Updated: St. Elmo Plan Has More Units, Less Commercial Space

Updated: St. Elmo Plan Has More Units, Less Commercial Space

Height of apartment building unchanged

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Developers unveil updated plans for a new apartment complex on St. Elmo Avenue in Bethesda

Caitlynn Peetz

Revised plans for an apartment complex in downtown Bethesda have increased the number of units by 35, according to a presentation by developers on Monday.

The project, led by Duball LLC and 4931 Fairmont LLC, includes a 22-story building with 280 apartments on St. Elmo Avenue. On the top of the building is a roughly 23-foot-tall penthouse to “mask” mechanical equipment, project leaders said.

The roughly 330,000-square-foot building would occupy a site sandwiched between St. Elmo and Fairmont avenues, adjacent to the 17-story Bainbridge Bethesda apartments. A promenade would run between the two buildings and act as a pedestrian path connecting the two avenues.

Also included in the plan is about 7,000 square feet of retail space. Four levels of below-ground parking would provide about 230 parking spaces to serve the project.

st. elmo 2
A side-by-side view of previously approved plans (left) for the St. Elmo Apartments site and the updated proposal (right).

Developers previously proposed a building of the same height with 21 stories and 245 apartments. The new plan “stole a few inches” from each floor to add a 22nd story, project leaders said, and axed office space on the second floor to add more apartments. Fifteen percent of the apartments, or 42 units, will be designated as affordable housing, as mandated by county law.

Duball President Marc Dubick said that once developers receive final approval for the project from the county, he hopes to “get into the ground as soon as humanly possible.” Construction is expected to take 30 to 36 months, he said.

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

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