Monday, July 25, 2016

Robbery on St. Elmo Ave., burglary on Wilson Lane + more - Bethesda crime update

Here's a roundup of crimes reported across Bethesda on July 22, according to crime data:

Drug arrest. 4900 block St. Elmo Avenue.

Robbery. 4800 block St. Elmo Avenue.

Burglary. 5000 block Wilson Lane.

Vehicle burglary. 7900 block Glenbrook Road.

Liquor arrest. 7-Eleven (Glen Echo).

Liquor arrest. W. Halbert Road at Owen Place (Bannockburn).

Drug arrest. Old Georgetown Road at Executive Boulevard.

Crane up at Cheval Bethesda construction site (Photos)

Fairmont Avenue completely closed yesterday between Old Georgetown Road and Norfolk Avenue in Bethesda, to allow workers to finish assembly of the tower crane at the Cheval Bethesda condominium construction site.

8008 Wisconsin finally heading to Planning Board in Bethesda

The long-delayed 8008 Wisconsin project is finally going to the Montgomery County Planning Board on Thursday, July 28. It will include 106 luxury condos with 15% affordable units (with overall residential square footage being slightly reduced), and 5793 SF of retail/restaurant space (a slight increase from the original 4500 SF restaurant space).

Developer Toll Brothers City Living is paying a fee to renovate Battery Lane Park in lieu of public space on the 8008 Wisconsin Avenue site. The delay was caused primarily by Montgomery County's insane insistence that original developer Douglas Development hand over a chunk of the land along Wisconsin for a Bus Rapid Transit right-of-way. What made the demand truly insane, is that such a right-of-way cannot be continued all the way down to Bethesda Avenue as the County has claimed. There are multiple buildings in the way that won't be demolished, including the historic Bethesda Theatre (which can't be demolished).

Planners are recommending approval of the project with conditions. Some of those conditions, not surprisingly, involve the land grab along Wisconsin.

Amazon Locker arrives in North Bethesda's Pike District

Amazon Locker has arrived in Montgomery County at last, and North Bethesda has one of the first locations. It is found in the Shoppers Food Warehouse at 5110 Nicholson Lane.

What is Amazon Locker? You can have your order shipped to an Amazon Locker location near you. Your package(s) will arrive at that location, and you will receive an email notification with an access code that will open your locker. If you do not pick up your order within 3 days, it will be returned to Amazon.

If you live in a building where you have difficulty receiving your packages, this can really come in handy. On the one hand, this is an ideal service for the Pike District, where many apartment and condo buildings are opening or being constructed. On the other hand, most of these new buildings have high-end concierge services, so this may not be as in-demand for those residents.

Burglary on Elm Street this morning

According to scanner reports, a burglar broke into the Dunkin' Donuts at 4943 Elm Street in Bethesda around 1:00 AM this morning. The police dispatcher stated that a crowbar was reportedly used, presumably either to gain entry, or once inside the store. There was no information regarding what, if anything, might have been taken from the shop.

If you were in the area around that time and have any information you can share with police, call the non-emergency number at 301-279-8000.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Assault on Battery Lane, vehicle burglary on Westbard Ave. + more - Bethesda crime update

Here's a roundup of crimes reported across Bethesda on July 21, according to crime data:

Theft from vehicle. 7700 block Wisconsin Avenue.

Theft. 7100 block Bethesda Lane.

Assault. 4800 block Battery Lane.

Vehicle burglary. 5400 block Westbard Avenue.

Vehicle burglary. 4700 block Merivale Road.

Drug arrest. Old Georgetown Road at I-270 on-ramp.

Theft from vehicle. 11500 block Rockville Pike.

Theft from vehicle. 1600 block E. Jefferson Street.

Burglary. 12100 block Bentridge Place at 8:22 PM.

Bethesda outdoor movies 2016

Bethesda outdoor movies are back for 2016 in the Woodmont Triangle, starting Tuesday night, July 26. Sponsored by Bethesda Urban Partnership, this year's lineup features memorable movies from a variety of recent eras. This is the 30th anniversary of the iconic 80s film Pretty in Pink, and Brooklyn earned three Oscar nominations just this past January.

Each movie will start at 9:00 PM at the corner of Norfolk and Auburn Avenues. There will be a limited number of chairs set up, so bring your own chair or get there early if you need a seat. Dine at one of the many nearby restaurants, or bring a take-out order.

July 26: Pretty in Pink
July 27: Manhattan Murder Mystery
July 28: Brooklyn
July 29: My Big Fat Greek Wedding
July 30: Creed

Tower crane installation at Cheval Bethesda construction site (Photos)

A team was working to erect the tower crane at the Cheval Bethesda ultra-luxury condo tower site yesterday. The massive effort required closing Fairmont Avenue at Old Georgetown Road. Playing a major role was the Crane of the Year that recently arrived at the construction site.
"Crane of the Year" in
action on Fairmont Avenue

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Theft at Ourisman Honda, burglary on Democracy Boulevard + more - Bethesda crime update

Here's a roundup of crimes reported across Bethesda on July 20, according to crime data:

Theft. Ourisman Honda.

Theft. 4800 block Bethesda Avenue.

Burglary. 5300 block Willard Avenue.

Theft. Wisconsin Avenue at Western Avenue.

Theft. 8300 block Burdette Road.

Theft. 7100 block Democracy Boulevard.

Burglary. 6700 block Democracy Boulevard.

Theft. 11500 block Rockville Pike.

The final days of Bethesda's doomed Connor Building (Photos)

The Connor Building at 7720 Wisconsin Avenue in Bethesda isn't long for this world, as it will be demolished this fall to make way for the long-delayed Westin Hotel project. Montgomery County's moribund private sector economy has depressed both the hotel and office markets. When business travel declines to an area, so does the demand for hotel rooms. The MoCo office market is so bad - the worst in 30 years, according to an executive at The JBG Companies - that the office tower part of the Westin project has been delayed indefinitely. That office building was to be on the site of the Bethesda Court Hotel.

It's hard to believe it was 2011 when I broke the story about the Westin hotel being built in Bethesda. Here we are now, in 2016, waiting for a groundbreaking scheduled for mid-2017.

Tenants in the Connor Building will be hitting the exits much sooner; all will be gone by the last day of this month. In a business-unfriendly county, some are just going to call it a career. Others have, or are, reopening nearby.
Maryland Stamps and Coins has managed to find a space a few blocks away. They will move at the end of the month to 4803 St. Elmo Avenue.
Smoothie King will close July 30, but have already opened their new location at 4710 Bethesda Avenue a long time ago.

C+M Interiors appears to have cleared out with no mention of where they have gone. There are still some rugs and floor samples in the space.
Before there was ever such a thing as Taylor Gourmet or South Street Steaks, Philadelphia Mike's was the only Philly sandwich destination in town. They are scheduled to close July 30, but the owners are intently searching for a new location in downtown Bethesda.
The last day at Kabob Bazaar will be this Sunday, July 24. But owner Bruce Sarvghadi says he is also searching for a spot in Bethesda. Until one is found, you can visit their Clarendon location at 3133 Wilson Boulevard.

And, of course, Comfort One Shoes has already moved to 7920 Norfolk Avenue, the former home of the Berry Yogurt yogurt-sushi combo experiment.

I'm excited about the new hotel being built, but always liked the vintage interior of this building. Definitely "Old Bethesda" all the way. Does anyone know if the same architect designed the one at the corner of Old Georgetown Road and St. Elmo Avenue (with the psychic and rug store)? They have very similar interiors and "arcade" corridors.

This is also another of the many disappearing buildings which used stone from a nearby quarry on their facades. The bank demolished for the Element 28 project comes to mind.

ArcLight Cinemas to host family event today, R-rated "Batman" screening Monday

ArcLight Cinemas at Westfield Montgomery Mall in Bethesda will host an Ice Age-themed event for families today from 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM. Kids can enjoy games, prizes and enter a contest to win an Ice Age: Collision Course prize pack. You can also share your pictures from the event on social media with the hashtag #ArcLightFamFun.

For a decidedly more adult event, order tickets now for a one-night only screening of the new, R-rated Batman: The Killing Joke. This will be the first R-rated Batman movie to get an official theatrical release, and also an equally-rare theatrical release for a DC Comics animated film. The movie will show at 7:00 PM and 9:30 PM this Monday, July 25.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Assault on Old Georgetown Rd., theft at Five Guys + more - Bethesda crime update

Here's a roundup of crimes reported across Bethesda on July 19, according to crime data:

Assault. 7600 block Old Georgetown Road.

Theft. Bethesda Metro station.

Theft. Five Guys at Bethesda Row at 8:20 PM.

Disorderly conduct. Wisconsin Avenue at Battery Lane.

Theft from vehicle. 4800 block Bethesda Avenue at 12:12 PM.

Theft from vehicle. 8900 block Battery Place at 7:06 PM.

Theft. 3500 block Woodbine Street.

Vehicle burglary. 4500 block Willard Avenue.

Theft from vehicle. 5100 block Allan Terrace.

Vehicle burglary. 4500 block Wetherill Road (Westmoreland Hills).

Burglary. 6100 block Tuckerman Lane at 7:17 PM.

Theft. Westfield Montgomery Mall.

Bethesda construction update: Hampden Row ultra-luxury condos (Photos)

The Toll Brothers City Living ultra-luxury condo project, Hampden Row, has made huge progress at the corner of Hampden Lane and Arlington Road in Bethesda. A lot of brick has been installed on the facade, and some balconies and glass are already in place. So far, the red brick design is meshing quite well with the existing buildings around it.

There will be 55 units, ranging from 1-3 bedrooms, and from 615 to over 2800 square feet in size. Inside the units, 9-foot ceilings, hardwood floors with 5" planks, and custom millwork will offset high-end finishes and appliances by Gaggenau, Thermador, and Bosch. Fixtures will be by Grohe.

Building amenities will include a 24-hour attended lobby, resident lounge, a rooftop terrace and fitness center, garage parking and bike storage facilities. The original completion date given two years ago has already passed, and no official delivery date has been announced publicly.