Updated Plans Add More Housing to Lutheran Church’s Bethesda Site

Updated Plans Add More Housing to Lutheran Church’s Bethesda Site

Residential project on Old Georgetown Road could have 310 units

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A rendering of the proposed development at 8015 Old Georgetown Road in Bethesda.

Photo via Bethesda Downtown Design Advisory Panel

Years-old plans by Bethesda’s Christ Lutheran Church to build 107 condominiums on part of its Old Georgetown Road property have been replaced by a proposal for a 310-unit multifamily housing project.

In a development application filed with the Bethesda Downtown Advisory Panel, a group that provides feedback on building projects, developer JLB Partners is proposing 85-foot-tall buildings with courtyards, 274 parking spaces and an outdoor pool adjacent to the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Rescue Squad station house.

The church, which began pursuing plans to redevelop the 2-acre property in 2006 but was set back when rezoning was denied, is seeking alternate locations for a new sanctuary and related buildings, according to a recently-filed development application.

Representatives of the church and JLB Partners could not be reached for comment.

The church intends to sell is property to JLB, according to the application.

After a lengthy debate, zoning changes to allow more housing density and height were approved in 2010, and the church formulated a plan for a $25 million housing, church and recreation center project.

The Bethesda Downtown Design Advisory Panel, a group of architects and developers that advises the county Planning Board on Bethesda-area projects, is scheduled to review the updated plans Wednesday.

Members do not recommend whether to approve or deny developments, but the Planning Board considers their comments when reviewing plans.

With upscale projects nationwide, JLB developed the 317-unit The Chapman in Rockville’s Twinbrook District and has completed residential projects in Northern Virginia and Prince George’s County.

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

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