Could we finally have a new name for the area around the White Flint Metro station?
Streetsense, the real estate firm hired by a group of White Flint developers earlier this year to come up with one, will present its “name recommendation” next Tuesday at a special meeting of the White Flint Downtown Advisory Board, according to Montgomery County’s Ken Hartman.
The meeting is set for 8 a.m. at — interestingly enough — the Bethesda North Marriott Hotel & Conference Center (5701 Marinelli Road).
What to call the commercial corridor along Rockville Pike has long been an issue for residents and the major property owners looking to transform the area from strip shopping centers to transit-oriented mixed-use.
While realtors generally prefer the term North Bethesda, longtime residents will tell you the place is simply Rockville, or even Kensington. The White Flint Mall is actually in a Kensington zip code.
Even developers have been split on the issue, part of the reason why a group of developers known as the White Flint Partnership paid Bethesda-based Streetsense for the naming and branding study.
In May, as the county-led Downtown Advisory Board neared the launch of a website for the area called MetroWhiteFlint.org, Federal Realty’s Evan Goldman suggested the group take a step back and consider a name that had more to do with Rockville Pike than White Flint.
Goldman’s original proposal was for an umbrella “Pike District” brand that would allow for individual property owners to label their own projects, such as JBG’s existing North Bethesda Market or Lerner Enterprises’ planned mixed-use town center at the White Flint Mall site.
Among the short-list of 10 potential names presented by Streetsense staff in September were “Pike District,” “Quartz District,” and “Slate District,” not to be outdone by “Uptown,” “The Summit,” or “Rocksy.”
Just one of the 10 potential names floated included the term White Flint — “Metropolitan White Flint.”
One resident at the presentation suggested adding “White Flint” to the list.
The Downtown Advisory Board could decide to incorporate the name recommendation into its official website for the area. Whether the name sticks beyond that is anybody’s guess.