Planning Board To Review Multiple Bethesda Development Proposals This Week

Planning Board To Review Multiple Bethesda Development Proposals This Week

Two projects up for final approval, third undergoing initial review

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Bethesda development proposals will take center stage at the Montgomery County Planning Board meeting Thursday.

Two downtown Bethesda projects will be considered for final approval and the third for initial approval in the multi-step development application process.

Metro Tower

The Planning Board is expected to give final approval to a project that will yield 366 multifamily units and 11,000 square feet of retail development.

The project, called “Metro Tower” will feature a 25-story building on Hampden Lane, bordering Wisconsin Avenue, in Bethesda. The site currently houses a five-story commercial building that houses Stone Street Capital.

Because the tower would be one of the tallest in Bethesda and be “significantly visible from multiple vantage points,” the project has been designed as an “iconic building that will sit proudly on Wisconsin Avenue to provide a strong marker for this prominent pedestrian corner,” according to county documents.

The project includes 160 spaces in an underground parking garage, according to Planning Board documents.

Metro Tower project leaders also propose demolishing an existing two-story building to double the size of an existing public plaza that lies between the property and the One Bethesda Center Condominium to provide place-making and gathering space. The improved plaza would include a public fountain and clock tower.

The project will be developed and owned by Bethesda-based developer Saul Centers.

8000 Wisconsin Ave.

A project at 8000 Wisconsin Ave. has also received a recommendation for approval from Planning Department staff.

This 430,000 square-foot project would include up to 441 apartment units as well as 20,000 square feet of ground-floor retail.

The building would have a maximum height of 199 feet, according to Planning Board documents, and developers intend to provide up to 311 parking spaces.

Also included in plans submitted by Aksoylu Properties are underground parking and streetscape improvements.

The property is bordered by several other projects that have been approved or are being built, including a 14-story residential building to the north and 17-story mixed-use building to the south. The property is located between Wisconsin and Woodmont Avenues, bordered by Cordell Avenue to the north and Fairmont Avenue to the South.

8000 Wisconsin rendering

7000 Wisconsin Ave.

A 12-story mixed-use building at 7000 Wisconsin Ave. will be reviewed by the Planning Board for the first time Thursday.

Bethesda developer Starr Capital initial filed plans that originally included a small movie theater, but submitted revised plans in May without the theater.

Revamped plans include 188 residential units in the proposed 122-foot-tall building and about 10,000 square feet of retail space.

Additionally, the plan includes a through-block connection to provide pedestrian access between Wisconsin Avenue and Strathmore Street.

On the property now is a one-story retail building that houses a mattress retailer and a martial arts studio with about 15 parking spaces.

Planning Department staff has recommended the Planning Board grant preliminary approval to the project, with conditions that it include a minimum of 1,440 square feet of public open space, like a park or plaza, and streetscape improvements.

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

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