my mind, it’s really important that the state play a role in some of the transportation needs in the (MD 355) corridor,” he said. “They had an amazing transportation investment for Amazon because they understood that — in order to make this work — you were going to have to deal with some of the transportation bottlenecks.”
If confirmed by the county council, Lewis’s new post will bring him into regular contact with Yaakov “Jake” Weissmann, another former chief of staff in Annapolis.
Weissmann, who served under Senate Presidents Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. (D-Calvert) and Bill Ferguson (D-Baltimore City), is an assistant chief administrative officer, overseeing “economic development and business advancement activities.”
Melanie Wenger, Montgomery County’s longtime director of Intergovernmental Affairs, also served as Miller’s chief of staff in Annapolis.
Last week the Planning Board approved a new amendment to Pike & Rose, Phase II, which will permit modifications to the previously approved office building on Meeting Street (Building/Block 9). This mixed-use building will include the new headquarters for Choice Hotels International. Choice will occur approximately 40% of the new building.
Focused on personalized wellness for the whole being, each destination will deliver signature experiences, unsurpassed services, rejuvenating treatments, and results-driven products.
Located throughout the Washington, DC metropolitan region, the first two locations to open this year will be Westpost (formerly Pentagon Row) and North Bethesda’s Pike & Rose followed by Fairfax Corner, Reston, Gaithersburg and Tyson’s Corner early next year.
Founded upon the belief that everyone deserves “spa in a bottle” skincare products that provide accessible luxury and rejuvenation, Christina Stratton and Ilana Alberico developed the Privai line following the success of their spa and wellness management company, Innovative Spa Management (ISM SPA).
This next evolution of the Privai brand brings their passion about self-care and personalized wellness to life in order to better serve individuals’ body, mind, and sense of self.“We are thrilled to evolve Privai into a personalized lifestyle brand because we are committed to delivering a world-class experience,” said Ms. Stratton, co-founder and CEO of Privai. “We want to offer a place that truly realizes individual needs: from spa and body treatments to salon and beauty services. We understand that no two guests are alike, and it is this belief that inspires us to curate unique experiences, one’s antidote for respite and recharging.”The new Privai | Spa + Salon locations will be managed by ISM SPA and include a partnership with the co-founders’ newest technology innovation, Spa Space, an app which pairs expert licensed providers and stylists to meet customer’s needs. In addition, Privai | Spa + Salon locations will open under the guidance of Anne Melby, who has joined ISM SPA as Senior Vice President and will be responsible for overseeing operations for ISM SPA and all Privai | Spa + Salon locations. A highly respected and accomplished industry veteran with over 20 years within the hospitality and wellness sectors, Ms. Melby has held multiple positions with Red Door Spa Holdings, in addition to managing her entrepreneurial venture, Fractional COO Hospitality Spa & Wellness.For more information, please visit www.privai.com.
Federal Realty Investment Trust today announced that Choice Hotels International, Inc. has signed a long-term lease to occupy 105,000 square feet in 915 Meeting Street, a new 276,000-square-foot trophy office building to be constructed at the award-winning mixed-use development of Pike & Rose in North Bethesda, Maryland.
“Pike & Rose has everything employers and employees are looking for in office space today – convenient location with excellent regional access and world-class amenities both inside and outside of the building,” said Wendy Seher, the company’s president of the east coast region. “We are excited to add a company of the caliber of Choice Hotels to the growing list of leading firms that have chosen a Federal Realty office environment to help them attract quality talent and enhance their brands.”
915 Meeting Street will be a 16-story, state-of-the-art, LEED Gold-targeted building featuring 9,600 square feet of ground floor retail, approximately 25,000-square-foot flexible floor plates and 700 dedicated parking spaces. The building, designed by Gensler, will incorporate a vibrant architectural design that includes numerous amenities, such as a rooftop conference center with collaborative common areas, WiredScore-targeted connectivity, a fitness center, and resource-efficient sustainable and wellness features.
Located in the rapidly emerging submarket of North Bethesda, 915 Meeting Street will sit within the transit-oriented, LEED Gold-certified neighborhood of Pike & Rose and its more than 400,000 square feet of thoughtfully curated retail, services, dining, and entertainment offerings. The new construction comes following the success of Pike & Rose’s 300,000 square feet of existing office product, which includes tenants such as Bank of America, JLL, Industrious, OneDigital and Federal Realty’s corporate headquarters.
915 Meeting Street is expected to break ground later this year. The building is 40% pre-leased to Choice Hotels, who plans to relocate approximately 400 corporate employees from its current headquarters beginning in December of 2023. Bernie McCarthy, executive managing director, and Danny Sheridan, managing director at JLL represented Federal Realty, and Steve London, vice chairman at Savills represented Choice Hotels.
“It’s been gratifying to see Pike & Rose become an established neighborhood and the real estate of choice for multiple uses,” said Don Wood, chief executive officer for Federal Realty. “The continued demand for office at our mixed-use developments, coming from world-class companies like Splunk and NetApp at Santana, Partners Healthcare and PUMA at Assembly, and now Choice at Pike & Rose, validates our track record of delivering a high-quality product that capitalizes on the highly amenitized environments we have created.”
It sounds dull, but it does provide a worthy summary of the progress that’s been made in the Pike District/North Bethesda area as we work to transform our community into a walkable, thriving neighborhood.
Below is the report’s executive summary:
This 2021 Biennail Monitoring Report is delivered as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. The pandemic has impacted the use of public transit, offices, and commercial development. However, several property owners have submitted new development proposals and infrastructure improvements have advanced to further implement the Sector Plan recommendations. Public engagement has continued through the current pandemic with virtual meetings to monitor and provide public input regarding the implementation of the Sector Plan.
The implementation of Western Workaround, which is the roadway realignment of Old Georgetown Road and Executive Boulevard and the opening of Towne Road, has progressed with the completion of phase one, and phase two should be completed in 2022. Additional bikeways are anticipated later this year on Marinelli Road.
Most of the first phase staging requirements have been implemented. However, some of the critical streetscape and bikeways within a quarter-mile of the Metro Station remain incomplete. Complete funding for the northern White Flint Metro Station entrance is also outstanding.
This report is the fourth BMR released by the Planning Department since the approval of the 2010 White Flint Sector Plan. The BMR is a Sector Plan requirement to monitor and assess progress made towards implementing key elements in the Sector Plan, and it must be submitted to the County Council and County Executive.