Tuesday, January 06, 2015

WHITE FLINT MALL SIGN GOES DARK AFTER MALL CLOSES, P.F. CHANG'S STRIPPED (PHOTOS)

The Dark Side of White Flint, Part 35

Welcome to The Dark Side of White Flint, an ongoing series about the not-so-wonnerful, wonnerful, wonnerful side of urbanizing the suburbs of Montgomery County.

After White Flint Mall locked its doors for good this weekend, and P.F. Chang's China Bistro ceased operations late Sunday night, Monday found the mall's landmark electronic sign along Rockville Pike dark. Once alive with names of mall tenants and information, it now stands as a monument to unbound greed in the so-called "new economy." The one remaining business on the site, Lord & Taylor, can't be happy about the lack of electronic signage alerting motorists that it is still there. Lord & Taylor was one of the few voices of reason attempting to stop demolition of the successful mall. Owning its own building structure, the famed department store will continue operating even after the rest of the mall is demolished.

P.F. Chang's iconic horses were ripped from their pedestals and corralled out front, joined by a solitary take-out bag, as the advance winds of an Alberta Clipper swept across the once-full front parking lot. Gone were the signs and menu board. Hungry diners drove up seeking a bite of Mongolian Beef, only to find the restaurant was no more. They staggered demoralized back into their cars, back into the darkness.





"Time takes it all whether you want it to or not, time takes it all. Time bears it away, and in the end there is only darkness."

- Stephen King

Welcome to the Dark Side.

Read more about
The Dark Side of White Flint:

White Flint Mall closes its doors

No more fresh-baked cookies

The final hours of the White Flint Mall post office

152 comments:

Anonymous said...

"Once alive with names of mall tenants and information, it now stands as a monument to unbound greed in the so-called "new economy."

"Hungry diners drove up seeking a bite of Mongolian Beef, only to find the restaurant was no more. They staggered demoralized back into their cars, back into the darkness."

Oh, please, please GET OVER YOURSELF!

Welcome to Reality said...

"Lord & Taylor was one of the few voices of reason attempting to stop demolition of the successful mall:"

Haha. The claims in this delusional "series" get more and more ridiculous. L&T doesn't care about the mall.

I'm sure L&T, the rumored Wegmans and Bloomingdale's, and other future anchors will be overjoyed with having the captured demand of ~2,500 residents and about the same number of office workers on site, in addition to being the regional draw it once was.

L&T's kicking and whining is all about taking advantage of the situation and making $$$. They saw a clause in their contract and jumped on it. Since they own their space they don't have to worry about pissing off Lerner/Tower. Apart from the reduced traffic during the closure, they probably couldn't care less about the mall being redeveloped. You can pretty much assume that L&T will still be there after the mall gets redeveloped, grinning to themselves. While their actions are very much in poor taste, it technically makes financial sense.

Please take a look around, malls are failing everywhere. For every Tysons Corner or Arundel Mills mall you have 3 Springfield/Owings Mills/Laurel malls. Competition is ridiculously intense in the age of Amazon. This isn't the 1970's. Every town in a region can't support it's own malls (or malls) anymore. With each new quarter online retailers take a larger slice of the sales pie, this past holiday shopping season being no exception. Nearly all of the successful ones are either:

a) high-end in very wealthy areas
b) redeveloping into some form of mixed-use destination

Anonymous said...

c) Have a Macy's.

d) Don't have both a JCPenney and a Sears.

Get back to reality said...

6:50AM needs a dose of reality. He obviously isn't an expert in retail.

Successful malls are those that are well managed, like Westfield Montgomery. They understand that people are looking for an experience, not just shopping. That's why they have a new dining terrace, movie theater, events, etc. Malls are transforming, but they're not going away.

Many of the digital trends are actually helping brick & mortar stores (ordering online and picking up in store, mobile beacons, etc.)

A huge percentage of shoppers research online, but still buy in store. Estimates were that less than 10% of holiday shopping sales were digital. (Though digital is growing fast.) There's still a place for physical stores.

Anonymous said...

I wonder how Montgomery Mall will handle Sears' inevitable demise.

Anonymous said...

@8:03 does that location have room to be rehabbed into a Costco like what they did at Wheaton?

Anonymous said...

Yes, there's a bit of room on that side.

On the other hand, they could always turn it into a Burlington Coat Factory.

Anonymous said...

Sears closing could be a boon for the mall. Think of all the upscale retailers they could fill that space with. Or even more restaurants.

Sears has been leasing out space to other retailers inside their other locations around the country. They could do something like that here.

Welcome to Reality said...

@ 7:51am

"There's still a place for physical stores."

I never said there wasn't a place for physical stores. On the contrary I specifically stated that a new mixed-use retail center on the current site of the mall will be very successful: "L&T, the rumored Wegmans and Bloomingdale's, and other future anchors will be overjoyed with having the captured demand of ~2,500 residents and about the same number of office workers on site, in addition to being the regional draw it once was."

As you acknowledged, my point is that the retail industry is transforming. The 1970's model of every town having one or two enclosed malls (all within 2 or three miles of each other) just isn't sustainable anymore.

Management can only do so much in the face of stiff competition, evolving shopping habits, and reduced demand. National leaders in retail management: Simon, Westfield, and General Growth all have struggling/failing properties in the area eg. Westfield Annapolis, Lakeforest, and Owings Mills.

The few remaining "successful" malls in the area such as Tysons Corner, Arundel Mills, Columbia, and Pentagon City are all surrounded by six-figure median income neighborhoods and have developed into mixed-use hubs with residential, office, and retail space.

Anonymous said...

Best mall in the area is PG Plaza. Marshalls, TJ Max, Ross, Target, and Old Navy all in one place. Plus it supports a bunch of local small businesses.

Anonymous said...

Ironically, one of the most popular new retailers in Tysons is the new Walmart that JBG built. It's an urban footprint Walmart, so it's smaller than the traditional store layout.

Strange to contrast with MoCo where the council had a fit when JBG tried to bring a Walmart to Rockville Pike. It would have been close to Metro like their Tysons location and presumably would have been more of an urban footprint.

Anonymous said...

A Walmart would be just right in Westbard.

Robert Dyer said...

8:43: How can you be sure that 8 or 9 town centers within a short drive will be successful when you claim 2 or 3 malls in one area were a factor in the so-called demise of malls? They're all going to compete for the same wallets up and down the Pike District. There's no way all of those developments are going to be successful. Tysons never was not successful, and is only now getting an urban makeover. Tysons has something White Flint hasn't attracted - major corporate headquarters and the high-wage jobs they provide. Tysons is far better positioned for success than a bedroom community, which is what the Pike District will be on present course.

Robert Dyer said...

10:02: I'd like a Walmart and Target in Bethesda, but River Road does not have the capacity of MD 355 last time I checked. Target would be a potential replacement for Sears, should it close at Westfield Montgomery Mall in the future.

Robert Dyer said...

9:04: The blockage of Walmart by the County Council is a major reason why prices have gone up at Giant recently.

Robert Dyer said...

8:55 And the Green Line comes right to it, as well. That was smart planning and another advantage Prince George's Plaza has.

Robert Dyer said...

Welcome to Reality - I wouldn't place any bets on major office space, as most of the planned office space is being converted to residential in the Pike District.

Anonymous said...

Montgomery County does NOT need another WalTrash. The one in Germantown is one too many. It's a horrible dump and I refuse to shop in their "stores" in general.

It only takes one to spoil the bunch.

Anonymous said...

10:23AM: you're thinking of Walmarts of the past. The JBG Walmart in Tysons actually has a relatively upscale design compared to what you might think of the average old huge Walmart. And it's drawing an affluent audience from the surrounding area.

The Council was really just playing on everyone's fears of a mega big box Walmart. That's not what JBG was proposing.

Welcome to Reality said...

@ Robert Dyer

Still getting quoted for things I never said...

If you reread my post you'll see I never claimed that "town centers" bunched up together made good economic sense. My point was solely this: In this day and age, when consumer trends and market forces are considered, a mixed-use "town-center" makes far more business sense than single-use enclosed malls.

You can see plenty of evidence of this across the region. There's a reason no landowner in this region (and most likely, this country) has broken ground on a brand new enclosed mall, yet many have been torn down or on the verge of closing. Yet, this area has been one fastest growing regions of the country for decades.

I'm also 99% sure town centers have far less retail space per acre than traditional malls, thanks to (mostly) being single level and the devotion of much of the space to other uses such as office and residential space (hence the term "mixed-use). This obviously allows the market to accommodate more of them. In addition (as I pointed out earlier) mixed-use centers also get significant traffic from office workers eating out/shopping during their lunch break and residents dining out/shopping on the weekends and after work (another advantage over malls).

Honestly I don't expect four different large retail hubs--Pike & Rose, NoBe Market, North Bethesda Gateway, and White Flint--to be successful right now. However, 20 years from now when the immediate area has added 30,000 residents and become a regional draw, I think it can support it. Both Pike & Rose and North Bethesda Market have leased up very well so far, with quality tenants.


"I wouldn't place any bets on major office space, as most of the planned office space is being converted to residential in the Pike District"

LCOR, Federal Realty, and Lerner/Tower beg to differ. The smaller NoBe II and Foulger-Pratt developments notwithstanding, I'm pretty sure none of the other office space in White Flint has been converted to residential. Delayed? Yes. But to say "most" of it has been converted is a gross exaggeration.

Developers are focused on the long-term. Remember, the buildout of White Flint will take at least two decades and the office market will rebound (and probably slump again) during that timeframe.

Anonymous said...

What's kind of ironic is that White Flint was the next-to-last enclosed mall built in Montgomery County.

The last one, Lakeforest, opened a year later in 1978.

Although Wheaton Plaza is a special case as it was built as an open-air mall in 1960 and then enclosed in 1982.

Dulles Town Center, in Loudoun County, was the very last enclosed mall to be built in the area, in 1999.

Anonymous said...

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2015/01/06/why-no-one-likes-indoor-malls-any-more/?hpid=z6

G. Money said...

Dyer, I don't get your objection to this type of development given your other positions.

Traffic along 270 and 355 is heavily congested because there aren't enough residential options to serve all of the people who commute to work in and around DC. There are people commuting all the way from WV. DC is not going to change their height restrictions to allow significantly more residential development, so increasing development near existing transit seems to make sense.

Your argument against the development of North Bethesda seems like the exact opposite of the argument you keep making against development of Westbard.

Anonymous said...

Dyer's "positions" on these subjects aren't supposed to make sense relative to each other. The only one thing Dyer truly stands for is talking trash about the people who really have a say in county politics...you know the people who for the most part worked, campaigned and sweated to get where they are, while Mr. Dyer did Youtube reviews of the next greatest chocolate candy bar.

Robert Dyer said...

12'05: You said the new development on the White Flint site would be "very successful." There's nothing that suggests that is a certainty. It will be hard to get office worker traffic with no offices. There's nothing pre or post-recession that points to a demand for office space in Montgomery County. No major employer has moved here in over a decade, and no policy change is in the works to address what is deterring them from moving here.

Robert Dyer said...

1:31: You can't compare White Flint to an edge city like downtown Bethesda in terms of location and Metro capacity. It's above Grosvenor, where capacity drops significantly. The main reason people commute from WV is that they can't afford the available housing here, or the high taxes. Building luxury apartments won't solve that. Moreover, we are under no legal or moral obligation to house every person in the world who wants to live here. This area is already developed, and infinite growth is not sustainable. DC would be smart not to change their height limit.

Robert Dyer said...

3:05 Great, you admit the residents of MoCo don't "really have a say in county politics." Yes, my community activism pales in comparison to Hans Riemer hopping off a U-Haul from California and running for office with $2 bazillion dollars from Wall Street outsourcers like Mitt Romney and Mitch Rales, Wall Street banks and their lobbyists, and a Who's Who of DC area developers. Yeah, it was a real tough march. He really paid his dues. Hysterical.

Anonymous said...

Campaigned? Lol.
Reimer and Leventhal skipped community forums. They weren't meeting with folks, they attended Potomac wine tastings instead.

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't show up to every single community forum either if my opponent was this guy

G. Money said...

4:38: Metro is well aware of the potential increase in ridership, as evidenced by the White Flint Station Access Plan. Furthermore, Metro ridership overall has been declining since 2009, and is now around 2005 levels (see O'Connell, J. Oct. 29, 2014, WaPo). Metro is also capable of adjusting its routes to account for changes in ridership. It's not like ridership is going to suddenly double overnight.

As for affordability, there is a provision for affordable housing in the White Flint Sector Plan. But in general, prices are driven up by demand. Thus, by increasing the supply of housing close to DC, you are effectively lowering the overall price of housing.

As for your point about infinite growth, this is a straw man argument. On top of that, your anti-growth position runs completely counter to the goal of economic growth. More jobs = more people by definition, unless you plan to get rid of one low-wage worker for every high wage worker you bring in.

Anonymous said...

G. Money, you seem to have Robert confused with someone able to have an intellectual discussion. Dyer's just going to call your a Hans Reimer operative and move on to his next plate of junk food.

Anonymous said...

"Thus, by increasing the supply of housing close to DC, you are effectively lowering the overall price of housing."

Supply and demand? Don't expect a Republican like Dyer to understand that concept.

Robert Dyer said...

5:37: I'm sure you wouldn't, because you'd A) know you were going to lose the debate like Hans and George, and B) you wouldn't be able to be Anonymous anymore.

Robert Dyer said...

6:00: You are out of sync with reality on all points. Capacity is already strained on Metro north of Grosvenor today. Even one of White Flint's biggest boosters, Roger Lewis, acknowledged it will not provide the needed affordable housing. We've added tons of apartments to downtown Bethesda in the last decade, and prices went UP, not down. Unless you are claiming infinite growth is possible, how can it be a "straw man." There is a limit to how many people, cars and school children can be placed in a given developed area. At some point we do have to pull up the ladders, like it or not. With a highly-educated workforce, high-wage jobs are very likely to be filled by MoCo residents. Filling our vacant office parks and buildings with such jobs and corporate headquarters is the best course to reduce congestion on DC/VA bound commuting routes. Building more bedrooms only exacerbates the traffic disaster of Montgomery County.

Robert Dyer said...

8:16: As I just explained above, the evidence in downtown Bethesda proves that more units doesn't equal lower prices. They only go up.

Anonymous said...

"There is a limit to how many people, cars and school children can be placed in a given developed area."

We're nowhere near the density of Manhattan, Tokyo or Hong Kong. Or London or Paris. And not even near that of much of the District.

Anonymous said...

lol..I'd love to see Mr. Anonymous here in a public debate with Robert Dyer. Anonymous wouldn't last a minute and he knows it.

He'd be peeing in his pants like Riemer was after the MyMCMedia televised debate.

It's so telling that he has to stay anonymous on the comments here. He has to distance himself from his own arguments even before he posts them.

Anonymous said...

"the evidence in downtown Bethesda proves that more units doesn't equal lower prices. They only go up."

Well, that's only if you look at prices in downtown Bethesda, and nowhere else.

Do you really think that building no new housing, anywhere, is a recipe for keeping housing prices low?

Robert Dyer said...

8:48: You're suggesting suburban Montgomery County should be developed to the density of Manhattan and Tokyo? Even assuming you could force everyone to accept a lower quality of life, the subway system within Montgomery County doesn't in any way equal the subway systems of NYC or Paris. It's an apples to oranges comparison that doesn't make any sense. The majority of land within the county is primarily automobile-oriented, and suburban. For what MoCo actually is, it is nearing maximum development right now, with the exception of the redevelopment sites left in downtown Bethesda and Silver Spring and some rural areas.

G. Money said...

8:31: Please give a citation for your claim that Metro capacity is strained on the Red Line north of Grosvenor. I gave two citations regarding the points I made regarding your Metro argument.

As far as rent prices go, yes, prices have gone up, because supply has not kept up with demand, particularly for high value properties. Consider that median household income has increased in Bethesda over the last decade and a half, whereas nationally median household income has declined over the same period. You also cannot single out a place like Bethesda for because the prices and supply of housing in neighboring areas also affect prices in Bethesda.

I don't know if you understood me about the straw man argument. "Straw man" means that you're arguing against a point that no one was trying to make.

And yes, high wage jobs are likely to be filled by highly educated residents, and MoCo has a lot of those. MoCo also has a strong federal research presence and is surrounded by universities. These should be leveraged to promote tech transfer to new businesses, rather than trying to cherry pick existing corporations' HQs, which is a zero sum game.

Robert Dyer said...

9:26: You're saying Pike & Rose is affordable housing? Maybe for the 1% like Hans Riemer. Everything going up is luxury housing. Downtown Bethesda proves the market mechanism doesn't work. Westbard would be exactly the same, if not worse, because of the Whitman school cluster demand.

Robert Dyer said...

G. Money: It hasn't been a zero sum game for Northern Virginia, DC or Texas. Look at the most recent job creation numbers from a couple of weeks ago, and you find that we were once again crushed by all of the above. The "plan" isn't working.

Every politician around here has been talking for years about the problems north of Grosvenor on the Red Line. You are not aware of this? They've been saying we need more trains that go all the way to Shady Grove instead of turning around at Grosvenor, and that we need 8 car trains, as two of several possible solutions.

You can single out Bethesda, because it is a single market. It was flooded with new units in the last decade, and prices went up bigtime. If you consider White Flint instead - Pike & Rose was built right near North Bethesda Market and several huge buildings across 355 from it, as well as the building by the Target a few blocks away. Yet its rents are outrageously high, and have not been lowered by all the competition around it.

G. Money said...

10:25: Do you know what zero-sum game means? If those places are gaining corporate HQs of exist corporations, then some other place is losing them. The overall economy does not benefit by simply shifting a bunch of existing assets around, even if someone does benefit locally at the receiving end. You have to create something new and add value to grow.

I am not aware of overcrowding on that part of the Red Line. I googled it and came up with the sources I cited. If it's such a prominent issue that you are familiar with, why can't you just cite a source so that I can learn more about it?

No, you cannot single out Bethesda, because people can choose to live somewhere else, such as Silver Spring, or North Bethesda, or DC. Housing markets are ridiculously complicated, because there are so many factors you have to account for in people's decision making, that hyperlocal supply and demand factors cannot reasonably be expected to follow a normal economic model. Also, Bethesda's population increased by 10% between 2000 and 2012, which obviously effects supply and demand.

Anonymous said...

Why are you trying to argue with Robert. He already has all the answers.

That's why he's so successful.

Anonymous said...

Last couple of times I was at PG Plaza as a college student a long time ago...

- there was a mugging
- there was a gunshot
- people were rude and obnoxious
- stores were low rate

But it serves a purpose and a community.

Anonymous said...

What was the reason the council explicitly blocked walmart again? Thanks, Dyer.

Anonymous said...

Has Target said anything to indicate they want this or it would succeed?

Personally I would love it. Going to the Target on the Pike is such an isolated incident. At Monkey Mall i could go lots of places at once!

Anonymous said...

Can you explain. Why you think dc would not be smart to change their height limit?

Also, population growth in urban areas is growing, and at a certain point it pushes outward as historically has always been the case. So even if you don't think Grosvenor or NoBe is urban enough now to warrant more development, it soon will be the case. Why not plan for it now?

Flynn said...

According to this, Bethesda rent went down 3%

http://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/despite_predictions_dcs_class_a_apartment_market_still_going_strong/9371

Flynn said...

See my previous comment. Rents in Bethesda are down 3%.

http://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/despite_predictions_dcs_class_a_apartment_market_still_going_strong/9371

Flynn said...

Sure I get that. But growth will happen as more people move here. Better to start planning for it now, maybe?

Anonymous said...

"You're saying Pike & Rose is affordable housing?"

You keep committing the same fallacy over and over again.

You consider only the cost of the very newest housing, in the most desirable areas, while ignoring the effect on the market for the region, including existing housing.

Anonymous said...

"I'd love to see Mr. Anonymous here in a public debate with Robert Dyer. Anonymous wouldn't last a minute and he knows it.

He'd be peeing in his pants like Riemer was after the MyMCMedia televised debate."

LOL, Robert's little fanboy. I wonder if he cried when Robert lost the election.

Flynn said...

See here is the inherent problem. This should be an open constructive conversation. Not a debate.

Robert Dyer said...

5:20: DC would lose its distinctive character if it allowed taller buildings. They're also finding themselves in a budget shortfall after a building binge that, theoretically, should have their coffers overflowing with that vaunted "tax revenue" development will supposedly bring. Hopefully they'll realize that's a myth, and not dig themselves deeper in a fiscal hole with more infrastructure and services costs by raising heights.

Population spreading out from the urban core has been termed sprawl by "smart growth" advocates, so I'm not sure why we'd want to promote sprawl in Grosvenor and North Bethesda, which are squarely suburban in character today. A commercial strip through a residential area does not qualify as urban.

Anonymous said...

For the umpteenth time, increased density is not "sprawl".

Robert Dyer said...

11:09: You're on the verge of losing all credibility by trying to pretend one of the most talked about transit issues in MoCo in the last decade is not happening. I'm sure Roger Berliner or Chris Van Hollen or Dr. Gridlock could bring you up to speed on the topic of Red Line capacity north of Grosvenor.

I don't see prices going down anywhere in the County, after a building binge that increased the population of Clarksburg 800% in 10 years. It's not working.

Robert Dyer said...

6:39: How is it a fallacy when the prices and rents of existing housing have also gone up? They just went up again, according to yesterday's report. It's not working.

Robert Dyer said...

7:42: Increased density is sprawl if it is located away from Metro stations in edge cities like downtown Bethesda. For example, increased density around Westbard is sprawl, but the same density in downtown Bethesda is not sprawl.

Robert Dyer said...

Flynn, I'm afraid Rollin Stanley's old line about, "They're coming...", is another one of those urban legends (pun intended). People will only come if there is additional housing capacity. If we don't provide it, they won't come, and they'll go elsewhere and leave us in peace. They're not going to set up camp in the woods. There's no torch-bearing mob marching towards Montgomery County demanding more Soviet-style apartment blocs and more cookie cutter town centers. We're going to be OK.

Robert Dyer said...

Flynn, I'm not seeing a decrease in the actual apartment listings.

Robert Dyer said...

4:18: It was for not only purely political and ideological reasons, but also to preserve those Rockville and Aspen Hill prime properties for their developer buddies to build urban town centers on. Also, George Leventhal said he was opposed to his constituents saving an average of $12 per shopping trip at Walmart vs. Giant or Safeway or Harris Teeter. You know, after he did a $5 Challenge to show us how far $5 goes for poor people at grocery stores, he didn't want them to be able to save $12 per visit. No hypocrisy there, right?

Anonymous said...

"George Leventhal said he was opposed to his constituents saving an average of $12 per shopping trip at Walmart vs. Giant or Safeway or Harris Teeter"

He said no such thing. You totally destroy your credibility when you post crap like this.

"preserve the Rockville and Aspen Hill prime properties for their developer buddies to build urban town centers on"

More gibberish. Do you realize how small the "Jumbo" shopping center is? It's not going to be the next Pike & Rose.

Anonymous said...

"Flynn, I'm not seeing a decrease in the actual apartment listings."

Ugh. Facts are facts, Dyer.

Trying to explain something to Dyer has got to be the biggest waste of time. He just blatantly ignores all the facts people post on here. He doesn't even believe in the basic concepts of economics and supply/demand. Not only that, he refuses to actually answer the points people make and simply pretends he's right or the person posting is a secret political operative for county councilmembers and/or BethesdaNow employee trying to sabotage his blog of children's candy reviews.

Flynn said...

Um. You said "We've added tons of apartments to downtown Bethesda in the last decade, and prices went UP, not down."

But this link shows prices went down 3% as more and more units actually did come onto the market.

So your anecdotal "not seeing a decrease in apartment listings" supersedes this research?

Anonymous said...

8:45 AM
Actually, the anonymous commentators usually veer off topic to irrelevant things and childish insults.

It explains why you have to stay anonymous.



Anonymous said...

Says "anonymous". LOL

Do any of Dyer's toadies have the slightest bit of self-awareness?

Flynn said...

Which report? Thanks.

G. Money said...

Dyer, why can't you cite a source for your claims? I'm not even saying you're wrong, just that I cited two counterfactuals to your assertions. I don't follow news about Metro capacity north of Grosvenor because It doesn't affect me, but you brought it up so I looked it up. I've never claimed any authority on the issue, but I did cite my sources. Why can't you?

Also, you completely failed to respond to my other points. Do you concede on those?

Anonymous said...

ROBERT DYER IS A PROMINENT LOCAL CIVIC ACTIVIST, RUNS A HIGHLY SUCCESSFUL BLOG AND HAS MANY FANS ON YOUTUBE. HE WILL NEVER CONCEDE AN ARGUMENT TO YOU.

(Also, he's seemingly kind of an a-hole)

Anonymous said...

Someone tell me how you can "pull up the ladders" to stop more people moving into MoCo or the District or NoVA?

That should have stopped the conversation right there.

There is NO WAY to stop people from coming here. Get used to it. The DC area is a strong jobs magnet. People want to live here. If you don't like it anymore, move to WV. Lots of space out there.

Anonymous said...

Ever ride the red line South in the morning?
The trains are full at Rockville.. Lol

Anonymous said...

We need to pull up the ladders to keep housing affordable. LOL

Robert Dyer said...

8:39: Here's a quote from the Washington Post, May 6, 2013:
"Leventhal said Wal-Mart’s sheer size allows it to under­price supermarket competitors at a loss 'to further its anti-competitive goals.' He cited ads showing how a $115.71 grocery bill at Giant would be just $90.50 at Wal-Mart."

In this case it was actually over $25 in savings that Mr. Leventhal indicated he was fully aware of, and with that knowledge, did not want his constituents to have those savings. Wow. What a humanitarian George is. "I want my constituents to pay more for groceries," doesn't sound like a very progressive position to me.

"Small" shopping center? What are you talking about? The Walmarts were planned for the Pike Center, and the Lee property (Vitro), both of which are huge sites.

Robert Dyer said...

Flynn, I haven't seen prices drop in the apartment listings. Previously, prices have skyrocketed to outrageous levels, and even assuming the figure being published is accurate, $72 savings on a $2400 a month luxury apartment doesn't make it affordable. You're going to have to show a drop in rents that actually makes Bethesda apartments affordable to the masses to vindicate the claim that unlimited development is generating affordable housing. What number of units would that take, and what if it overwhelmed the infrastructure to build that many?

Robert Dyer said...

G. Money, what point did I not answer? The zero sum issue? I said it's not a zero sum game for Virginia if the headquarters is coming from California or Timbuktu. If Montgomery County could steal a major corporate headquarters from DC or Virginia, why would we care where it came from? The "overall economy" is irrelevant when you are responsible for the economic development of a specific jurisdiction.

Are you actually in the area? And you have not heard any politician talk about capacity on the Red Line between Grosvenor and Shady Grove? You're not familiar with the fact that some trains force passengers to exit at Grosvenor, and wait for another train to take them the rest of the way to Shady Grove?

In terms of statistics, Shady Grove is the 3rd most-entered Metro station in the system during the morning rush hour:
http://greatergreaterwashington.org/post/16797/which-metro-stations-are-busiest/

Robert Dyer said...

2:13: Explain to me how there is "NO WAY" to stop people from moving here? If we don't build housing for them to move into, what will they do? Camp out at the Bethesda Metro Center?

It doesn't matter how much someone wants to live here, if there's no housing for them to live in, they'll go elsewhere.

We have no legal responsibility to destroy ourselves to provide housing for a mob of rich white people you and Rollin Stanley imagine are marching toward our county.

Robert Dyer said...

7:07: No, we need to pull up the ladders to preserve green space, protect quality of life, and prevent further overwhelming of our schools and roads.

Flynn said...

Sure, 3% is a small drop, but it disproves your statement of rising rent.

"If it's true" - lol. So anything you think as fact, no matter how wild the conjecture or tenuous the connection, is certainly fact. But any other news source you have to question. Come on, Robert, you were at least starting to respond with some logic.

G. Money said...

9:50: Okay Dyer, if your platform is that MoCo's plan for success should rely on the failure of other parts of the US (I don't think you're going to be luring many Fortune 500 companies from Timbuktu), then I guess that we'll just have to agree to disagree about what works best to generate growth. Good luck with that message.

Yes, I live in the area. I don't spend my time listening to local politicians talking about issues that don't affect me, so no, I haven't heard anything about strained Red Line capacity up towards Shady Grove.

I am aware that some Red Line trains turn around at Grosvenor. This is because ridership is highest between Silver Spring (the other turnaround) and Grosvenor. I am also aware of the link you posted regarding the number of people boarding/exiting at Shady Grove during rush hour. But that doesn't say anything about capacity being strained. The only way to know that would be to compare those numbers to the actual capacity.

But let's just assume you're right - because I don't think you're going to provide those numbers, and I've made my point - and say that capacity is currently strained. So what? If potential ridership is going to increase, do you not think that Metro will increase capacity by adding more trains north of Grosvenor? Or do you think that Metro doesn't want any additional customers?

Let me be clear: the west side of the Red Line has some serious issues with frequent breakdowns, and those can cause problems with overcrowding and delays. But those are not capacity issues that will be solved by more trains.

G. Money said...

9:54: What do you propose, that the government mandate all housing prices? Or a law saying no one may move to MoCo? Because if you have demand that exceeds supply, it will result in an increase in rent. That's exactly what has happened in SF, which now has the highest rents in the country.

What is the economic motivation of landlords to rent at rates that are far below what the market will bear?

As for your "rich white people" comment, who do you think works at the corporate HQs of Fortune 500 companies? I guess you don't want those moving here after all.

Robert Dyer said...

Flynn, I think if the front page of the newspaper says something we know a very powerful faction wants the public to believe, but there is no evidence present other than that claim on paper, one is wise to be skeptical. Claims that I have made - such as no major corporation moving here in over a decade, are not in dispute. I will be glad to accept it when I see a drop in home prices and rents in listings. I keep track of these things on a weekly basis, and have been seeing inflation countywide up through the present since the recession.

Robert Dyer said...

G. Money, I've never seen a spreadsheet of data showing the capacity numbers, but it has been a topic of conversation among local politicians I've been hearing since around 2006, when Bob Ehrlich tried to provide funding so less trains would have to turn around at Grosvenor. I hear about it regularly from people who commute to DC from the Shady Grove and Rockville stations. Adding 8 car trains is one of the most important funding priorities in the coming years. Metro can't add that capacity until MoCo and MD provide additional funding for it. To say there's not a capacity issue north of Grosvenor is akin to saying the moon is made of green cheese at this point.

Robert Dyer said...

12:17: I also don't believe winning corporate headquarters from another state is the reason for America's economic woes. It is principally the result of allowing our industrial sector to be hollowed out through free trade agreements, and outsourcing kings like Hans Riemer's good friends Bain Capital and Mitch Rales. The nation that manufactures finished products rules the world. The nation with a service economy is destined to serve, not rule.

Should the government intervene in the rental market for housing? I would argue it should if we don't see a return to affordable rents after the current building boom. Certainly we should be looking at rent stabilization in older buildings, as well as acquiring some of those buildings to preserve affordable housing.
While I don't share the opinion that only rich, white people work at Fortune 500 companies, you have to consider the economic impact of the two scenarios. Dropping 3000+ rich white people into housing along about 2 city blocks' worth of space in Westbard doesn't create corporations that hire people (although it might increase demand for teachers and public safety employees, who are paid for by the taxpayers). Attracting Fortune 500 companies, in contrast, will provide high-wage jobs that hopefully would create more wealthy people of all races, who are currently being denied those employment opportunities in MoCo's currently moribund economic development climate. Those companies will also put less pressure on roads and schools, as we would not be building more housing for them to live in.

Anonymous said...

The Pike Center site is tiny. It's only one-sixth the size of the Montrose Crossing site immediately to the south, one-third of the size of the Federal Plaza across the street, and one-quarter the size of Pike & Rose, and about one-fifth the size of White Flint Mall.

Further, the Walmart that had been proposed there would have covered less than one-third of that site.

Anonymous said...

And say your claim of council members and the DLC and all that jazz? That's all fact based? With no news outlet other than you making that kind of connection or accusation.

Anonymous said...

It's funny how others aren't allowed to have an opinion. But Robert's opinion becomes "fact"

Flynn said...

I'm not sure g money was saying that was the source of America's woes...

Robert Dyer said...

6:42: The fact that no other local news outlet could put the simple timeline together that strongly suggests Riemer and NBC 4 were aware of the alleged crimes at the DLC prior to Election Day is a scandal in itself. I even sent a press release to the Post, Gazette, etc. Assuming they are intelligent journalists, which I believe they are, what is their motive for protecting Mr. Riemer?

Your suggestion that news not appearing in the establishment media is thereby not factual would earn you a fist bump from Vlad Putin and the Chinese government.

Robert Dyer said...

The entire Pike Center property is massive, and that's why councilmembers stepped in to prevent Walmart from moving in. They want that site to be entirely redeveloped as an urban town center. Roger Berliner acknowledged that publicly. Play back the tape. You also forgot to mention that the Aspen Hill site is huge, as well. A cookie cutter town center is now in the future of each.

Flynn said...

Do you have a link to Berliner saying this? Not arguing out at all - would just like to see his statements you are referring to. Thanks.

Flynn said...

Not sure how you drew that conclusion. Was referring to how you said the news about Bethesda rent rates are down 3% can't be trusted.

G. Money said...

4:54: Funny, because if you asked me for a reference regarding the composition of the moon, I'd be able to provide one. Unfortunately, basing planning decisions on news stories from 8+ years ago (when Metro ridership was higher than it is now, and increasing) and second hand anecdotes is not a reasonable proposition. People complain about shit all the time. Government action should be based on actual data.

5:10: You seem to have jumped the rails in your first paragraph there, that has nothing to do with what I said. But since you brought it up, you are totally wrong with respect to manufacturing and services. Services make up 85% of the US economy, and most of the value-added of high-end manufactured goods is in embedded services. Manufacturing is going to be increasingly marginalized as an employment sector by automation and additive manufacturing. Services like design, education, finance, logistics, and marketing are far more important in terms of value-added than manufacturing.

White people make up nearly 90% of corporate executive teams, according to a 2010 report by Sen. Menendez. White men make up nearly 70%. That's not opinion, that's fact.

And again, it's not like attracting a F500 corporation HQ to MoCo means they fire their entire staff and hire new staff locally. They would bring people with them, and those people would need places to live. So unless you plan to kick people out, you'll need new development.

Anyway, I'm done with this nonsense. It was a fun exercise. Enjoy your life in fantasy land.

Anonymous said...

Why are town centers all "cookie cutter" whereas enclosed malls and 1970s strip malls somehow are not?

The Pike Center property is puny, compared to the others on the Pike.

Robert Dyer said...

3:40: The proponents of town centers have claimed they are creating a "sense of place," but they all look the same, making the claim classic doublespeak. The Pike Center property is plenty big enough for a couple of mixed-use buildings, and ground floor retail along new internal streets. Not what I would do, personally, but that's what the County Council wants its developer sugar daddies to do there.

Robert Dyer said...

I won't deny the demographic data you've presented regarding corporations, but I'm not sure that should dissuade us from attracting Fortune 500 firms to the county. I believe Montgomery County is following the same dark road as the nation - a V-shaped economy, with a lot of service jobs at the bottom, and a rich-and-getting-richer 1% at the top, and little opportunity in-between. We need to diversify beyond real estate development and biotech to turn around a moribund county economy. Aerospace, research and development, technology and manufacturing are key areas we need to be focused on, not more Starbucks and farmers markets.

Robert Dyer said...

Flynn, yes, here is a story with Berliner explicitly saying the Walmart would block his ideal use for the Pike Center property:

http://patch.com/maryland/rockville/county-councilman-calls-for-a-halt-to-wal-mart-plans

Anonymous said...

Why does it magically become "developer sugar daddies" when Walmart is excluded?

That makes no sense at all.

Reality said...

"The proponents of town centers have claimed they are creating a "sense of place," but they all look the same, making the claim classic doublespeak."

Huh? They all look the same to you? You can't actually be serious. Anyways, who cares about the architecture (which, again, don't look similar at all). It's all about the people and space; or are you now going to claim that Rockville, Bethesda, Silver Spring, etc. all have the same vibe, now?

Dyer always starts with an absurd article and then keeps finding way to devolve even further in the comments section. Your arguments make zero sense.

Robert Dyer said...

8:53: Because they had to intervene to save the valuable site for their developer sugar daddies. They don't get fat campaign checks from Walmart, hence Walmart is not a sugar daddy for them.

Robert Dyer said...

Reality, if only your comments matched up with your "real" name. Rockville Town Square doesn't look like Pentagon Row? It's even got the clock and the ice rink. If you take the part of Bethesda Row along Woodmont, that looks like every other town center from Downtown Crown to the mockups shown for Westbard. No sense of place whatsoever, with the exception of Bethesda Lane at Bethesda Row.

"Who cares about architecture?" That would be a pretty good slogan for the people who design these town centers. It seems a lot of these structures are already in the software and they just get plugged into the rendering. Here comes that rounded corner building again!

My arguments make enough sense that people keep coming here to argue about them. Who wants to live in a world where everything is the same, block after block?

Anonymous said...

What exactly is the "sense of place" in Westbard as it is now?

Eating at McDonalds? Buying cheap booze at Talberts? Buying gas at the W?

Do you ever seriously think about the stuff you say?

Anonymous said...

"Because they had to intervene to save the valuable site for their developer sugar daddies. They don't get fat campaign checks from Walmart, hence Walmart is not a sugar daddy for them."

You've come up with some crazy conspiracy theories in the past couple of months, but this is the craziest one yet.

Anonymous said...

"Aerospace [is a] key area we need to be focused on..."

Defense spending is shrinking. Spending for the space program is shrinking even more severely. There is only one domestic producer of commercial airliners left.

Montgomery County already has the global headquarters of Lockheed Martin - so what is your proposal to expand this sector in MoCo? Trying to poach Northrop Grumman from Virgina? Trying to poach Boeing from Washington State?

I repeat the question I've asked many times previously - do you ever actually think through any of the stuff that you say?

Anonymous said...

How much of a campaign contribution from who again did you say makes a developer a sugary daddy for which rep again?

Anonymous said...

Local developers = "sugar daddies!"

Largest corporation in America (by revenue) "NOT a sugar daddy!"

Robert Dyer said...

6:22: Westbard has way more character and history than any of the Disneyland town centers in the county. I think most people aren't expecting an art exhibit when they're trying to fill a gas tank or go through the drive-thru for a burger. It's a commercial-industrial area that serves the neighborhood around it. Get over it.

Robert Dyer said...

It can't be a conspiracy theory because the article I posted the link to features Roger Berliner being upfront and honest in doing exactly that. He said they were stopping it to keep it open for a mixed-use development. Read it yourself!

Robert Dyer said...

6:51: Not sure what planet you're broadcasting from, but aerospace stocks were up last year, and we are in a global war on terror and bombing countries like happens every few years. Welcome to the world. Have you heard of Space X and the private space industry? That defense firms are ramping up sales on the international market? This is why we desperately needed a councilmember like me who is engaged with business trends in 2015, not stuck in the past promoting Barwood cabs and Windows 2000 as a cybersecurity platform.

Robert Dyer said...

They get an average of 82% of their campaign funds from their developer sugar daddies.

Robert Dyer said...

7:16: Now you're getting it! We're making progress. Your equation is correct, because you can be a sugar daddy if you actually give money to the candidate. Ergo, Walmart is not a sugar daddy (although it may well be in other jurisdictions).

Flynn said...

Is this published somewhere? Would love to see how much they do get from who.

Anonymous said...

Lockheed Martin stock up 31%. But we already have their global headquaters here in MoCo.

Boeing stock down 8%.

Northrop Grumman stock flat for past year.

United Technologies (Pratt & Whitney and Sikorsky) flat for past year.

Anonymous said...

"We are in a global war on terror and bombing countries like happens every few years."

You can say whatever random thoughts come to your mind, but the reality is that defense spending fell from a peak of $750 billion in FY 2009, to $600 billion in FY 2015, a decrease of 20%.

Anonymous said...

The U.S. just hired SpaceX and Boeing for $7 billion for transporation to the space station.

Come on guys, privatization of space is huge and we should be going after companies involved.

Albert said...

I concur

Anonymous said...

What an idiotic comment re: town centers, Dyer. Let me guess, you think Dupont Circle and Eastern Market are also shit because their architecture are similar. It's like you don't even live on the same planet as the rest of us.

Anonymous said...

Clock + skating rink.

"Cookie cutter", according to Dyer.

http://thumbs.dreamstime.com/z/moscow-skating-rink-red-square-18691440.jpg

Robert Dyer said...

10:32: As I said earlier, that's why the defense firms are expanding their international sales.

Robert Dyer said...

2:45: It's not idiotic to not want your community to be turned into a bad knockoff of another community. Moreover, it's an issue of hypocrisy, as these same urbanization advocates have justified their movement by claiming suburbia is all the same with strip malls and indoor malls. Yet what they're proposing is even more cookie cutter in reality. Witness the replacement of the historic Suburban Trust Building in Rockville with a bland apartment bloc.

Robert Dyer said...

It's more than that - the buildings and colors are all similar, as well.

Anonymous said...

The buildings in Georgetown are mostly red brick, three story buildings, all fronting close to the street.

Are those "cookie cutter", too?

Robert Dyer said...

7:18: Nobody would confuse classic Georgetown with the Disneyland town center model.

Robert Dyer said...

Yes, Flynn, on the State Board of Elections website they have a campaign finance section.

Anonymous said...

What does "Disneyland" have to do with anything? You're babbling, as usual.

Robert Dyer said...

8:35: It's a way of saying that the town centers are an artificial attempt at placemaking, compared to a place that evolves naturally over decades, with its own distinct identity. Such as historic downtown Frederick or Hagerstown vs. Rockville Town Square/Pike & Rose/Crown/Mosaic/Pentagon Row, etc.

Albert said...

I'd rather a one shot artificial place that attempts continuity. Look how crappy woodmont triangle is turning out versus Bethesda row. A sea of high low buildings intermixed with loading docks and driveways and no connection between retail.

Anonymous said...

Your complaint about "an artificial sense at placemaking" might have been valid if it were actually places like "downtown Frederick or Hagerstown" that were being torn down and replaced by these new town centers.

But that's not what's happening. It is 1960s and 1970s strip malls and failed enclosed malls that are being replaced. Rockville Town Center was built on the ashes of Rockville Mall and adjacent areas that were developed at the same time. And, regarding the Mosaic Center, you seem to be the only one I know who waxes nostalgic for the "old" Merrifield.

It almost seems to me that you think that the pinnacle of development occurred in the 1960s and 1970s, and that you don't want anything from that "golden era" of your childhood touched. Am I correct?

Robert Dyer said...

Albert, keep in mind that Woodmont Triangle is really just getting started. It's also a far larger area than Bethesda Row.

Robert Dyer said...

6:12: My point is, why not create a sense of place by using unique architecture and design? I haven't seen any failed indoor malls being replaced here, because White Flint Mall was not failing. I do believe the 1950s-80s were the pinnacle of suburban development, in creating a model for a higher quality of life, convenience and green space. In terms of downtown areas, I was definitely not happy to see Hot Shoppes, Lowens, Swensen's, Baronet II, and the railroad go. But once that decision was made, I've accepted the change, and was looking forward to the future of downtown Bethesda. But there's no compelling argument for change in the suburbs of Montgomery County like Westbard, Chevy Chase, Potomac, Kensington, Rockville, Wheaton, etc. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

Anonymous said...

How stupid of Dyer to compare "new" downtowns to "old" downtowns. First, those "old" downtowns are almost always architecturally homogenous. Walk around various DC neighborhoods and literally every building on the block is identical to the every other building on the block (save color, sometimes). The "new" downtowns of Rockville, Silver Spring, Bethesda Row, White Flint are all excellent spaces that have near-universal appeal. They're well executed and thought out.

If you don't like them, that's fine, but quit pretending that everyone else on the planet are fucking idiots because they enjoy the spaces. You aren't better than us, Dyer. You whine that we're all elitists when you're the asshole pissing on everyone.

Anonymous said...

I like Rockville Town Square and the other new developments, but old downtowns are not homogeneous architecture. They tend to be the opposite since they are developed organically.

Anonymous said...

White Flint lost two of its three anchors in just a year. How many times do you need to be reminded of this? NOT a viable mall.

Why do you keep persisting in these fantasies that are directly contradicted by reality?

Anonymous said...

"I do believe the 1950s-80s were the pinnacle of suburban development, in creating...green space."

What an utter crock.

Anonymous said...

Completely dead mall whenever I went.

Anonymous said...

"I was definitely not happy to see Hot Shoppes, Lowens, Swensen's, Baronet II, and the railroad go. But once that decision was made..."

Are you suggesting that all, or even any, of these places closed because of any urban planning decision? I can assure you that Swensen's and the Baronet II were closed long before the Bethesda Square/Woodmont Corner building was demolished in 2005. And same deal with the Hot Shoppes - gone several years before that site was cleared in 1998. Lowen's went out of business in 1992, but the building which housed it is still there.

Really, I thought you knew local history better than that.

Robert Dyer said...

8:13: Not every town is homogenous, but you are missing the point: the problem is that the town centers look like other town centers, not that they are uniform within their own property.

People may like the businesses in them, but few are thrilled about the bland, cookie cutter design of them.

Robert Dyer said...

3:02: Plenty of malls lose anchors and replace them. The mall was otherwise fully leased, and the restaurants were still drawing a crowd.

Robert Dyer said...

7:56: Nice try. Hot Shoppes disappeared everywhere, not just in Bethesda. The disappearance of some of the businesses I mentioned, as well as others I didn't, absolutely WAS the result of a planning decision. Land use decisions that incentivized demolition of existing businesses and properties in downtown Bethesda were made long before the redevelopment occurred.

Anonymous said...

Swensen's closed its locations in Tenley and Georgetown as well as that in Bethesda. They currently have only three locations in the entire country (San Francisco, Coral Gables, FL and Midland, TX). Absolutely nothing to do with any "planning decision". The Bethesda location closed long before the Bethesda Square/Woodmont Corner building was demolished in 2005.

The KB Baronet West closed in 1988. The Georgetown Square/Woodmont Corner building was demolished in 2005.

Lowen's went out of business in 1992 because the owner retired. THE BUILDING WHICH HOUSED IT IS STILL THERE.

THE DEMISE OF THESE BUSINESSES HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH COUNTY PLANNING POLICIES.

Why do you persist in your silly notions which are so easily disproven?

Also, what is it that you miss about "the railroad"? A once-a-week coal train to the GSA plant in Georgetown? To a coal generating plant that is no longer there? Do you realize it was CSX's decision to abandon this rail line?

Do you want all of Montgomery County to be frozen in time, as a museum to your childhood? It sure seems that way.

Anonymous said...

"the town centers look like other town centers"

"the bland, cookie cutter design of them."

And he just keeps repeating his talking points without even bothering to consider why most commenting here don't feel they are true. What's the point of even having a discussion?

Anonymous said...

"Nice try. Hot Shoppes disappeared everywhere, not just in Bethesda."

Yes, that was my point. Apparently you're too clueless to realize that your comment of 7:40 PM implied that the demise of the Bethesda Hot Shoppes was due to a County "decision" rather than the demise of the chain.

"[T]here's no compelling argument for change in the suburbs of Montgomery County like Westbard, Chevy Chase, Potomac, Kensington, Rockville, Wheaton..."

Originally your argument was that Westbard shouldn't have increased density because it is not near a Metro station. Now you're excluding areas that are actually near Metro stations - Rockville and Wheaton, as well? What is your basis for opposing redevelopment of every place in the county... EXCEPT BETHESDA? There is no consistency in your arguments at all.

Anonymous said...

Other tha the couple of big restaurants, no one else seemed to have been doing well. And there were no customers in the mall.

Robert Dyer said...

5:56: Frank, the closures of some businesses and demolitions of some buildings in Bethesda were absolutely the result of planning decisions made back in the 1970s and 80s. Just because a particular property didn't redevelop until years later, it doesn't mean there wasn't a connection. The same sort of plans and decisions were responsible for the decline of the commercial areas in Glenmont and Wheaton, and those officials can't shirk responsibility for that just because the media is in their back pocket.

Yes, I know the rail line was abandoned. One factor in the abandonment was the railroad's awareness that Montgomery County's long-term plans would eliminate the industrial areas where it might have otherwise found future customers. But why did the County drop the ball and tear up the tracks, rather than develop commuter rail service from Silver Spring to Georgetown? That was a huge mistake. The Purple Line fiasco is those chickens coming home to roost now. Montgomery County's "brilliant" politicians have repeatedly proven they don't recognize nor care about highly valuable transportation facilities, whether they be for roads, railroads or streetcars.

No, I don't think everything should be frozen in time. But there's no reason to get rid of the good along with the bad.

Robert Dyer said...

6:47: You're all over the place here, and making all kinds of broad generalizations.

Westbard is not near a Metro station. Therefore, high-density and urban-style development is completely inappropriate and irresponsible there.

Urban areas in edge cities like downtown Bethesda and downtown Silver Spring are appropriate for high-density. I never said just Bethesda alone.

All Metro stations are not created equal. Development appropriate at Dupont Circle or downtown Bethesda may not appropriate at Twinbrook or Glenmont. Some stations are located adjacent to single-family home neighborhoods, and it would be absurd to have high-rises there. The point of Metro to Glenmont or Shady Grove wasn't to build cities out there; it was to get as many people as possible to ride to work on Metro rather than use the roads. Of course developers approach this differently, with profits in mind.

As I've repeatedly said, Metro capacity declines the farther out you go on the Red Line. It also becomes more and more inconvenient for the commuter, and a less attractive option. Therefore, sensible planning would never try to put the density of population applicable to an edge city to Rockville or Glenmont. You're just putting more cars on the road, and destroying the suburban character of the neighborhoods out there.

This is a well-reasoned approach to development, and I have been consistent all along. I've lost count of how many times I went over this philosophy when I ran for office last year.

Robert Dyer said...

8:27: What year are you referring to? 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013? Of course things declined after shops started to shut down, but prior to that, the mall was fully-leased. If the businesses could pay their rent, they must have been moderately successful at least.

Albert said...

Doesn't mean there was "absolutely" a connection either. I'm just saying. :)

Anonymous said...

LOL, I am making zero "generalizations". I am pointing out how YOUR generalizations are hilariously wrong, on a point-by-point basis.

"You're just putting more cars on the road, and destroying the suburban character of the neighborhoods out there."

That has to be your most hilarious statement of the new year.

"the closures of some businesses and demolitions of some buildings in Bethesda were absolutely the result of planning decisions made back in the 1970s and 80s. Just because a particular property didn't redevelop until years later, it doesn't mean there wasn't a connection"

LOL, keep clinging to your nonsense. I repeat, the demise of Hot Shoppes, Lowens, Swensens and the K-B Baronet West had nothing to do with County policies.

"Some stations are located adjacent to single-family home neighborhoods, and it would be absurd to have high-rises there"

Why? Why must single-family neighborhoods remain such in perpetuity? That's not how cities grow.

Anonymous said...

"But why did the County drop the ball and tear up the tracks, rather than develop commuter rail service from Silver Spring to Georgetown?"

First, the County didn't "tear up the tracks". That would be CSX. Scrap iron is valuable, and track-related equipment can be reused on other lines.

Second, your position on "commuter rail service from Silver Spring to Georgetown" hilariously contradicts your position on the Purple Line.

Do you EVER check what you write to see if there is any consistency in your positions?

Robert Dyer said...

6:30: Good, now at least you're acknowledging that the plan is to encroach and demolish single-family home residential neighborhoods.

Did Lowen's go out of business by choice, or was it no longer able to keep up with rising rents?

Robert Dyer said...

6:36: If the stated purpose was to maintain a rail facility for commuters, why would they have allowed the tracks to be torn up? The current Purple Line concept is nothing like the original commuter rail plan I am referring to, which was first proposed in 1955 by the County Council. Tearing up tracks while claiming support for commuter rail indeed raises questions of "consistency in their positions."

pstock said...

@Robert Dyer: What year are you referring to? 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013? Of course things declined after shops started to shut down, but prior to that, the mall was fully-leased.

Dunno about that, I seem to think that way prior to 2010 that there were quite a few empty storefronts there. And IMHO having regular business offices up on the top floor does not necessarily qualify as the best use of retail space. Face it, the Lerners pretty much screwed the pooch with bad leasing policies.