2014 | News

TD Bank Gets Approval To Build On Bethesda Gas Station Site

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TD Bank on Thursday got Planning Board approval to build a one-story bank building and drive-through ATM on the site of one of downtown Bethesda’s last remaining gas stations.

The bank will build a branch at 7628 Old Georgetown Rd., site of the Shell gas station between Old Georgetown Road, Moorland Lane and Woodmont Avenue.

There was no formal opposition to the project, though some wondered if a one-story building about 850 feet from the Bethesda Metro station was the best use of the spot. TD Bank had to get Planning Board approval because it’s combining two properties with different zones to accommodate the bank building, ATM structure and small parking lot.

TD Bank attorney Bob Harris said the total site is still only 11,000 square feet, which would have made it difficult to fit parking in a multi-story residential project.

Planning Board Chair Casey Anderson asked Harris why the site wasn’t considered for a mixed-use residential building, perhaps with the bank branch on the first floor.

“The site’s only 11,000 square feet. It’s basically the size of an average single family home lot,” Harris said. “It would be problematic fitting in parking.”

The site has been a gas station since since at least 1940, according to planning staff. One planner showed a photo of what the gas station looked like in the 1980’s as the Bethesda Metro Center office buildings and Woodmont Avenue were still being built.

Gas back then cost $1.16 a gallon.

Photos via Planning Department