Monday, May 18, 2015

Newlands Building wants to make exterior changes by Bethesda Metro station (Photos)

They've been replacing the pavers on the plaza on one side of the Newlands Building recently. Now more upgrades are in store. The Chevy Chase Land Company's landmark tower is requesting permission from Montgomery County to make several exterior changes along the Woodmont Avenue and North Lane sides of the building.

If approved, a canopy of unspecified size would be installed near the intersection of North and Woodmont. The existing drop-off driveway on North Lane would be removed, and there would be a solid curb from Woodmont up to the Newlands' underground garage entrance driveway. This was previously used primarily for valet parking purposes, but losing it would make it more difficult for drop-offs and deliveries. The other street sides of the building are primarily bordered by active traffic lanes, meaning short-term visitors either would have to block traffic, or park in the garage.

Finally, there would be modest landscaping changes and exterior lighting improvements. Also known as 2 Bethesda Metro Center, the Newlands Building is directly across North Lane from the Bethesda Metro station.
This vehicle-accessible drop-off driveway
on North Lane would be closed off


Anonymous said...

In the downtown Bethesda staff draft plan I am glad they are taking the idea of turning these one way streets into two way streets. Right now it feels like highway exit ramp. But I don't think that alone would activate this stretch.

Anonymous said...

If they continue to put stuff like drive thru banks on woodmont, then I don't expect much success.

Anonymous said...

@ 5:54 AM - I'm not aware of any new drive thru banks on Woodmont. There were only two until the Sun Trust was torn down to make way for Pizzeria di Marco and the boxing studio, now it's just the Capital One and that driveway doesn't really front Woodmont directly.

Anonymous said...

They're planning a td drive thru bank at the corner of Woodmont and Old Georgetown. Robert reported on this, search his archives.

Really bad planning since, obviously, it will deactivate that key corner and be closed all evening.

Anonymous said...

That side of the building is sort of a dead zone. I kind of view it like the big loading dock/delivery road anyway. There are also loads of jaywalkers crossing to get to the kiss 'n ride section of the metro station. I wonder if they can come up with a better redesign here. It's quite ugly as-is.

Anonymous said...

@ 7:52 AM - Because the Shell station currently at that site totally "activates" that corner.

Anonymous said...

Of course a mixed use building with retail would do a better job, but honestly that has station does more for the spot than a bank would.

Robert Dyer said...

9:26: Actually the Shell station does activate the corner of Woodmont & Old Georgetown by virtue of being open, lit, and having activity after banker's hours. I'm in favor of putting mixed-use on that steps-to-Metro site, but would take Shell over the bank any day of the week.

Anonymous said...

Agreed on the service station. At least it's open in the evening, has activity, etc.

A bank really has to be the worst option in terms of activity.

That part of Woodmont is bad enough there with the concrete walls of the Christopher and Metropolitan dominating. It's not the most inviting pedestrian experience at night.

If they refuse to put a high rise there, then do a small scale restaurant or something. There is space...remember the small house next door is part of the property.