Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Westbard Self Storage development could add to Willett Branch parkland in Bethesda (Photos)

View from River Road
and Capital Crescent Trail
The developer of a new self-storage facility behind the McDonald's on River Road plans to dedicate the remaining portion of the property to the planned Willett Branch stream greenway park, according to representatives at a meeting last night at Westland Middle School in Bethesda. While the Westbard Self Storage building's footprint will extend out into the roadway that currently separates the property from the McDonald's retaining wall, the developer will also leave a space for Montgomery County to build a pedestrian path. The path would provide access down to the Willett Branch park.
View from Bethesda Collision
(a.k.a. Channel 20); future
pedestrian path visible at
right beneath McDonald's
retaining wall
Utility lines currently in the path of the proposed 4-story self-storage building may be undergrounded, the applicant's attorney, Timothy Dugan said. The building will replace an existing auto repair facility on the site, but will not require demolition of the adjacent Bethesda Collision body shop and Enterprise Rent-a-Car (a.k.a. the Channel 20 building). From the McDonald's/River Road side, the structure looks like a standard self-storage structure. Looking from the Channel 20 building, it almost looks like a low-rise apartment building, save for the storage unit doors visible through the large windows.
This portion of the property
(within red lines) is planned
to be dedicated for the
Willett Branch stream park
The entire property
(bow tie shape within
red lines), with the
self storage project in
color at lower right
In short, the project is in keeping with the industrial character of the River Road area, but will also provide some significant benefits to the proposed park, and another future access point to it from River Road, McDonald's and the CCT. There will also be some landscaping, as there is at the McDonald's out front.


Anonymous said...

Another self-storage facility in Westbard? Doesn't anyone around here ever throw anything away? Yet another business I will never step foot in..jeez

Anonymous said...

Looks to me like this developer is trying to be responsive to the community:

-Negotiated delivery of a significant amount of land for green space, relative to the size of the site.
-Effort to place utilities underground. (This should be a contingent condition imposed by the County.)
-Relatively thoughtful design, especially for a storage facility.

Too bad that the Planning Department, the Planning Board and the County Council did not require that similar care be taken with the redevelopment of the larger Westbard project.

Nice to see that the developer of this storage facility is trying to be a good citizen.

Anonymous said...