Archives July 2019

The Future of the Pike District

From Councilmember Andrew Friedson

The Pike District, which encompasses the area surrounding the White Flint Metro, provides one of Montgomery County’s greatest opportunities for transit-oriented smart growth and economic expansion. I’m proud to represent this area and am committed to fulfilling the vision of our master plans for a vibrant, livable, walkable, mixed-use community.

Last week, I hosted a meeting of nearly 40 Pike District residents, property owners, marketing experts, planners, and other stakeholders to discuss how we best move the area forward. As we discussed ongoing marketing and placemaking efforts in the Pike District, it was clear that everyone at the table remains committed to the success of this area. I’m excited about our shared goals of attracting the type of business activity and quality of life that will allow us to create the place we all want the Pike District to become.

Key to that effort is Montgomery County fulfilling its end of the bargain in providing promised infrastructure, particularly when it comes to transportation. I continue to push for a second entrance to the White Flint Metro and ensure continued progress on the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) planned for Rockville Pike. Earlier this week, I was proud to support a supplemental appropriation that will allow the County to begin preliminary engineering on that BRT project, which is necessary for the mobility and economic vibrancy of the Pike District and the entire County. The “western workaround” road project, which will help us achieve the type of road network called for in the White Flint Master Plan, continues to progress, and the county stands prepared to move forward with improvements to Wall Park as soon as the adjacent redevelopment gets underway. Residents are already enjoying some of the new bikeways installed in the area and planning and design for the new fire station near Montrose Road has been funded.

Partnering with the private sector is key to our County’s success. I will continue to advocate for needed public infrastructure so we can realize our economic development potential.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Friends of White Flint was an active participant in this meeting.

Spiderman comes to NoBe Market Friday night

Join NoBe Market Friday, August 2nd for a screening of the Oscar winning animated film of the tale of teen Miles Morales as he becomes the next Spider-Man at FREE outdoor Summer Movie Nights at #NoBeMarket!

Spruce up your family night with the beautiful outdoors, a great movie, some tasty snacks, and even better company. Bring your camp chairs and coolers to enjoy a fun night under the stars. The movie starts at dusk and will be located in the Main Retail Plaza!

Western Workaround Construction Update

Construction activities anticipated for the next two weeks beginning July 28, 2019 on the Western Workaround/White Flint Project.

The utility infrastructure relocation and construction which began in August 2018 under the previous contract as Phase 1B still awaits completion. This work should finish by end of summer, 2019.PEPCO electrical construction located on the MNCPPC Aquatic Center property north of the Marinelli Road entrance has been completed—the contractor will return once PEPCO has installed a new power pole; the County is waiting on PEPCO’s schedule for pole placement.

Washington Gas (WGL) infrastructure upgrades being completed by National Pipe Line (NPL) continue in and along Old Georgetown Road primarily in the main line south of the intersection with Executive Boulevard. During the next two weeks, NPL will work in the northbound and southbound lanes of Old Georgetown Road north and south of the Executive Boulevard intersection to complete connections to the new 12” line. The Contractor will complete a portion of the work during the nighttime hours of 8 pm to 5 am. These upgrades are part of the White Flint West project but are conducted under a separate contract directed by WGL. NPL is tentatively scheduled to complete these WGL upgrades by the end of Summer 2019, weather permitting.

The initial phase of construction activities under contract for Construction Management at Risk (CMAR) with Corman Kokosing Construction Company continue on Towne Road behind the Pike & Rose complex and along Old Georgetown Road. Over the next two weeks, the construction activity related to Towne Road focused in the area parallel to the existing storm water management pond between the Towne Road cul-de-sac and Executive Boulevard will wind down as Corman’s sub-contractor restores previous work areas. The construction activities may impact the westbound turn ramp onto Executive Boulevard from southbound Old Georgetown Road. Restoration work could impact the southbound lanes of Executive Blvd. Until further notice, no parking is permitted on either side of Towne Road. Violators will be subject to citations and violators impeding the construction will be towed. In addition, please pay attention to any temporary closure(s), look for steel roadway plates, expect probable driving delays, and look for possible pedestrian detours as the contractor conducts these ongoing field operations.

Phase I of PEPCO’s system upgrades has been completed. PEPCO is tentatively scheduled to begin placing new power poles on the west side of Towne Road—identified as Phase II—and this could occur at any moment. Look for further updates regarding these upgrades. Verizon will place their telecom poles shortly after PEPCO has completed their pole placement.

During the next two weeks, construction operations include but are not limited to: Backfilling; Hot mix asphalt pavement placement; and Equipment removal and demobilization.

Please note that these will be active work zones so be sure to look for the orange warning signs and flaggers! This initial round of utility relocation and construction has a scheduled duration of nine months. White Flint West Project News will update all construction activities.

Federal Realty to Move Headquarters to Pike and Rose

Federal Realty announced that it has topped out at 909 Rose in North Bethesda’s Pike & Rose neighborhood. The 200,000-square-foot Class A office building will include Federal’s new headquarters. 

“Federal is proud to work with DAVIS Construction for the first time. With more than 100 years of combined history in Montgomery County, it has been great to partner on a project that will bring an additional 1,000 office employees to the Pike & Rose neighborhood each workday,” said Jay Brinson, Director of Development, Federal Realty.

“The topping out of 909 Rose is a testament to the full team effort that contributed to this project,” said Tyler Moyer of DAVIS Construction. “There was a great deal of rain at the start and we thought we might fall behind schedule. However, we prevailed to meet the project timeline thanks to Miller & Long who stepped up to the plate and got it done.”

909 Rose is a new, mixed-use, 200,000-square-foot Class A office building with ground floor retail. The building includes a dedicated office lobby with shared amenity spaces including a fitness center with full service locker rooms, bike storage, and a rooftop lounge and terrace. With a Wired Silver Certification, 909 Rose is the most interconnected and cloud-ready office building in the Washington Metro region.

Offering a Federal Realty planned and managed neighborhood, 909 Rose is easily accessible from all major highways and public transportation (one block to Metro’s Red Line), and has abundant on-site parking.

Since its opening in 2014, the transit-oriented neighborhood has grown to 391,000 square feet, including over 40 tenants of thoughtfully merchandized retail space. The selection of restaurants (including Summer House Santa Monica, Fogo de Chao, &pizza, Baked Bear and Julii), retailers (including REI, Sephora, H&M, L.L.Bean and Sur La Table), a state-of-the-art Porsche dealership, and unique entertainment offerings (iPic Theaters, Pinstripes and AMP by Strathmore) have created a one-of-a-kind retail environment. The neighborhood is fully enhanced by the offerings of 99 luxury condominiums and penthouses uniquely positioned above Canopy by Hilton, a 177-key boutique hotel; 80,000 square feet of fully leased best-in-class office space; 765 luxury apartments; and a 17,000-square-foot rooftop farm.

Upon completion of Phase III, total investment at Pike & Rose will be approximately $700 million. For additional information about Pike & Rose, visit www.pikeandrose.com.

Adding Red Line service helps Metro boost ridership

From WTOP

Running more Red Line trains has helped increase ridership, despite Metro warnings to the contrary last year, new data suggest.

Since Metro began sending all Red Line trains past Grosvenor-Strathmore to Shady Grove last December, doubling rush hour service through Rockville, ridership has increased 4% at the stations seeing more trains and shorter waits.

Trains are less crowded and are in fact more likely to arrive on time given fewer issues turning trains around in the middle of the line and more consistent time spent on platforms with riders spread evenly across more trains.

Before, riders might be packed in on a train going to or from Shady Grove, while a train that started or ended at Grosvenor-Strathmore could be basically empty as it passed through Bethesda.

All this comes with little impact on ridership at Grosvenor-Strathmore. Ridership there was relatively unchanged, Metro spokesman Ian Janetta said in an email.

Metro had warned the increased service would not significantly help ridership, and could create problems managing trains at Shady Grove, claims Montgomery County had called “incomplete and mistaken.”

A presentation due to be given to the Metro Board on Thursday acknowledges Montgomery County’s projections were largely correct.

“Red Line stations west of Grosvenor have seen 3% increased ridership, with Twinbrook experiencing ridership increases as high as 8% during the January-June 2019 time frame,” the Metro Board documents said.

Parking usage also increased 4%, with the largest increases at White Flint and Twinbrook.

Had the same drivers gone to Grosvenor-Strathmore to find a seat under the old schedule, it would have meant more traffic on Interstate 270 or Md. 355/Rockville Pike.

Something must be done

Pedestrian injured after being hit by car in North Bethesda

A 31-year-old woman was seriously injured Saturday morning after Montgomery County Police say she tried to cross Tuckerman Lane near the intersection with Kings Riding Way. The woman was transported to a local hospital with life-threatening injuries. The driver was identified as Chase Lawrence Dobler, 27, of Rockville, and was not injured [WTOP].

This horrible accident happened where the Trolley Trail crosses Tuckerman Lane. It is a very dangerous crossing, and we call on MCDOT to make this intersection safe for pedestrians, bikes, and cars. And to do so with great haste.

Your Music Scoop in the Pike District

From the Pike District newsletter

Music in the Pike District:  It’s Good for Your Health! Whether you’re listening to a live orchestra, vibing to an artsy acoustic group or jamming out to some hard rock, live music is always a great way to spend your Saturday night. But did you know it can also be good for your health? According to Variety magazine, watching live music increases your sense of self-worth by up to 25%, and may even extend your life expectancy by up to nine years!

You’ll want to keep planking, of course, but consider adding a little live music to your “me time.” Fortunately, you can catch tons of live music right here in the Pike District! We’ve put together a list of some great options coming up, so here’s to your health!

The Great Outdoors. Here’s a great opportunity to take out some food, take in some music and take over the lawn at Strathmore! Live from the Lawn has a list of free outdoor concerts this summer. On July 17 catch Band of Us, a soulful take on alternative rock. Order dinner online from Slapfish, grab it to go and feed your soul under the stars.

Get Amped Up!This one will really get you some cardio! Charm City Junction, together with Footworks Percussive Dance Ensemble, combines Americana and Irish music on July 27. TheWashington Post named Footworks’ show one of the best dance events of the summer. Can’t make this show? Amp has a full lineup of artists that bring great entertainment to your doorstep!

Make a night of it and hit the new Fogo de Chao for an after-dinner drink or Brazilian papaya cream dessert, an unreal blend of fresh papaya and vanilla ice cream topped with a black currant liqueur.

Monday Night! Not only does Quincy’s have a rocking happy hour menu Mon-Fri from 11:30am to 7pm, but Industry Music Mondays returns every week! Whether you’re an early bird or a night owl, Quincy’s has the Monday night set-up for you. From 6:30pm to 9:30pm enjoy music with Bobby, a one-man local performer who records his own backing tracks and performs live classic rock and modern pop! Stay up late for Industry Karaoke from 9:30pm to 1am with Leo the Drummer and his treasured industry specials. If you’re one of the top songsters, you win a prize! Grab your friends and make your Monday’s as fun as your Friday’s at Quincy’s!

Keeping It Fresh! Cold craft beer and a different band every Saturday night. Head over to 7 Locks Brewery where changes are always coming to what’s on tap and what’s tapping your toes, too! 7 Locks has a rotating selection of more than 10 beers on tap, and partners with a rotating selection of food trucks, as well.  Saturday nights the musicians come out to play, usually with a different band each week.

Good food, good music and good for your health! The Pike District has all three, making it one of the best places in Montgomery County to live, work and visit!

County Greenlights Three Stormwater Runoff, including one in Luxmanor

From Bethesda Beat

Montgomery County’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has reactivated three storm water management projects that were previously suspended.

The county will move forward with plans to restore more than 1,800 feet of Old Farm Creek along Neilwood Drive in North Bethesda as well as more than 8,700 feet of the Grosvenor/Luxmanor Tributary in North Bethesda. The county will also resume progress on the Glenmont Forest Green Streets project— an effort to install raingardens along streets that cover a 243-acre area bordered by Georgia Avenue and Randolph Road.

The three projects were put on hold last year due to a change in DEP’s contracting approach.

Summer Movie Nights at Nobe Market

Join NoBe Market, a vibrant shopping and retail center located in North Bethesda, for Summer Movie Nights, a FREE, family-friendly, outdoor movie series in the plaza every Friday from July 19th through August 16th. The event is open to the public with screenings beginning at 7:30 p.m. 

Spruce up your family night with the beautiful outdoors, a great movie, some tasty snacks, and even better company. Bring your camp chairs and coolers to enjoy a fun night under the stars. The movie starts at dusk and will be located in the Main Retail Plaza!

Montgomery County Native Pens Dystopian Novel About …Montgomery County/Pike District

From Montgomery Community Media by BY AMBIKA NARULA

Eight-year-old Amy Ginsburg fell passionately in love with writing after scribbling a story about her favorite stuffed animal in a spiral notebook.

Things have changed drastically since those spiral notebook days. Ginsburg has now independently published her first novel, “The After Days,” through Amazon. The book is available beginning today. (FOWF note: The Kindle version of The After Days is $0.99 through Friday, July 19)

Born and raised in Montgomery County, she decided to set her story in the Pike District of North Bethesda.

“I was tired of reading dystopian novels that featured sullen teenage girls or men with super powers saving the world. … I grew up, raised my children, and now live within a mile or so of the Pike District, though it was called Rockville and North Bethesda back then. It’s a wonderful place full of wonderful people, and I knew instantly it was the perfect setting for ‘The After Days,’” Ginsburg told MCM.

Not only is Ginsburg a passionate novelist; she also works as the executive director of Friends of White Flint, a nonprofit composed of residents, businesses and property owners working to transform the Pike District and with Capacity Partners, helping nonprofits share what makes them great.

“The After Days” idea started three years ago with several different drafts, but Ginsburg never gave up on her dream. In the book, the characters deal with a lack of power, working together to survive.

“It may take many decades, but career dreams can come true … because the end result is absolutely worth all the hard work. Sharing my writing with friends and strangers was scary, but now that I’ve done it, those fears have disappeared. Also, I’ve worked my way around the novel learning curve with The After Days, so perhaps next time, there will be only 10 drafts, not 20,” Ginsburg said.

Ginsburg hopes to produce a sequel for “The After Days.”

“I genuinely love to write. Sometimes it almost feels god-like, since I get to decide who lives and who dies, who falls in love, who gets hurt, who survives, and the characters are real, living people to me,” Ginsburg said.

Full disclosure: Amy Ginsburg is the executive director of Friends of White Flint