2015 | News

MoCo Sells Off Bethesda Parking Lot For New Apartment Building

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Montgomery County on Wednesday announced it has sold off another of its downtown Bethesda parking lots for a new mixed-use apartment building.

The county says it will engage in a public-private partnership with Manassas-based Aksoylu Properties to build a 310-unit apartment building on Lot 43 at 8009 Woodmont Avenue.

Aksoylu will pay Montgomery County for the parking lot land and has assembled properties in the 8000 block of Wisconsin Avenue for the project.

Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett emphasized the 62 moderately priced residential units that will be part of the project. The 20 percent MPDU rate is higher than the county-mandated minimum, which ranges from 12.5 to 15 percent depending on the amount of total units.
“This is a win-win for the County that provides great public benefits through enhanced economic development and the addition of affordable housing with more than 60 new units – all at no cost to the public,” Leggett said in a press release. “Bethesda is already an exciting place in which to live, work and play, and this project will make it even better.”
The agreement, spearheaded by the Montgomery County Department of Transportation, calls for 13,638 square feet of commercial and retail space on the ground floor and 354 underground parking spaces.
The county press release said the underground parking will be private, but enough “to eliminate any reliance on other public parking facilities in Bethesda.”

“I look forward to working very closely with the Bethesda community and Montgomery County to develop a successful mixed use project of which we can all be very proud,” said Aksoylu President Ahmet Aksoylu in the press release. “This project will contribute to the economic growth of the county and increase the inventory of the county’s affordable housing stock through strategic redevelopment of underperforming public parcels in downtown Bethesda.”
The county entered a similar deal with Bethesda-based developer StonebridgeCarras at its Lot 31 parcel, where the developer agreed to build a 970-space public parking garage under its new mixed-use apartment and condo buildings.
The apparent trend of selling public parking lots to developers has many in the Town of Chevy Chase worried.
The Town’s single family homes come up against the county’s Lot 24 and Lot 10, which could be recommended for upzoning in the ongoing Bethesda Downtown master plan.
While the Lot 43 project is likely years away and must go through the Planning Department’s regular approval process, the loss of the parking is likely not going to make local business owners happy.
At a meeting last year concerning Douglas Development’s apartment plan for the corner of Woodmont and Cordell Avenues, Bruce Variety co-owner Linda Ridenour complained that the new building could lead to fewer available spots in Lot 43.
Now, that lot will be completely built over.
Photo via Google Maps