Apartment Building Planned for Vacant Steamers Site in Bethesda

Novo Properties plans 58-unit project with ground-floor retail

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A conceptual image of the proposed apartment building on the former Steamers site in Bethesda

Novo Properties

Updated at 11:10 a.m. – The condemned former Steamers Seafood House property in Bethesda is set for redevelopment.

Washington, D.C.-based Novo Properties is behind a proposal for a 110-foot-tall, 58-unit apartment building at the site, according to attorney Heather Dlhopolsky. Dlhopolsky is representing the company in the Planning Department approval process, which will start at 7 p.m. June 15 with a required public meeting at the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Regional Services Center.

Steamers occupied the one-story building at the corner of Norfolk and Auburn avenues until it closed in August 2015. The property has since gone on the market. Montgomery County condemned the vacant building that formerly housed the restaurant earlier this year after snow collapsed part of its roof in January.

Dlhopolsky said Novo Properties has the property under contract.

Zoning for the site allows a maximum building height of 90 feet, but that maximum can be pushed to 110 feet if the developer designates at least 15 percent of the proposed dwelling units as moderately priced (MPDUs). That would result in at least nine income-restricted affordable housing units in the building. The county requires at least 12.5 percent of units in new projects to be MPDUs.

The sketch plan proposal also calls for up to 2,800 square feet of ground-floor retail in the building.

Correction: The developer is proposing 15 percent of the units to be MPDUs, not 22 percent as previously reported.

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