Crews Mark Beginning of Chevy Chase Lake’s Newest Project

Crews Mark Beginning of Chevy Chase Lake’s Newest Project

Redevelopment will bring residences, shopping to former amusement park site

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Crews broke ground Thursday on a redevelopment project at Chevy Chase Lake.

Caitlynn Peetz

A swath of land with a rich history of entertainment and retail uses will soon be home to a mixed-use neighborhood incorporating shopping, transit and residences.

For more than a century, the Chevy Chase Lake property near Manor Road and Connecticut Avenue shuffled uses between a lively amusement park, a manmade lake that powered an electric generating plant and a music and dancing venue.

Recently, the Chevy Chase Lake shopping center at the intersection was torn down to make way for the new 790,000-square-foot project.

Representatives from Chevy Chase Land Co., owners of the property, and regional developer The Bozzuto Group, held a ceremonial groundbreaking Thursday at 8507 Connecticut Ave. as construction crews hauled dirt and debris from the site.

“People have entrusted our company with … the history of this property, the history of this community and the opportunity to take it to its next act, if you will,” said Tom Bozzuto, chairman of the Bozzuto Group. “If you think about it as a play that’s been going on for a century, and we have the opportunity not to change it, but to take it into the next stage.”

Tom Bozzuto, chairman of the Bozzuto Group, speaks during Thursday’s groundbreaking ceremony.

The project will include an 11-story building and two six-story buildings, all of which will have ground-floor retail space and housing upstairs. In total, the project will include 534 dwelling units and space for retail, restaurant and services.

The future redeveloped Chevy Chase Lake will also include a two-level underground parking garage that will serve all three buildings and include about 1,000 spaces.

Council member Andrew Friedson spoke at the ceremony and said developers have incorporated amenities critical in creating a “modern, livable, walkable and accessible community while also preserving the character of the community.”

Thursday’s groundbreaking marked the start of the first phase of the mixed-use, transit-oriented development and will include construction of two of the buildings oriented around a neighborhood square.

The second phase of the project covers the area where a Starbucks and Einstein Bros. Bagels now stands. The third phase is near Connecticut Avenue and Chevy Chase Lake Drive. Altogether, the Chevy Chase Lake project could result in 1.5 million square feet of new development, according to project approvals.

“We recognize that we are stewards of this beautiful location and it is up to us in this moment and in this time to give everything we’ve got to make this a very special project,” said Bozzuto Group President and CEO Toby Bozzuto.

Montgomery County Council member Andrew Friedson speaks during Thursday’s groundbreaking ceremony.

The 2013 Chevy Chase Lake Sector Plan, the county master plan that prescribed the area’s new mixed-use look, mandated construction on the second and third stages of development not start until work on the Purple Line between Bethesda and Silver Spring began. Purple Line construction began in August 2017, and is expected to be completed in 2022.

“We’re going to be creating a modern haven for future generations,” said Tom Regnell, president and CEO of Chevy Chase Land Co. “While the neighborhood has changed over time, it will really evolve to something we can really look forward to.”

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