An ambitious push to create a “Global Pandemic Center” in suburban Maryland got a $500,000 boost Tuesday from the Montgomery County Council, which said the project could help drive the county’s post-pandemic economic recovery and foster resilience against the next major health crisis.
Spearheaded by the regional nonprofit Connected DMV, the center would involves scientists and policymakers from across the globe but operate primarily from the D.C. region, with a likely headquarters in Montgomery.
It would “identify and launch strategic projects needed to advance pandemic avoidance and preparedness,” Connected DMV said in its pitch to the council, including a $2 billion flagship initiative, titled “AHEAD 100,” that would stockpile monoclonal antibodies — laboratory-made treatments — for 100 pathogens most likely to cause global pandemics.
Becoming the site of a global pandemic center, Elrich said, could help attract other cutting-edge research companies. His administration last year entered an agreement with the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority to establish a life sciences campus next to the White Flint Metro station, with infrastructure to support a mix of start-ups, tech companies and research institutions. The search for a lead developer is ongoing.
The County Council approved spending $13.6 million — $8.2 million in general obligation bonds and $5.5 million in federal grants — to acquire land, renovate a facility and cover other costs for a new homeless shelter to be located on about an acre of land at 11600 Nebel Street. This shelter will replace shelter on Taft Court in Rockville because the current shelter, under lease with the city of Rockville, will no longer be available for use starting in January 2022. The Taft Court shelter has 60 beds.
Work on the new facility is expected to be completed by the end of the year. The shelter will have up to 102 beds per floor, shower and restroom facilities, dining and food prep areas, multi-purpose spaces, and case management and group therapy areas.
The county needs about 250 year-round beds, with a surge capacity of 50 to 100 beds. The project is needed because the county’s current homeless shelters and services are “insufficient for the current population and future projection,” a council staff report noted.
You might now be asking yourself, Huh? What’s Harwood Flats? Harwood Flats is the new name for East Village, the apartment building currently being built on Nicholson Lane. Here’s a quick behind-the-scenes Q and A with Foulger Pratt, one of the developers of the project.
Why did you change the name? The original branding direction for the project was refreshed from its original concept and refined to better meet the market and our target audience. This new name provides a subtle urban appeal.
Where are you in the project right now and what is the expected completion date? We are currently working on the seven-story concrete structure and expect to deliver our first units in the 3rd Quarter of 2022.
How many residences will there be? Harwood Flats will have 335 units (42 MPDU’s) with a unit mix of studios, 1 bedroom, 2 bedroom and 3-bedroom units.
What amenities will Harwood Flats residents enjoy? The community will have just over 15,000sf of amenity space. Amenities will include a fitness center + yoga room, an interior courtyard on the ground level and a club room, game room, private dining area and pool deck on the top floor (level 7)
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.”
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.
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.
Sports & Social, a national chain of bars and restaurants with interactive games, will open at 11800 Grand Park Ave. North Bethesda’s Pike & Rose retail development this fall, landlord Federal Realty Investment Trust announced Monday.
The Pike & Rose location will be 7,692 square feet and will feature an 18-foot LED display where customers can watch multiple games at once. Sports & Social will feature “interactive social games” and a 2,000-square-foot outdoor patio. There will also be live music and special event some days, the press release stated. The menu will include made-from-scratch items and curated cocktails.
Sports & Social’s Pike & Rose location will be its second in Maryland. Another is opening at Live! Casino & Hotel Maryland in Arundel Mills this spring. No exact opening date was given for either location.
Elrich seeks developer to build White Flint life sciences, tech campus
Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich envisions a mix of bioscience companies, startups, technology companies and a university presence near the White Flint Metro station. But first, he needs to find a lead developer, he said.
Elrich described what he has in mind to more than 100 people who attended a virtual meeting Thursday night. The nonprofit organization Friends of White Flint, which advocates for the White Flint/Pike District, hosted the forum.
Elrich said the county has entered a memorandum of understanding with the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) to develop land adjacent to the Metro station.
Elrich said the area is “perfectly positioned” for growth in life sciences and technology due to the site being close to federal agencies such as the National Institutes of Health, as well as its accessibility due to proximity to Metro’s Red Line and the Beltway.
“We’ve got the land. We’ve got the transportation. We’ve got the industry … and I’m willing to drive purpose-driven development,” he said.
Elrich said a focus on the life sciences and computing industries will help with job growth, which has been lacking in recent years compared to the Northern Virginia suburbs.
“In Montgomery County, we’ve been in a 10-year stall where virtually no jobs are coming to the county. And if you don’t have jobs, you’re not gonna get any housing built,” he said. “There aren’t people demanding housing. … And so, if we’re gonna get both of those things unstuck, we need to do something deliberate.”
Elrich said he is concerned about the net loss of private business in the county, as well as the fact that fewer people age 25 to 44 are choosing to live here.
“None of these are a good trajectory to be on,” he said.
Elrich said the aim is to ensure businesses that offer high-paying jobs come to the corridor.
“I do not need more minimum-wage jobs in Montgomery County. That is not gonna foster a lot of economic growth. It’s not gonna foster people who have the incomes who can live in the apartments that will be built,” he said.
When asked about potential tenants for the area, Elrich said he first needs to send a proposal to a developer. He said he is not sure of the timeline for getting a developer, but said it could potentially happen in six months.
“Unfortunately, I don’t control markets, but everybody tells me there’s interest. And I’m not talking about people I know casually. I mean, developers have said flat out there’s an interest in being here. So that to me is encouraging,” he said.
Elrich said three universities “expressed interest” in being partners for the project, but he did not say which ones. He said he is getting ready to talk with representatives with one of the universities for the fourth time.
Asked about the future held for the former White Flint Mall site, Elrich first said, somewhat lightly, “you’ll have to talk to Alan Gottlieb,” referring to the chief operating officer of Lerner Enterprises, an owner of the former mall site.
Elrich then added more seriously that he doesn’t see Gottlieb “sitting on the sidelines.”
“I’m sure that he’s talking to people who’ve been talking to people and is aware that there is a growing interest in life sciences for that area. And he is rather uniquely positioned in the sense that he has a boatload of land that he can configure,” Elrich said.
County Executive Marc Elrich shared his exciting vision and plans for a bioscience and quantum computing center located at the White Flint metro station.
The county has signed an MOU (memorandum of understanding) with WMATA to develop the empty parcel right by White Flint metro station into a campus that reflects Montgomery County’s strength as the epicenter of life sciences and coronavirus research. Mr. Elrich noted that he’s been in serious conversations with multiple universities to be partners in this project, as well as with the governor, who is supportive of this project. They hope to build this campus quickly, within a few years.
To refresh your memory, this is the grassy site that sits between Rockville Pike, Old Georgetown Road, Harris Teeter, and Marinelli Road.
Below are some of the slides that the County Executive shared last night at our online community meeting. You can see the entire slide deck here.
MCDOT is holding an online meeting to discuss the upcoming road closure and detour plans for pedestrian/bicyclist and vehicular traffic for the Old Georgetown Rd and Executive Blvd. intersection closing. The online meeting will be heldWednesday, March 10, 2021, 4PM – 5PM.