White Flint Rising – Part 3; Now We Can SEE It

White Flint Rising – Part 3; Now We Can SEE It

Every few months, we take a look at the progress of the renovation of White Flint into a walkable, sustainable, transit-oriented community, part of North Bethesda, Maryland.

But, frankly, for many months now, it’s been tough to see the future White Flint, except in shades of gray. Earlier installments have looked at walking tours, new sketch plans, and about-to-open buildings. Listen to the plans, look at the artists’ pretty pictures, with happy people who always look a little thinner than most of those on the real streets.

White Flint along Rockville Pike (from the 17th Floor)

Close your eyes and dream.

But no longer. Standing in Seasons 52 restaurant in the new North Bethesda Market, Montgomery County Councilmember Roger Berliner, who represents the White Flint area, told me: “People have been asking me for years when they would see the new White Flint.”

 

He spread his arms in a wide circle: “NOW.”

North Bethesda Center, home of the new Harris Teeter grocery store, the Wentworth House residential building, and the rising new U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission building, can also boast a blooming green roof, as promised:

Green roof at North Bethesda Center (picture from eco-structure.com)

And North Bethesda Market, across Rockville Pike from White Flint Mall, has also emerged from a former motel parking lot, with residential buildings, a huge new Whole Foods Market (which, in a nod to its past, calls itself the “Rockville” branch), a branch of the national healthy-but-tasty Seasons 52 restaurant, LA Fitness gym, Arhaus furniture, and a spectacular new “paseo” plaza area with a stunning sculpture, called “Alluvium,” representing the piedmont area of Maryland, the “alluvial fan” from the moutains to the sea. Starting with a granite waterfall and lake representing the mountains and the rivers flowing down from them, meandering past native granite slabs with the word “piedmont” in many languages, with an internally-lit green copper cylinder with the words of scholars and authors from centuries past describing links to the land, the mountains and the sea, down steps drawing closer to a minature representation of the Chesapeake Bay (right next to buzzing Rockville Pike).

The 26-story residential tower at North Bethesda Market

Shoppers at the new Whole Foods Market in White Flint

Dessert selection at Seasons 52

The signature dish at Seasons 52: flatbreads

The open kitchen at Seasons 52

The grand staircase at Arhaus Furniture

Waterfall at "Alluvium" in the Paseo at North Bethesda Market

Artist Jim Sanborn and the centerpiece of his sculpture “Alluvium”

 All of this in a walking-distance community.

Barnaby Zall

Barnaby Zall

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