Developers Break Ground on White Flint Apartments

From Bethesda Beat

Work has started on a 294-unit apartment complex on property in White Flint once used as a dog park.

A joint venture with the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority and developer LCOR, the project at North Bethesda Town Center will join two other 300-unit apartment complexes developed by LCOR and provide a mix of floor plans.

Developers declined to provide estimated rents for the units, but said they will have a “competitive price point.”

The project is anticipated to be completed in early 2021. The Town Center also includes a Harris Teeter grocery and federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission offices.

Arrowwood will stand six stories and will replace a “pop-up” dog park for the residents of adjacent apartments. On the ground level, developers have set aside about 10,000 square feet for amenities including a clubhouse, fitness center, office space and music rooms. Outside, plans include a courtyard that includes grills, seating and space for activities such as yoga.

Read the rest of the article at Bethesda Beat.

Latest Rendering of Arrowwood

Arrowwood, a 294 unit residential building at the corner of Citadel Avenue and Marinelli Road, will begin construction in January, 2019. Located near Harris Teeter, Wentworth House, and Aurora, Arrowwood will bring more housing to the White Flint/Pike District area in 2021. LCOR is the developer of this exciting new addition to our community that will be part of North Bethesda Center.

Arrrowwood Apartments

WMATA terminates part of its agreement with LCOR

WMATA sent a letter to LCOR last month that stated “No conditions or circumstances exist which permit an extension of the Term for Blocks A-D under the Joint Development Agreement (with LCOR). Nor has WMATA granted any extension of the Term for Blocks A-D.”

Friends of White Flint isn’t sure yet what this means for the undeveloped part of the property around the White Flint Metro station, but we’re investigating and will keep you updated.

Click the image below or click here to read the letter from WMATA.

And if you’re interested, here is a Metro Station Area Development Letter that Councilmember Roger Berliner wrote about this issue about a year ago.

County Planners Get Proposal for North Bethesda Town Center Apartments

 As reported in Bethesda Beat  BY BETHANY RODGERS    Published: 

 View of the apartment complex proposed for the North Bethesda Town Center.

View of the apartment complex proposed for the North Bethesda Town Center.

Documents recently submitted to the county outline plans for a 294-unit apartment complex to provide a high-end rental option in the North Bethesda Town Center.

The new housing would form part of the roughly 32-acre development north of Marinelli Road near the White Flint Metro station.

The town center already includes a Harris Teeter grocery story and a 366,121-square-foot office building occupied by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. It also has two other apartment buildings—the 312-unit Wentworth House and the 341-unit Aurora building.

Read more at Bethesda Beat

Read our earlier blog post with more details about this project

Meet North Bethesda Center’s Newest Residential Building

On Monday night, LCOR presented its plans for a new residential building at the 32.5 acre North Bethesda Center. (NRC, Harris Teeter, The Aurora, and Wentworth House are all part of North Bethesda Center.) The new building will be located on Parcel G (and until they come up with a better name, the apartment building will be called Parcel G as well.


This new seven story residential stick-built building will feature 294 one- and two-bedroom homes, including 27 MPDU units, 12.5% of the total. 350 garage parking spaces will be located under the residences. The building’s entrance will face the common green space, and the garage entrance will be located on Wentworth. A lovely courtyard is the center of the new building, complimenting the building’s ‘bold, modern design with a a warm, inviting architecture.’

LCOR hopes to present its preliminary site plan application to the Planning Board by July 31 and begin construction in the third quarter of 2018. Construction should take about two years. With the noisy metro bus depot across the street, the windows in Parcel G will have a high STC (sound transfer coefficient) to boost sound-proofing.

Pedestrian paths, amenities, a clubhouse, plantings, and artistic storm water management are all part of the plans for this new addition to the Pike District. Planters will filter storm water, and they plan to utilize native tree species as much as is feasible.

Most people at the Implementation Committee Monday night were impressed with the plans and look of this new building. However, several community members expressed disappointment that the dog park at North Bethesda Center will disappear when Parcel G is built.

LCOR explained that it is constructing a mid-rise building on Parcel G because the economics don’t work for a high rise building right now the economics of a wood frame building does work right now.

An invitation from LCOR to learn about its newest project

Site Plan Application Invitation to the Pre Filing Community Meeting
To be Held at Kennedy Shriver Aquatic Center, 5900 Executive Boulevard, North Bethesda, MD 20852 on
Monday, July 10, 2017, at 7PM

Dear Neighbor:

Please join us on Monday, July 10, 2017, at 7PM, at the Kennedy Shriver Aquatic Center, 5900 Executive Boulevard, North Bethesda, MD 20852. We will introduce ourselves and explain the planning for the approx. 300 unit apartment building project to be developed on Parcel G of the North Bethesda Town Center. Parcel G is located at the northeast corner of Citadel Avenue and Marinelli Road. (See green star in the image below.)

A site plan application addresses, among other matters, the building’s design and height, the surrounding streetscape and lighting, and the property’s integration into the existing residential developments in the North Bethesda Town Center project and the general area.

The upcoming Site Plan application process will involve the Montgomery County Planning Board of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, Montgomery County, and various agencies responsible for reviewing the Site Plan application.

We look forward to meeting you. In the interim, if you have any questions, please contact Timothy Dugan, Esq., LCOR’s zoning and land use attorney, at 301-230-5228 or tdugan@shulmanrogers.com.

Thank you for your consideration.

LCOR White Flint, LLC, Applicant

 

Will White Flint Fair Well with the Apartment Building Boom?

There has been an apartment boom in the Washington, D.C. area in the recent years. 39,122 apartments are being planned or built right now, which is the highest number ever recorded in this area. With this record number of apartments, “there is now a fierce competition to find people with the income to afford living in them.” Amenities that were once luxuries, such as stainless steel kitchens, spas, pools, and gyms, are now necessary for developers to even think about competing with others.

Local management companies and developers such as Bozzuto and LCOR, which both are or will be leasing apartments in the White Flint district, have found that they need to raise the stakes a bit. Bozzuto, managing Per Sei apartments in the Pike & Rose development, offers “a calendar full of activities for residents, including discounts to local restaurants, movie nights and wine tastings,” as well as specialty cupcakes for resident’s birthdays. LCOR, who has built the Wentworth and office buildings including the Nuclear Regulatory Commission building, is building the Aurora that will offer a room with a foosball table, shuffle board, and a golf simulator.

In addition, more people are opting to rent instead of buy in urban areas. As urban areas continue to attract more millennial gen individuals, especially the Washington, D.C. area, the millennial generation will look for more flexible housing, giving them room to move around more freely. Renting is a sound option for the millennial generation. But urban areas consist of all types of individuals. Management or leasing companies must find a way to appeal to all types of potential tenants from millennials to empty-nesters. We hope that certain factors such as proximity to the Metro, amenities, and services will help attract more residents to the White Flint district and the new apartments popping up in the area.

White Flint in the News

White Flint Mall Redevelopment

White Flint Mall redevelopment took another step forward last week.   As we’ve reported, Lord & Taylor filed for an injunction last year to halt the revelopment of the mall property.  This was denied in December and Lord & Taylor filed an appeal.  That appeal hit a snag last week when a federal judge upheld the original denial, clearing the way for White Flint Mall to proceed. According to Washington Business Journal:  “Judge Roger Titus, in a Feb. 7 ruling, said Lord & Taylor failed to show that it would ‘suffer irreparable injury’ if its request for a temporary halt to development was not granted. In addition, Titus said Lord & Taylor waited too long to request an injunction in the case.” Read the full article by clicking here.

FDA Moving Workers to White Flint

The Washington Business Journal also reports that the White Flint district can expect another 1,000 workers this summer.  The FDA will be moving a complement of its workforce into Three White Flint, the new building constructed by LCOR on Marinelli Road.  Originally constructed for the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the building has failed to fill out as projected.  It is located between the Metro Station and the Metro garage; it’s one of the most central White Flint district locations.  Four floors of the building will be used to consolidate FDA employees from other sites around Montgomery County. Read the full article by clicking here.

The timeline: Cranes over White Flint

Part of an occasional series looking at how the new White Flint will come together.

Cranes are rising over White Flint as the vision of the White Flint Sector Plan becomes a reality. But while some projects are humming along towards opening day, others are proceeding more slowly. In our next Timeline post, let’s take a look at the status of four local developments in various stages of planning and construction.

North Bethesda Market II could have the tallest building in Montgomery County. Rendering from STUDIOS Architecture.

Gables Wall Park: Groundbreaking in 2015

While Montgomery Parks looks at renovating Wall Park, located at Executive Boulevard and Nicholson Lane, developer Gables is moving forward with plans to build apartments next door.

“Our project is moving forward slowly but surely,” writes Eddie Meder, development associate at Gables. The Planning Board approved Gables’ sketch plan for the project in October, meaning they will next have to submit a preliminary and site plan, with more detailed information about how the development would work, and get it approved. That process could take up to a year.

Meder hopes to hold another public meeting in the spring to let everyone know what’s going on with the project. The goal is to start construction in “mid-to-late 2015,” he says, adding, “Of course, that may be a little optimistic.” Executive Boulevard cuts across the proposed building site today, and it’ll have to be moved as part of a project the county and state are working on called the Western Workaround, which is scheduled to start around the same time.

East Village: 2015-2016

Foulger-Pratt and ProMark have teamed up to build East Village at North Bethesda Gateway, a project at Rockville Pike and Nicholson Lane aimed at younger Millennials. They plan to replace a 1960’s-era office building with two mid-rise buildings containing 640 apartments and 36,000 square feet of retail space.

Both the apartments and the retail spaces will be smaller than average, to keep rents low. The developers hope that will draw younger renters who can’t afford some of White Flint’s more high-end buildings, and “local, authentic” retailers that don’t need a lot of space.

The developers originally planned to break ground by the end of 2014, but this week, Rob Eisinger at ProMark told us that they now anticipate doing so in late 2015 “assuming the site plan process goes smoothly.” That means the first building may not open until the end of 2016.

Metro Pike Center: Wait and see

Standing at Rockville Pike and Nicholson Lane today, you’ll see a Staples and a two-story strip mall with a David’s Bridal in it. But Bethesda-based BF Saul, which bought the two properties, plans to replace them both with high-rise apartments and offices over shops along a new linear park.

BF Saul proposes a pedestrian plaza along the west side of Rockville Pike.

BF Saul proposes a pedestrian plaza along the west side of Rockville Pike.

Dubbed Metro Pike Center, the project’s had a few design changes after residents complained about there not being enough street-level retail proposed along Rockville Pike. A “sketch plan” outlining general features of the project is now under review at the Planning Department, says Brian Downie, Senior Vice President for Development at BF Saul, who anticipates having a public hearing before the Planning Board next February.

But it’s unclear what will happen after that. If their sketch plan is approved, BF Saul will have to submit a more detailed site plan later before breaking ground. “We don’t have any set project timeline,” Downie wrote in an email to FOWF. “That timeline takes shape as the application moves forward.”

We also asked Downie what’s happening with Woodglen Drive, which will extend from its current end at Nicholson behind Metro Pike Center to Marinelli. Evan Goldman of Federal Realty, which is building a segment of Woodglen at their Pike + Rose development further north, wants BF Saul to scoot their proposed street over to make the connection.

Downie says it’s staying the same for now, writing, “The [street] alignment in our drawings tracks the alignment settled almost six years ago,” when the property’s former owner, Holladay Corporation, submitted plans for a similar project. Changing the street may also also require permission from the owners of the Grand, an apartment building behind Metro Pike Center.

North Bethesda Market II: Eventually

One of the most anticipated projects in White Flint may be the furthest away from happening. North Bethesda Market II, located at Rockville Pike and Executive Boulevard, would contain Montgomery County’s tallest building, at over 330 feet tall, along with a movie theatre and a plaza designed for events and festivals. It’s a more energetic version of its sister development, North Bethesda Market, located across Executive Boulevard and home to the county’s current tallest building.

Montgomery County approved the project in 2012. But if you’re waiting for shovels in the ground, you may not wnat to hold your breath. “We don’t have anything to share on NoBe II at this time,” writes Greg Trimmer, principal at developer JBG, in an email to FOWF. “We are fully entitled, but have not yet submitted for permit.”

The Aurora Tops Out

On June 25th, the second residential phase of North Bethesda Center reached new heights.  The 18-story Aurora, being constructed next to Harris Teeter/Wentworth House at Old Georgetown Road and Nebel Street, had its “topping out” ceremony with nearly 100 people from developer LCOR and KBR building group.

20130629 Aurora Progress Photos 059

 

“It’s a milestone event that signifies completion of the structure for a building… [and] symbolizes the evolution of a building from structural construction to commencement of close-in activities,” says Mike Smith, Senior Vice President of LCOR.

IMG_1047The workforce is thanked for their service with a ceremony and lunch

20130629 Aurora Progress Photos 011

20130629 Aurora Progress Photos 001

As is custom, all of the construction workers sign the final beam before it is hoisted into place.  It’s the last piece of steel erected into the project.

aurora01

The Aurora will have 341 units within its brick and glass facade.  The luxury building will feature studio, one- and two-bedroom units, as well as a state-of-the-art fitness center, roof deck, swimming pool and community garden.  Leasing is scheduled to begin in January 2014 with the building’s anticipated delivery in July 2014.