Old ramblers are giving way to grand new homes in Bethesda’s Wyngate neighborhood. Photo by Skip Brown.
NEIGHBORHOODS WITH NEW HOMES
It’s hard to find a neighborhood that’s transforming faster than Wyngate. For years, builders have been eyeing ramblers, Cape Cods and small colonials in this neighborhood on the north side of Bethesda, where prices haven’t soared as high as they have in other parts of town. One by one, these modest, aging homes are being torn down and replaced by grand, four- and five-bedroom homes that maximize the lot size—and double the price. Families can still get an older home for less than $700,000, says real estate agent Gretchen Koitz, “but you also have the larger new homes.” Many of the buyers of the new homes are Wyngate residents who have outgrown their existing homes. It’s a family-friendly neighborhood where kids can walk to the elementary school. “It’s not just one size fits all,” Koitz says. “It allows for a whole variety of residents.”
Many of East Bethesda’s older homes are being replaced by new ones as more and more newcomers discover the neighborhood. Big new houses—some contemporary, others with Victorian or Craftsman touches—are popping up next to Cape Cods, colonials and bungalows. One by one, gabled six-bedroom houses with chef’s kitchens and Jacuzzis are edging out modest cottages from the early and mid-20th century. “East Bethesda has an urban feel with a suburban lifestyle,” says Brittany Barsky Allison, a real estate agent who lives in the neighborhood. “A lot of people are moving out of the city. They want to keep the walkability, and they want a low-maintenance property.” When Lisa McCabe moved to East Bethesda in 2002, she found a neighborhood with the laid-back feeling of a small town, where residents meet for block parties and kids can walk to school. “It’s a walking neighborhood,” she says. “You tend to know your neighbors because lots of people are out.”
“Crown is the new kid on the block,” says real estate agent Jacque Grenning. This 182-acre Gaithersburg development is approved for up to 2,250 residences, including luxury apartments, townhouses, and single-family homes, some with cathedral ceilings and rooftop terraces. Many of the streets, such as Ellington Boulevard and Salk Circle, are named after artists and scientists. Crown was built to be walkable, and it has a bevy of restaurants in the nearby commercial area—called Downtown Crown—including Paladar Latin Kitchen & Rum Bar, Ted’s Montana Grill, and Coastal Flats. “It tends to draw a lot of people because of the nightlife,” Grenning says. They also come for the amenities. The Retreat community center offers an outdoor pool, climbing tower and fitness center. LA Fitness, Starbucks and Harris Teeter are close by. Less than a half-mile away sits the RIO Washingtonian Center, with more shops, restaurants and a movie theater—plus swan-shaped paddleboats and a carousel for kids.
—Gretchen Koitz, real estate agent
Bethesda: Bannockburn, Bradley Park, Carderock Springs, Crestview, Drumaldry, East Bethesda, Fort Sumner, Mohican Hills, Wildwood Manor, Wyngate
N. Bethesda: Luxmanor, Timberlawn
Chevy Chase: Chevy Chase Section 5, Chevy Chase Village, Kenwood, Rollingwood, Chevy Chase, D.C.
Kensington/Garrett Park: Chevy Chase View, Old Town Kensington, South Kensington, Garrett Park
Gaithersburg: Crown, Kentlands, Washington Grove
Potomac: Merry-Go-Round Farm, River Falls
Rockville: King Farm, Old Farm, Rockville's West End
Silver Spring: Woodside Park