Pike District Connector Community Kickoff Meeting

Wednesday, April 28, 7-8 pm

Join the Montgomery County Planning Department and Friends of White Flint for a community kickoff meeting for the Pike District Connector on April 28 (7-8 pm). The Connector is a temporary, one-mile pathway on the west side of the Pike District that will link the Bethesda Trolley Trail to the Montrose Parkway Trail. As part of this project, the Better Block Foundation will activate hubs at several intersections along the Connector with seating, artistic elements, and planters. Better Block is a nonprofit that educates, equips, and empowers communities and their leaders to reshape and reactivate built environments to promote the growth of healthy and vibrant neighborhoods. The Planning Department previously worked with Better Block for the White Flint Placemaking Event in 2018 and the Burtonsville Placemaking Festival in 2019.

Please register in advance (https://montgomeryplanning.org/events/pike-district-connector-community-kickoff-meeting/), a meeting link will be shared the day of the event.

If you have any questions, please contact Walker Freer at Walker.Freer@montgomeryplanning.org

Why Thrive Montgomery?

Thrive Montgomery addresses the role of planning in encouraging healthy lifestyles; supporting arts and culture; and building a sense of community, but its overarching goals relate to economic performance, racial equity, and environmental sustainability. You can read about Thrive Montgomery, the first complete overhaul of our community’s comprehensive plan since 1964, here. Also on The Third Place blog, Planning Chair Casey Anderson gives an excellent summary of where we are right now in Montgomery County.

Here are a few tidbits from his recent blogpost:

Our quality of life depends on attracting and retaining employers and, in turn, the employees they need. Montgomery is in the 99th percentile of counties in household income and educational attainment but our economic performance has been slipping since the Great Recession of 2008. The number of jobs in the county grew by 5% from 2004 to 2019 while 20 similarly sized counties across the country grew employment by an average of 21%. Montgomery County experienced the slowest rate of business formation in the DC region from 2010 to 2019.

Household income growth in the county lagged the national average (14% vs. 25%) and was the slowest in the region during this period. Montgomery County added jobs, albeit slowly, but growth came largely in lower wage sectors of the economy.

Today communities with high concentrations of racial and ethnic minorities also show lagging median household incomes.  And even as the county becomes more racially and ethnically diverse, our neighborhoods are still largely separated along income and racial lines.

Unless we attract more young adults this aging of our workforce will put more pressure on the tax base as the proportion of retirees relative to residents in their peak earning years grows. This increase in the so-called elder-adult dependency ratio means that our economic performance will have to improve just to maintain current levels of tax revenue and the services it funds.

Read the entire blog post on The Third Place

Spring Events at NoBe Market

Join NoBe Market this month to kick off spring with not one, but two unique experiences you won’t want to miss! Seasons52 is bringing you the perfect at-home happy hour featuring Caymus Vineyards wines and ExtendYoga is bringing back their free Outdoor Yoga series on the plaza, back by popular demand.

Enhance your at-home happy hour on Friday, April 16th at 5:00pm EST with a wine learning session from Seasons52’s sommelier while sipping on a selection of three Caymus Vineyard wines! Caymus Wines flight features three different wines for the cost of only $26! To ensure the freshness of the wine, all flights can be picked up the day of the event, Friday, April 16th during business hours, prior to the virtual event. Click here to learn more and sign up for the virtual wine tasting

Join Extend Yoga to kick off our popular Outdoor Yoga Series on the plaza on April 17th at 9:00am EST! Focus on linking conscious breath while awakening your strength, energy, and flexibility in a FREE* 50min yoga flow! This class welcomes all levels from non-yogis to advanced yogis. Yoga flow is open to all levels and ages with a valid Eventbrite ticket. Eventbrite ticket required to attend. Spots will be given on a first come, first served basis once check-in opens at 8:45am. Capacity is set to 25 people in the plaza. Ticket does not guarantee a spot. If spots are available at 9:00am, walk-ins will be granted access. Click here to learn more and register for free outdoor yoga on the NoBe Market plaza.

Federal Realty Lands Tenant For Top Floor Of New Pike & Rose Office Building

United Solutions signed a lease for 20,602 square feet on the entire 11th floor of the 909 Rose office building at Pike & Rose. This new lease leaves 909 Rose with only one-third of the space left to lease.

Currently based at 51 Monroe St. in downtown Rockville, United Solutions focuses on a variety of technological products involving blockchain, artificial intelligence and automation. 

“Our success has enabled us to expand our reach, and subsequently, expand our workforce,” United Solutions CEO David Nguyen said in a release. “We look forward to growing in a state-of-the-art space and amenity rich neighborhood that will enhance employee morale, recruiting and engagement.”  

Some more info on Rose Village

Yesterday we posted some images from Willco’s submission to the Planning Board for their exciting new project, Rose Village. Here is some more information on the project, gleaned from articles in BisNow, Bethesda Beat, and the MoCo Show, as well as Planning Department documents.

  • the goal is to “transform the property … into a vibrant mixed-use neighborhood for the creation of an urban node.”
  • the first to be constructed, as soon as approval is given, will be a seven-story apartment building on the southwest corner (building A.)
  • a vacant office building currently on this parcel will be torn down, but the other two existing office buildings will remain and provide 375,000 square feet of office space,
  • Willco said that because construction costs make shorter, wood-frame buildings more feasible, Rose Village would ultimately build between 1,300 and 1,500 residential units, even though the plans call for the maximum possible, which is a little more than 2,000 units.. 
  • seven of the eight proposed buildings would be mixed-use with ground-floor retail with one building being a residence-only building.
  • fifteen percent of the residences would be affordable housing/MPDUs.
  • a one-acre civic green is proposed.
  • plans include nearly 3,000 parking spaces in both structured garages and surface lots.

See the proposed plans for Rose Village

Rose Village, a 21.5 acre plot of land located at the intersection of Towne Road and Montrose Road with Executive Blvd. being the boundary on the western side, will include 2.5 million square feet of residential, office, and commercial space, including about 2,000 residential units. This is generally known as the Willco property right now.

This project goes before the planning board in mid-April, and it promises to be an exciting addition to the Pike District.

Below are a few images so you can see some preliminary designs for Rose Village.

And here are stories on the project in Bethesda Beat and MoCo Show.

Metro Name Change Meeting Recap on the Media

From Montgomery Community Media: MEETING ENDS WITH CONSENSUS TO CHANGE NAME OF WHITE FLINT METRO STATION

During the hour-long virtual discussion on whether to change the name of the White Flint Metro Station, the approximately 60 people in attendance went from expressing a fairly even split to reaching a consensus to change the station’s name to something that included the two words – North Bethesda, according to Friends of White Flint Executive Director Amy Ginsburg.

“When I was growing up, this area really didn’t have an identity. I think the fact that we are trying to create an identity is a really good thing,” she said.

When the discussion started, half the participants saw no need to change the name while the other half said they didn’t feel White Flint reflected the community now that the White Flint Mall has been demolished, she said, adding that the conversation throughout the meeting was interesting and civil. Participants ranged from college students to someone who has lived in the area for 50 years and also included small business and property owners.

During the meeting, “Most people thought White Flint meant the mall, but the mall is not there,” Ginsburg noted. Soon, several people changed their preference, opting for North Bethesda-White Flint or North Bethesda-Pike District.

Councilmember Andrew Friedson told MyMCM that he received “good feedback” at the meeting. He noted that his objective “has always been to facilitate consensus around a name change to help advance our broader placemaking and economic development vision for the area. “I think it’s a good time to make a change,” he added.

Executive Marc Elrich also favored changing the name, opting to have one that reflected the future of the area and its biotech companies, according to Ginsburg.

Friedson explained that the next step is to weigh the options and then to speak with the county executive staff. If the county decides it wants to change the station name, it must then make a request to Washington Metropolitan Area Authority Transit. The county will seek state funding to help offset the cost, he said.

The March 31 meeting was sponsored by Friends of White Flint, Greater Bethesda Chamber of Commerce, Elrich and Friedson

From WTOP: Montgomery Co. leaders, residents discuss White Flint station name change

Should the name of the White Flint Metro station be changed? Montgomery County, Maryland, community leaders met virtually with residents Wednesday night to discuss the possibility.

Amy Ginsburg, executive director of the group Friends of White Flint, hosted the virtual meeting.

Montgomery County Council member Andrew Friedson pointed out that Metro is open to the name change, and the cost would be mitigated due to several factors, including potential access to state funding to help.

Much of the meeting was devoted to residents’ thoughts and comments on the potential name change.

Adam supported a name change for the station, saying, “It can only help.” The goal, he said, is to drive business to the area.

Chris, who has been working with Montgomery County to promote the term “Pike District,” hoped that name catches on. She likened it to names of Business Improvement Districts like NoMa, Golden Triangle and Southwest Waterfront.

Heidi liked the North Bethesda name.

“What I like about North Bethesda is that it is a geolocation,” she said, “so it does immediately say to people, ‘Wherever I’m going is north of Bethesda.’”

Steve called North Bethesda the most parsimonious name, given that the designation is already on Google Maps and Redfin, and he added: “The census, itself, recognizes it.” So, he said North Bethesda makes more sense than Pike District.

Ginsburg suggested the combination “North Bethesda-Pike District” would work. She said it “better fits the area as the county and stakeholders are working to redevelop and rebrand our area.”

WMATA said there’s a June deadline to decide on a name change. There will likely be more discussion before a decision is made.

Pike District $200 Spring Break Staycation at Pike & Rose!

Your $200 Spring Break Staycation Deal includes:

  • One night stay in a Queen or King room at Canopy Hotel by Hilton at  Pike & Rose
  • A $100 gift card for dinner*
  • A $50 gift card for Spring Break Fun!**

*Participating Pike & Rose Dinner Restaurant Options Include (chose one):

  • Owen’s Ordinary
  • Kusshi Sushi
  • Commonwealth Indian

**Participating Spring Break Fun Options Include (chose one):

  • $50 Bark Social credit for a day of beer and barking
  • $50 gift card for bowling at Pinstripes
  • $50 gift card to Escaplogy
  • $50 for brunch at Summer House

Limited packages available. Make your reservations today for a Spring Break Staycation! Offer valid for stays beginning April 1 through April 11th, (48 hours advanced booking is required.) Gift cards may not be exchanged for cash and can be used either during your stay or afterwards.