More units, less retail proposed for St. Elmo apartments project

More units, less retail proposed for St. Elmo apartments project

22-story building between Fairmont, St. Elmo avenues includes 280 apartments

| Published:
Untitled design (15) (1)

A rendering of proposed development on St. Elmo Avenue in Bethesda

via Montgomery County Planning Board

Developers of a new apartment building in downtown Bethesda are seeking approval from county planners to increase the number of stories and units in the project.

Duball and Lenkin Companies received approval in 2018 to redevelop a .7-acre property between Fairmont and St. Elmo avenues, but are returning to the county Planning Board with an updated plan.

The new project plan calls for 280 apartments and up to 6,000 square feet of retail space in a 22-story building. Forty-two units would be designated as affordable housing, in accordance with county law.

Previous approvals allowed for a 21-story building and up to 245 units and 16,000 square feet of retail.

On the property now is one- and two-story buildings developed in the 1950s and 1960s. One similar building was recently demolished.

Four levels of below-ground parking will provide about 230 parking spaces to serve the project.

The property is near the Bethesda Metro station.

There will be a promenade connecting St. Elmo and Fairmont avenues, about 180 feet long, according to the development application. There will be three seating areas. Plants and art will line the walkway. It will be lit from above by hanging lights, according to the developers.

“The Project’s significant improvement of the promenade will establish the location as a true place in Bethesda and serve as a landmark for the entire area,” the development application says.

A date for Planning Board consideration has not been set, according to online records.

Caitlynn Peetz can be reached at caitlynn.peetz@bethesdamagazine.com

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