County planning officials on Thursday approved a plan to build a nearly 300-unit apartment on an empty piece of land that North Bethesda Town Center residents are using as a dog park.
The residential complex north of Marinelli Road and east of Citadel Avenue in White Flint will go up next to two existing apartment buildings, the 312-unit Wentworth House and the 341-unit Aurora House.
The new apartment building will contain roughly 320,000 square feet and will range between five and seven stories because it sits on a slope, a county planner said.
LCOR White Flint in 2001 signed a development agreement with the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, which owns the land. The Town Center includes an office building for the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, a Harris Teeter grocery store, two apartment complexes and a community green.
Last year, Metro officials reassumed control over a portion of the Town Center site when the joint development agreement with LCOR lapsed. LCOR representatives told the Montgomery County Planning Board they will work with WMATA to determine the future of the rest of the land.
The new apartment building will sit on a 1.8-acre site where there’s currently a “pop-up” dog park for the residents of the Wentworth and Aurora houses. LCOR vice president Matt Hard said the dog park was never a development requirement, but his company is still trying to find another spot for the amenity.
“Our residents, frankly, have fallen in love with it,” he told the board.
He said a new dog park could be created near the Aurora House or on Parcel H, a piece of land that reverted to WMATA’s control last year. Hard said his company would need to work out a new agreement with Metro officials to use Parcel H as a dog park.
Planning board members voted unanimously to approve the site plan for the apartment project. Board member Natali Fani-Gonzalez was absent for the vote.
Bethany Rodgers can be reached at email@example.com.