Construction on Mixed-Use Chevy Chase Project Could Start Early 2018

Developers unveiled latest renderings at public meeting Wednesday night

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An initial sketch plan rendering of the redevelopment proposal from October. Renderings from Wednesday night's meeting weren't immediately available.

Chevy Chase Land Co.

Construction on the first phase of a three-building, roughly 530-unit redevelopment project in Chevy Chase could start as early as the first quarter of 2018, according to officials with the two developers partnering on the plan.

The Chevy Chase Land Co. (CCLC), which owns the Chevy Chase Lake shopping center on the east side of Connecticut Avenue, is partnering with Bozzuto Development Co. on the bid to tear down the existing shopping center and construct two apartment buildings and a condominium building around two new streets and a central civic green.

The developers unveiled their initial plans in October. On Wednesday in the cafeteria at Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School, officials from both companies revealed new details in a required public meeting before the companies submit their next applications to the Montgomery County Planning Department.

According to the developers’ plans, the project will still include three new blocks. Bozzuto Vice President Hilary Goldfarb said the first building likely to be built will be the six-floor, 283-unit rental apartment building on the eastern edge of the site.

It will include a 50,000-square-foot ground-floor space for a grocery store and 19,000 square feet in ground-floor space for other retailers. A few people who attended the meeting asked Goldfarb and Miti Figueredo, vice president of planning and entitlement for CCLC, about the future of the Chevy Chase Supermarket.

The family-owned grocery store has been on the property since 1958, but it appears unlikely it will return to the grocery store space in the new building.

“Community to me is the Chevy Chase Supermarket, a family that has been there forever,” said one person in attendance, who was concerned the store space “might turn into a Whole Foods.”

Figueredo said CCLC doesn’t know who the grocery store tenant will be and that the Chevy Chase Supermarket will likely be able to stay up until construction starts.

When reached by telephone Thursday morning, Chevy Chase Supermarket co-owner Jason Kirsch said he had no comment because he wasn’t at the meeting and wasn’t sure exactly what was said.

The second building in the project would be an 80-foot-tall condominium building with between 56 and 65 units. Construction on the first two buildings is expected to last about 30 months, Goldfarb said.

The third building, a 120-foot-tall rental apartment building with 183 units, would be built last. It could include a plaza connection to the future Purple Line light-rail station on the south side of the property, but the developers must wait for final designs of the station before finalizing plans for the connection. Construction on the light-rail is set to start late this year and continue until March 2022.

As part of the projects, the developers will build a new north-to-south road between Manor Road and Chevy Chase Lake Drive, plus a short road connecting Connecticut Avenue to the new north-to-south route on the southern side of the proposed 0.6-acre civic green.

The north-to-south road, civic green and a cycle track set for Connecticut Avenue were all elements prescribed in the 2013 Chevy Chase Lake Sector Plan, the planning document that also provided the zoning that would allow the redevelopment project.

The buildings will have varying architectural styles and facades, which project architect Michael Swartz said will make the three buildings look more like eight distinct buildings.

Some nearby residents at the meeting expressed concerns about traffic that would be generated by residents of the project. Goldfarb said the project won’t generate more than the 503 morning rush hour vehicle trips and 1,051 afternoon rush hour vehicle trips permitted by a previously approved redevelopment proposal for the site.

The project will include underground parking for residents and visitors. The latest applications are expected to go before the county Planning Board early next year.

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