Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Equity One files Westbard sketch plan with Montgomery County

Developer Equity One has officially filed its sketch plan for 22 acres of property it owns along Westbard Avenue and Ridgefield Road in Bethesda with the Montgomery County Planning Department. A tentative public hearing date for the project before the Montgomery County Planning Board has been set for November 3, 2016. Note that the date could change.

I have received a hard copy of the sketch plan filed, and it appears to match the one previewed by Equity One at a pre-submission community meeting held on June 1. Heights displayed on the hard copy map show 45' for a townhome development on the Manor Care site, 50' for townhomes that will be built behind the new Westwood Shopping Center, 60' for the three new retail buildings on the Westwood Shopping Center site, 75' for a new building on the Westwood Center II property, 85' for two buildings that would replace the Citgo I gas station and front parking lot of Westwood Tower, and 122' for the new building that would replace Bowlmor and the Citgo II gas station.

The non-conforming Westwood Tower high-rise would be "made conforming" by rezoning it for 165'. That property, and additional land around it, are under the control of the Housing Opportunities Commission.

Equity One expects to begin construction in the 1st Quarter of 2018 if the approval process stays on schedule.


Anonymous said...

I can't wait for that whole area to be zoned for 165'!

Anonymous said...

7:47 Give it another 20-30 years.
Of course, then you'll be one of the NIMBYs.

Robert Dyer said...

7:47: It will likely be taller than that when they extend the Purple Line to Westbard. That's why they're waiting to rezone River Road, and giving Westwood Tower and the Kenwood Professional Building the ability to demolish and replace their older high-rises.

Anonymous said...

The Kenwood Professional Building is 7 stories. That's mid-rise, not "high-rise".

Robert said...

Are hose old non conforming towers now conforming with the rezoning?

Anonymous said...

The Great Berliner Westbard 2016 bait &switch scam moves one step closer to reality.. Montgomery County corruption at its finest!

Anonymous said...

There is an underlying method to the apparent madness in county plans to rezone aged shopping centers such as Westbard, Wildwood and Georgetown Square for high density mixed use development. County planners are coy because revealing too much too soon will ignite a firestorm among cave dwellers who can’t (or refuse to) see the future.

The county sees the future of lower MoCo as a collection of transit linked “nodes.” Westbard is essential for residents of West Bethesda and Rock Spring which they see as (including Montgomery Mall through Wildwood) is essential for North Bethesda and Potomac. In a future of transit on demand, the nodes will provide door to door link to the transit backbone.

By rezoning these areas to higher density mixed-use area, the planners are ensuring that transit links will be built (they will be essential). Once transit spine reaches River Road and Montgomery Mall, a link to Tysons is much easier. Tysons is already emerging as the commercial center of the DMV region.

Robert Dyer said...

7:21: They should not have been, but they are.

6:09: True - it's the reverse of Tysons, where they put the Silver Line in first ahead of the development. Here, they're going to jam the roads - and more importantly, simply raise the population density - to a level that will justify extending the Purple Line. The problem is, how are they going to pay for it? More taxes? The Purple Line contract puts taxpayers on the hook for low ridership, and will drain funds that could have been used for more urgent transportation priorities (like roads that 85% [91% in "Westbard"] of residents use to get to work).

Anonymous said...

Is Dyer seriously trying to claim that there was no development in Tysons Corner before the Silver Line opened in 2014?

Anonymous said...

6:50 is just plain silly. Of course there was SOME development - but the boom (have you been there recently?) coincided with the arrival of the Silver Line.

MoCo will never be so forward looking. The best they can do is create a problem that will require a fix.

Anonymous said...

"Of course there was SOME development"

LOL. And what about Reston and Herndon?



"MoCo will never be so forward looking"

Please move to Virginia. Maybe you could find a cheap apartment in that vacant skyscraper in Rosslyn.

Anonymous said...

1:52 needs some help with Virginia geography. I'd suggest Google Maps, but it might be too complicated.

Move to Virginia? That's for the rich folks we all work for.

Robert Dyer said...

6'50: There was no transit-oriented residential development in Tysons until the Silver Line was approved and under construction. Fairfax did things in the right order - they had the jobs, they had the retail, and THEN they put big boy pants on and responsibly built the Metro before adding housing. One of the first residential projects completed, in fact, has an ingenious skybridge to the Metro station.