2021 | Development

Developer moving ahead with Strathmore Square project in North Bethesda

First phase will have 220 units; total project could have about 2,200

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From Fivesquares Development

Plans are moving ahead for the first phase of a 2,200-unit development in North Bethesda.

The first phase of the Strathmore Square project will have 220 units in two buildings along Tuckerman Lane.

Fivesquares Development of Washington, D.C., soon will submit a final site plan for that first phase, principal Andy Altman said Tuesday evening during a virtual community meeting to review the project.

Altman said the project will create a walkable neighborhood near the Grosvenor-Strathmore Metro station.

He said work on a new parking garage there has been completed. The garage will have an area to park about 100 bicycles, he said.

The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority chose Fivesquares Development to develop the site.

In 2017, the county Planning Board and the County Council approved a minor master plan to allow the Strathmore Square project. A sketch plan was approved in 2018 and a preliminary plan was approved in 2019.

Altman said the entire project, with multiple phases, could take about 15 years.

The Planning Board’s early approval in 2018 was for a project with 1.9 million square feet, including an 11-story hotel, retail space and office buildings.

For now, though, the developer is focused on the two buildings in the first phase.

One building would have 50 units and 93,000 square feet, including 3,500 square feet for retail. The other building would have 170 units and 212,000 square feet, with 7,000 square feet for retail.

Both buildings are expected to have apartments, although the smaller one might be condominiums, Altman said.

There would be 226 parking spaces.

The developer would come back to the Planning Board with more detailed plans as it progresses to each phase.

A 1.2-acre park that connects to Strathmore and the Metro station would be “a central square” for the project, Altman said.

He said the developer considered putting in a smaller park to start, of about three-quarters of an acre, while other phases of the project were under way, but now plans to install the full 1.2-acre park.

The developers envision Strathmore, as a partner, using parts of the development for its programming and events.

About 8 acres of the overall 14-acre site can be developed, Altman said.

Four other buildings on the also would be residential, developed in future phases. An additional building could be commercial, possibly for office space, Altman said.

He said a shared street among the buildings would have a sidewalk that “bulbs out,” creating an irregular shape that keeps traffic from moving too fast — a safer environment for pedestrians.

Altman said 15% of the housing will be designated as moderately priced dwelling units, which means they will be considered affordable for a family earning 70% of the area median income.

Out of those moderately priced units, 25% will be considered affordable for families earning 50% of the area median income, Altman said.

A plan showing the Strathmore Square project. The first phase would be two buildings, at right, with a total of 220 units.