Tuesday, September 08, 2015
Mural added to Lot 667 redevelopment plan on St. Elmo Ave. in Bethesda (Photos)
The redevelopment plan, created by the architecture firm of Steven J. Karr, AIA, Inc., would add floors to some of the existing structures, delete one current vehicle driveway, and create new public space. Greenhill seeks to increase the maximum developable non-residential space on the site from 19,835 SF to 25,259 square feet. The Montgomery County Planning Board will take up the project at its September 17 meeting. Planning staff is recommending approval of the project.
Proposed public space on the site will be on both Fairmont and St. Elmo Avenues. A previous design rendering for public space on St. Elmo was shown on the SJKAIA, Inc. website, but the mural described in planning documents isn't shown in that earlier image. The latest blueprint-style rendering indicates that the mural will be on an existing wall of the Red Tomato Cafe building. Amenities will include landscaping, Bethesda Streetscape-standard brick pavers, a scored concrete surface, and chess/checkers tables.
An early design study did show a large mural on the Fairmont side, but that space was eliminated by a later design (it was where the vehicle entrance is off of Fairmont today). SJKAIA also designed a mural for a new retail building on Cordell Avenue, which has attracted a lot of attention for its New York via Las Vegas theme.
The driveway off of St. Elmo (depicted in the top image) will become the sole vehicle access for deliveries and trash removal, creating a better walking environment for pedestrians and a more unified design. Located within the urban parking lot district, Lot 667 does not have to include parking in its design.
Here are new aerial/blueprint-style renderings of the proposed public spaces on Fairmont (901.67 SF) and St. Elmo (975.39 SF):
Renderings courtesy Steven J. Karr, AIA, Inc.
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