Planning Board To Review Another Project on Busy Downtown Bethesda Block

Proposal calls for up to 441 units and retail space in 200-foot-tall tower


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Proposed layout for the 8000 Wisconsin Ave. project, between developments at 7900 Wisconsin Ave. and 8008 Wisconsin Ave.

Via Aksoylu Properties

Montgomery County planners have recommended giving initial approval to a 441-unit project wedged between two other major Wisconsin Avenue developments.   

The redevelopment plan for 8000 Wisconsin Ave. in downtown Bethesda could replace a surface parking lot and some low-rise buildings with a nearly 200-foot-tall tower. The sketch plan proposal submitted by Aksoylu Properties is slated to come for consideration before the Montgomery County Planning Board on Thursday.

The project site is on a block that is already bustling with construction activity. Next door, at 7900 Wisconsin Ave., work is under way to build a 17-story apartment complex. Another developer, Toll Bros., has proposed a condominium building at 8008 Wisconsin Ave., just to the north of the Aksoylu site.

Last month, a community advisory panel that provides design guidance urged the developer at 8000 Wisconsin to pay attention to the architecture of the projects on either side.

The proposal calls for up to 430,000 square feet of development that will include about 441 units of housing and 20,000 square feet of retail space. The property’s zoning caps building height at 175 feet, but the developer can exceed this limit by surpassing affordable housing mandates.

The red outline shows the proposed height of the 8000 Wisconsin Ave. project compared to the building at 7900 Wisconsin Ave. Via Aksoylu Properties.

The Downtown Bethesda Sector Plan approved by the County Council last year requires residential developers to set aside at least 15 percent of their units for moderately priced housing. The Aksoylu plan would make a quarter of the proposed housing units affordable.

The developer expects to build below-ground parking that would open onto Woodmont Avenue.

Project representatives have said they hope to start demolition in spring or summer of 2019 and complete construction in 2021.

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

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