At a community meeting last night, representatives for the applicant said the future of Bus Rapid Transit on Wisconsin Avenue - and the specific property demands it might ultimately place on their development site - aren't yet clear. But the County is pushing the developer to turn over right-of-way on the Wisconsin side of the project for BRT, and a potential BRT station at Cordell Avenue, anyway.
Never mind that this fanciful BRT right-of-way could never be extended all the way down to Bethesda Avenue as BRT proponents are claiming. So why punish this one property owner for a looney plan that has no chance of ever coming to fruition (homes and a historic movie theater stand in the way, to name just two examples of immovable objects that block the extension of the right-of-way)? I haven't heard a credible answer yet. But Douglas is going to comply with the demand.
|Diagram shows how building will|
bump out above the street-level lobby,
to provide room for BRT on
Vaias said an additional floor of parking could be added, or additional "parking systems," in the event of a condo conversion.
Speaking of conversions, the units with bedrooms and living rooms on the south side of the building will have east and west-facing windows, in case the southern windows have to be bricked-up should someone build a high-rise next door (former Bruce Variety building, for example).
The majority of the 4500 SF of retail space will still be taken up by a restaurant planned for the corner of Woodmont and Cordell Avenues. Douglas is counting on the lobby entrance to enliven Wisconsin Avenue, but the Cordell Avenue side of the property will pretty much be dominated by the garage entrance and loading dock area. What Cordell will have, is a bike lane, which Douglas is facilitating by donating a 5' right-of-way for that purpose.
Externally, the aim of the exterior design will be to utilize gray masonry, and there will be a sweeping curve to the structure on the Cordell side.
Inside, expect 1 and 2-bedroom units; no studios or 3-bedrooms are planned. There will be about 2 2-bedrooms per floor. The rooftop club level will incorporate a pool, spa, club room, game room and fire pit.
The applicant's next step will be to submit its preliminary plan, which was held up by the BRT absurdity. Douglas would prefer an extension so it can file the preliminary plan and the site plan together, Vaias said. If all goes according to plan, construction would begin in mid-2016, and take about 18 months to complete.
Staging for the construction site would be along Cordell and Woodmont Avenues.