Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Condo demand slipping outside of downtown Bethesda?

Some post-recession condo buildings in downtown Bethesda have gotten off to a strong start in sales. Hampden Row was 50% sold before there was even a model unit to tour, according to Toll Brothers. Four hundred people turned out for the first sales event held for Duball, LLC's Cheval Bethesda ultra-luxury condo tower, expected to deliver in February 2018. I'm still waiting for occupancy numbers for The Darcy, The Lauren, and Stonehall Bethesda. One project is already making a switch: The developer of Quarry Springs, which had an approval for another 47 condo units at the former quarry site on River Road just west of Seven Locks Road, is requesting an amendment from Montgomery County to change those to 44 townhomes.

Given the closeness in the number of units, it's not so much a lack of housing demand, but perhaps indicates a market preference for townhomes in that particular area. Unlike the urban buildings above, the perks of condo living are far less when there's nothing in walking distance outside the front door. What the quarry site does offer is excellent access for automobile travel, being only a minute away from the Capital Beltway on-ramps. 
How the finished development will look
from River Road
Profit margin is an intriguing consideration. The existing condo units at the site start at $1.99 million apiece. Those townhouses will have to be opulent, large and feature-laden to command even that much in a market where large homes closer-in to Metro and D.C. can be had for that price, or slightly more. There will be no MPDUs among the new Quarry townhomes; a payment will be made by the developer to the County's housing initiative fund.

The Montgomery County Planning Board will take up the request at their December 21 meeting. Planning staff is recommending approval of the amendment, with conditions.

Renderings via Montgomery County Planning Department


Anonymous said...

I think for that kind of money and not in downtown, buyers do prefer townhouses. You get your own garage and roof deck for your private use.

The fancy townhouse off Little Falls Road (Willet Springs Way I think it's called?) is a good example of this. It's done well, and I think Quarry Springs would end up with something like that.

I personally would not spend that kind of $$ and be living so close to other people, but I can understand why people do like that.

Baloney Concrete said...

Moribund, shmoribund.

400 people turned out for the sales event for an "ultra-luxury" development? And we're to believe all the wealth is "fleeing"? Baloney, indeed!

Donald Trump said...


Robert Dyer said...

9:51: Once again, you don't understand that economic development is not just about real estate development. And that people buying $1 million condos are NOT the "ultra-rich" who are fleeing.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

I never understood why there were expensive condos - rather than townhomes - out there in the first place. Maybe for retirees with mobility issues/looking for single-floor housing? Though I'd think the townhouses will have elevators, anyways.

Anonymous said...

The first phase of Quarry Springs condos sold pretty poorly. Sfhs make a lot more sense at the location. Condos are for a. dense areas where space is limited or b. buyers who can't afford a sfh.

I agree with others who have pointed out that the wealthy are not "fleeing" Montgomery County. The county has more millionaires and billionaires than at any other point in history. Any economist will tell you that real estate development is a very good indicator of economic health and growth. It was the real estate market that caused the recession in the first place.

Anonymous said...

I'm thinking this is B.S.. I think Robert just wants us to all believe its true so he can further hamper progress in Westbard.

Condo's are doing fine, there are just a ton of new buildings that opened. Likely there was a lot of pent up demand that got a quick relief but now we are on more steady ground that there are multiple buildings are available.

Another smear job by Robert when it concerns his neighborhood. How sad.

Anonymous said...

11:06 AM condos in downtown Bethesda have always had a premium in price over Westbard, Democracy, etc. They are more desirable.

Anonymous said...

Townhomes at this location always seemed to make more sense. Demand obviously wasn’t there.

Anonymous said...

Can Westbard please get a restaurant approved prior to another massive ugly storage building.
How many more decades do we have to wait?

Anonymous said...

You'll get a few chain places like subway with regency's plan.