Business Notes: Crown Continues Expansion; General Assembly Passes Ride-Sharing Bill

Business Notes: Crown Continues Expansion; General Assembly Passes Ride-Sharing Bill

Plus: Office buildings sell in downtown Bethesda; Volvo dealership changes to Audi

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Crown Continues Expansion with New Condos, Amenity Center

New condos and an amenity center are on their way to the Crown development in Gaithersburg. Michael Harris Homes/Streetscape Partners is planning to construct 128 industrial-style condos at the development and a ground breaking is planned for later this year, according to The Washington Post. Condo floor plans will range from single-level, one-bedroom units to two-level, two-bedroom units and prices are expected to range from the $300,000s to the $500,000s, according to the news report.

 

The new amenitiy center being developed at Crown in Gaithersburg. Via Crown Facebook page.

Also at Crown, the development’s new amenity center is now under construction. The Retreat will feature a swimming pool, multi-sport court, grilling stations, a picnic area, a 27-foot climbing tower and a fitness area. The amenity center is designed to act as a community hub.

So far the development, which is being built in phases, includes Downtown Crown—the retail hub that features stores and restaurants—and the nearby Crown West residential community of single-family townhomes. The JBG Cos., which developed the property, sold its stake in the 258,000-square-foot retail hub to Retail Properties of America in January for $162.8 million. A total of about 2,200 homes and apartments are planned to be built in the growing Crown community.

General Assembly Passes Uber Bill

The Maryland House and Senate passed a bill Monday that would allow ride-sharing services such as Uber and Lyft to legally operate in the state. The bill forces the ride-sharing services to ensure drivers have proper insurance and go through rigorous background checks. The bill also classifies ride-share companies as “Transportation Network Companies” and requires them to register with the Maryland Public Service Commission, which will be responsible for monitoring them under the new regulations. The legislation now goes to Gov. Larry Hogan. If he approves it, the new law would go into effect July 1, 2017.

Bethesda Crossing at night. Photo via MRP Realty

Bethesda Crossing Buildings Sell

MRP Realty and Rockpoint Group sold two of its three office towers at Bethesda Crossing to J.P. Morgan Asset earlier this month. The mixed-use buildings in Bethesda were sold for an undisclosed sum, according to a press release.

MRP and Rockpoint purchased the complex at 7315 Wisconsin Ave. in 2013 for $205 million, according to Maryland real estate records. The owners then put about $30 million into renovating the center, which was built in 1964, including updating the building’s façade and adding amenities and new mechanical systems, according to the Washington Business Journal.

Bethesda Car Dealership Swaps Volvo for Audi

EuroMotorcars has decided to sell Audis over Volvos at its 7106 Woodmont Ave. dealership. The location took down its Volvo signs and put up Audi logos earlier this month, according to Bethesda blogger Robert Dyer. It was a short run for Volvo at the dealership. Euro Motorcars started selling the Swedish company’s vehicles at the location in September. Prior to selling Volvos, the dealership sold Rolls-Royces and Bentleys, but gave up on those super-luxury brands in May 2014 after realizing that the cars were too high-end for local buyers, according to the Montgomery Gazette.

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