Developers Submit Sketch Plan Designs for Office Building on Sunoco Site

Construction on downtown Bethesda project could start in 2019


Published:

A conceptual drawing of the sections of the proposed building at 8280 Wisconsin Ave.

Via Donohoe/StonebridgeCarras

County planners are reviewing an initial round of architectural designs for  a roughly 145-foot-tall office building  along Wisconsin Avenue in Bethesda.

The building of up to 185,000 square feet at 8280 Wisconsin Ave. would replace the Sunoco gas station at the corner of Wisconsin and Battery Lane. The project by Donohoe Development Co. and StonebridgeCarras is part of Woodmont Central, a three-part redevelopment effort. Woodmont Central includes an existing luxury apartment complex, Gallery Bethesda, and another complex, Gallery Bethesda II, slated for completion in the fall. 

The developers have asked the Montgomery County Planning Department to approve a sketch plan that lays out a general vision for the project. In their application, the developers write that they want the building to provide a “strong architectural statement that is consistent with the intent to make Wisconsin Avenue an even more important corridor in the region.”

The structure will be divided into a two-story base, a middle and a top, each covered in a different material. The proposal also notes the project would reduce the number of vehicle exit and entrance points to the site from three to one, located on Battery Lane. The developers intend to eliminate two existing curb-cuts that currently open onto Wisconsin Avenue.

The proposal for one curb-cut on Battery Lane, left, and the project's landscape plan (click to expand). Credit: Donohoe/StonebridgeCarras

Three levels of below-ground parking will provide about 110 parking spaces to serve the site, according to the current design. The plan also calls for about 750 square feet of public open space next to Wisconsin Avenue.

The developers will need to pay a fee for about 93,400 square feet of the density proposed for the project, since they are planning to exceed the amount provided by the property zoning, according to the application. The roughly $934,000 payment to the county would go into a fund dedicated to creating parks in downtown Bethesda.

Construction on the project could begin in the fall of 2019. 

Bethany Rodgers can be reached at bethany.rodgers@bethesdamagazine.com.

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