From Bethesda Beat
Earlier this month, Federal Realty’s chief executive officer sent County Executive Ike Leggett and the County Council a letter airing grievances related to development in the White Flint area near Pike & Rose in North Bethesda. CEO Donald Wood complained that road upgrade projects have fallen behind schedule, progress is sluggish on creating parks and civic spaces and the county isn’t adequately following through on the goals outlined in the White Flint Sector Plan passed in 2010. Moreover, the county hasn’t seemed receptive to Federal Realty Investment Trust’s push for financial incentives for a new office project, he wrote.
The four-page letter concluded with a list of requests—that the county condemn a piece of property necessary to complete the “Western Workaround” road project; furnish the company with financial incentives to construct a 210,000-square-foot office building at Pike & Rose; build a street grid in White Flint West; build a new Metro entrance; and build a civic green at the center of White Flint, among other items. Wood included suggested deadlines, written in bold, for several of the requests.
In response, the county’s chief administrative officer, Timothy Firestine, wrote that market forces, decisions of private property owners and strict state policies have all reined in the pace of White Flint’s transformation. These factors are largely out of the county’s hands, he said.
Amy Ginsburg, executive director of the advocacy group Friends of White Flint, said she understands Federal Realty’s frustration and desire to see parks and road improvements materialize. She also sympathizes with the constraints the county faces because of the roles played by the state and private landholders.
“Everyone wishes the county could wave a magic wand and poof! We’d have everything that’s in the plan tomorrow,” she said. “And it sadly doesn’t work that way.”
You can read the rest of the article at Bethesda Beat. (And we urge you to do so — this is an important and interesting issue for the White Flint/Pike District area.)