Planning Board Approves ‘Sketch Plan’ for 1.9 Million Square-Foot Development

Mixed-use project along Rockville Pike would have arts theme

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A conceptual drawing of the future Strathmore Square neighborhood.

VIA FIVESQUARES DEVELOPMENT.

A preliminary plan to construct 1.9 million square feet of mixed-use development in North Bethesda was approved Thursday by the county Planning Department.

Fivesquares Development proposes redeveloping up to 1.9 million square feet of total space over seven years, including 1.75 million square feet of residential and up to 150,000 square feet of non-residential development that could include an 11-story hotel, retail space and office buildings.

Featuring up to 2,000 residences, the “arts-focused” Strathmore Square project would be located at the intersection of Rockville Pike and Tuckerman Lane.

“Through a partnership with Strathmore Music Center, the project will feature artistic elements and energy throughout, including potential space for Strathmore artists,” project leaders said in a press release Thursday night.

Plans call for a roughly 1.2-acre park to sit in the center of the development that would be framed by seven buildings up to 300 feet tall.

The park is designed to “be the heart of the project,” and provide space for informal community gathering. The park will include amenities such as a dog park, pop-up markets, performances and community art, planning board documents say. Developers plan to incorporate both movable and fixed seating, and open lawn.

“This is about shaping a place anchored by arts, transit, green space and a real sense of community,” said Andy Altman, managing principal at Fivesquares Development.

The planning board approved the sketch plan for the Strathmore Plaza project Thursday, but added conditions that require protected pedestrian intersections, and implementing assets to enhance “public benefits,” including a bike share station.

Developers will next submit a preliminary plan to the Planning Board in 2019.

This story has been updated to better reflect the height of the buildings

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