So exciting! East Village is Moving Forward!

MAC Realty Advisors (MAC), on behalf of Foulger-Pratt and Promark Partners placed a $72.5 million long-term, fixed-rate construction-to-permanent loan from a national lender for the development of North Bethesda Gateway. This project is a new 335-unit luxury apartment community in the North Bethesda-White Flint submarket of Montgomery County, Maryland. The transaction closed in September 2020.

We are thrilled to be moving forward with the North Bethesda East Village project,” stated Cameron Pratt, Foulger-Pratt’s CEO.  “This new development will serve the modern working professional by offering a dynamic amenity package and attractive design, resulting in a superb living experience.” 
 
“This was a fortuitous opportunity to place a long-term financing on a high-quality apartment community in a sought-after submarket with a noted development team,” added Andrew McAllister, Executive Director at MAC.  “We generated substantial interest from a half dozen lending sources, all willing to provide 20 plus year financing.”

East Village to Break Ground in 2017 … And We Couldn’t Be More Excited!

Reported in the Washington Business Journal:
Foulger-Pratt is expected to break ground in 2017 on its East Village at North Bethesda Gateway, its entry into the evolving concept for White Flint as walkable mixed-use.

The Potomac-based developer, with partner ProMark Real Estate, first received concept approval from Montgomery County for the development in 2013. But it returned to county planning office in the fall for tweaks that included more residential and retail but smaller massing for the 557,918-square-foot project.

Foulger-Pratt and ProMark Real Estate plan 614 residential units in two phases at East Village will be located in the southeast quadrant of Nicholson Lane and Huff Court, to the north of the White Flint Mall and within a half mile of the White Flint Metro station. It will later connect to Rockville Pike via the Fitzgerald Auto Mall property.

Foulger-Pratt plans 614 multifamily units (built in two phases) and 38,000 square feet of retail on what is today mostly low-density 1970s office buildings and surface lots.

Dick Knapp, senior vice president of Foulger-Pratt, said the company is going for an “intimate, village feel” with moderately scaled buildings designed by BKV Group.

Phase 1 will include 382 units in a six-story building arranged around a central courtyard, as well as 24,000 square feet of retail along Nicholson Lane. Phase 2 will follow with 232 units, situated in an L-shape building above 14,000 SF of retail, and additional public areas and retail.

The project also includes three levels of underground parking for 701 cars and 100 bicycles.

East Village is part of the larger North Bethesda Gateway, an area planned for roughly 1 million square feet of non-residential (office, hotel, and retail) and 666,110 square feet of residential development. And North Bethesda Gateway is part of the even larger White Flint Sector Plan, which was approved by Montgomery County in 2011 for 9,800 new residential units and 5.69 million square feet of nonresidential development in an area bounded by Montrose Parkway, Old Georgetown Road, White Flint Mall and the CSX train tracks.

Federal Realty Investment Trust is already well underway in turning the 24.5-acre Mid-Pike Plaza into Pike & Rose, but other development plans in the area have been slow to start, partly due to staging requirements and the long-running legal disputebetween Lerner Enterprises and the Tower Cos. (the owners of the shuttered mall) and Lord & Taylor.

White Flint-area development is planned to occur over several decades in three phases — with 3,000 dwelling units and about 2 million square feet of nonresidential per phase.

Update from White Flint Implementation Advisory Committee June Meeting

Here are the updates from the White Flint Sector Plan Implementation Advisory Committee meeting from Monday, June 9th.

Nkosi Underwood mentioned that no new development activities have taken place since the last meeting in May. ProMARK and Foulger-Pratt are in the process of presenting their preliminary site plan to the Planning Board. They hope to present their plan in the near future. JBG Companies and Gables Residential will present their new designed projects at the next Implementation Advisory Committee meeting in July so we will provide an update on those presentations next month.

Francine Waters provided an update from the White Flint Downtown Advisory Committee. As Lindsay has mentioned, the Downtown Advisory Committee is in midst of discussing the implications of expanding the scope and area of the White Flint district along the Rockville Pike corridor and the branding of a name of the larger district. They will continue to discuss the implications of these changes for both the district and the Downtown Advisory Committee itself.

Dee Metz, the White Flint Implementation Coordinator, provided an update from the county on White Flint public projects. Since the last Implementation meeting, the CIP budget for FY15-20 was passed. The budget included nine projects for the White Flint district, including the forward funding for the Western Workaround. Also, the Hoya Street extension proposal was added to the budget and $7.5 million was allotted to the project, which is a great success for the White Flint district. In addition, $75,000 was added to the budget of the White Flint Downtown Advisory Committee to give the committee a total budget of $95,000.

Furthermore, the county is working on using grant money reserved for traffic calming projects for the Nebel Street area between Randolph Road and Nicholson Lane. The county is working to include elements such as biking facilities, extra stop signs, and bump outs along this street. The county is also focused on finalizing solutions addressing pedestrian issues along Woodglen Drive between Edison Lane and Nicholson Lane.

Dick Knapp and Rob Eisinger then provided the committee with a presentation on the East Village at North Bethesda Gateway. They both emphasized the importance of bringing development to the eastern side of Rockville Pike and the need to create a sense of a social community. For more information on this presentation, check out our post on East Village project from Monday. Mary Ward from Crest of Wickford mentioned her concerns with pedestrian right-of-ways being blocked along Nicholson Lane because of this project. The developers of East Village understand the importance in pedestrian walkways and have dedicated land for the sidewalk in front the buildings for pedestrian right-of-ways.

We know how important it is for community residents to express their concerns with the new developments. If you are a cyclist or pedestrian, it is important and necessary for you to express any and all concerns these new projects pose for your safety and accessibility. Friends of White Flint is happy to take your concerns to the county. Please email us at info@whiteflint.org.

The next meeting will take place on July 14th at 7:00pm at the Federal Realty Investment Trust Headquarters on 1626 East Jefferson Street, Rockville, MD.

The “Timeless” East Village at North Bethesda Gateway

**Post is updated to correct the retail square footage and the description of the public walkway**

 

ProMARK Real Estate and Foulger-Pratt held a public community meeting on May 27th on their newly designed preliminary site plan for the East Village project of the North Bethesda Gateway. Dick Knapp, senior vice president at Foulger-Pratt, offered the presentation on this project he’s working on with fellow developer, ProMARK Real Estate.

East Village, one site within the larger North Bethesda Gateway area,  will be at the corner of Nicholson Lane and Huff Court, next to the White Flint Mall site. The neighboring Fitzgerald auto property, on the left side of the image below, is still in midst of discussions and no sketch plan has been put forth by a developer yet. The East Village at North Bethesda Gateway property is also set off a bit from the other development sites along Rockville Pike, which will give this development a chance to create a sense of a close community for the future residents as the White Flint district blooms.

Original sketch plan for North Bethesda Gateway. The East Village site is on the right.

Original sketch plan for North Bethesda Gateway. The East Village site is on the right.

Back in January 2013, Foulger-Pratt and ProMARK Real Estate proposed their sketch plan of East Village property, which is the image to the right. A sketch plan is a preliminary sketch of the layout of buildings across the site of development. No architectural details are included in the sketch plan, however. The original sketch plan for East Village included the layout of office, residential and retail spaces on the site. This sketch plan was approved back in the beginning of 2013. The developers decided to amend the original sketch plan by scaling back the high-rise office space and creating a intimate neighborhood feeling with more room for retail and residential space.

Currently, ProMARK Real Estate and Foulger-Pratt are working to submit their updated site plan to the Planning Board. A site plan is comprised of an architectural plan with detailed engineering drawings that are most often displayed at a bird’s eye, top-down view. The site plan also includes the design of each building including the materials used and other aesthetics. To understand the changes that took place between the approved sketch plan and the site plan, a comparison of the two is presented. With the details included in the site plan, the developers provide a better understanding of their plan to create this “timeless” and urban community.

East Village Phase 2 Illustrative only, subject to change ProMARK Foulger-Pratt 2014

East Village Phase 2
Illustrative only, subject to change
ProMARK Foulger-Pratt 2014

At the public meeting, Knapp focused heavily on creating a sense of timelessness and a memorable social community for the region. By cutting out the office space and incorporating more room for residential and retail space, the developers decided to include mid-rise multi-material buildings. East Village will now include 2 phases of buildings with various types of textures, materials, and colors that will give the project a since of asymmetry and a city/urban feel.  The developers hope to create a “collection of buildings,” not two gigantic buildings that are overpowering and intimidating for future residents.

Similar to what was proposed in the sketch plan, East Village will include great spaces for retail on the ground floor. The new site plan proposal includes about **32,000 square foot space for retail. Knapp hopes that East Village can bring in local, neighborhood restaurants and shops such as Raku, Gilly’s, Busboys and Poets, and local yoga studios, places where a social community can be built.

East Village also will provide amazing public and open space for residents. For example, there is a proposed public walk, East Village Lane, which will connect East Village and North Bethesda Gateway to other developments along the Pike. Furthermore, there are proposed courtyards for each of the phases. The public walk will be a pedestrian only space that will have high visibility from various terraced units and elements of urban safety incorporated into it. **The pedestrian connection/walkway will be built in grade to the site so the walkway will remain at a flat surface. At the end point of the walkway, however, there will be a ramp and stairway to reach the street level because the walkway is built in grade to the buildings. In the image of East Village Phase 2, you can see the East Village Lane that will be the public walk way between the 2 phases.

There will be three access points to enter the East Village site: one through East Village Lane, one from Huff Court (which will remain a public street) and one from the proposed private street on the right side of East Village.

East Village Phase 1

East Village Phase 1
Illustrative only, subject to change. ProMARK Foulger-Pratt 2014

The new site plan shows the 2 phases of residential space within East Village, including 400 residential units in Phase 1 and 210 residential units in Phase 2 for a total of 610 residential units. The average unit size will be 750 square foot, which a range between 500-1200 square foot units. In addition, there will be about 70% 1 bedroom units and 30% 2 bedroom units.

The phases will include amenities such as a private theater, a private gym, and private party rooms. These amenities are necessary to attract individuals to live in the building and compete with other developments popping up across the region.  In addition, Phase 1 will include a courtyard/plaza and terrace apartments that overlook the retail space. Phase 2 will also include another courtyard and the pool for the residents.

Parking for the residential buildings will be underground. There will be between 684-687 parking spaces for residents of East Village, which is 92% parking, 22% more parking than the minimum percentage prescribed in the White Flint Sector Plan.

Because East Village is set-off from the main strip of Rockville Pike, attracting residents to “live and play” at East Village will be ProMARK Real Estate and Foulger-Pratt’s biggest issue. Nicholson Lane is a high-traffic area, which they hope will work to their advantage. With the large amount of public space this plan offers, the developers hope to incorporate more local art and night-time activities for residents that will offer great attractions. The plaza off Huff Court will be used for all types of programming that the developers hope will attract Generation Y singles, mature couples of Generation X, and Aged-in Place Baby Boomers.

If you missed the first chance to hear the presentation on East Village at North Bethesda Gateway, please come to the White Flint Sector Plan Implementation Advisory Committee meeting tonight at 7 pm at the Federal Realty Investment Trust Headquarters where we will hear the presentation again. Hope to see you there!