Monday, May 14, 2018

Starbucks, Jos. A Bank & Carroll Community Bank to be replaced with apartment tower (Photos)

The Montgomery County Planning Board and County Council's claim that the Bethesda Downtown sector plan would be built out over decades is becoming increasingly laughable. Another downtown block is now being proposed for redevelopment, raising more questions about school capacity and the total allowable number of units being reached under the sector plan. A new proposal for a residential tower at 7126 Wisconsin Avenue would replace the Starbucks, a Jos. A. Bank menswear store, and a recently-opened Carroll Community Bank branch.

7126 Wisconsin's developer will leverage excess density from the Montgomery Women's Farm Market site across the street to add bonus density to the project. That project will consist of a 225', 22-story tower with 260 residential units, and 7200 SF of retail space. Vehicle access to the building (parking and loading dock) will be from Miller Avenue, and parking will be in a 4-level underground garage.

The plan again leverages the farm market across the street as the green space, as opposed to providing open space on the site of the building. Giving developers credit for not redeveloping a site that legally can't be redeveloped anyway isn't helping increase the amount of open space downtown.

The farm market is at bottom, facing the proposed new
residential tower across Wisconsin Avenue


33 comments:

Anonymous said...

So build it in Westbard instead.

Anonymous said...

"7126 Wisconsin's developer will leverage excess density from the Montgomery Women's Farm Market site across the street to add bonus density to the project...The plan again leverages the farm market across the street as the green space, as opposed to providing open space on the site of the building. Giving developers credit for not redeveloping a site that legally can't be redeveloped anyway isn't helping increase the amount of open space downtown."

You understand how "transfer density" works, don't you, Dyer?

"a site that legally can't be redeveloped anyway"

Wrong. The Bethesda Farm Women's Market is private property, and not a designated historic landmark.

Anonymous said...

5:28 AM, you’re wrong. The farm market is on the Maryland Register of Historic Places and cannot be redeveloped. It is privately owned, by a cooperative, and will be sold to another private owner who must leave the structure as it is. It’s a complicated transaction that involves this property on Miller Avenue and the property directly to the south of the market, both of which get extra height in exchange.

Anonymous said...

Worst Jos. A Bank location I have ever been to.

Anonymous said...

Now imagine if Dyer's dreams of building a freeway behind the Farm Woman's Market had come to pass.

http://bp2.blogger.com/_BZaPGsbLyHM/SDhlzonyh_I/AAAAAAAABwk/vZzxBOE-SvI/s1600-h/Bethesda_1965_1280.JPG

Roald said...

Big, big, big!

Seems like every morning I wake up and Robert Dyer is reporting on new development!

Anonymous said...

Does this include Vace's Pizza, Lance's Beer & Wine, and Capital One?

Anonymous said...

"Giving developers credit for not redeveloping a site that legally can't be redeveloped anyway isn't helping increase the amount of open space downtown."

The Farm Women's Market is surrounded by concrete and asphalt. Foulger-Pratt and Bernstein propose to surround it with lawn and plantings, and the entire county parking lot to the rear is supposed to converted to a massive park.

How is this not an increase in open space?

Anonymous said...

"The Montgomery County Planning Board and County Council's claim that the Bethesda Downtown sector plan would be built out over decades is becoming increasingly laughable."

It really is laughable how often he contradicts himself. He lauds developers projects then turns around and castigates them as greedy and corrupt. He says the county is moribund and then complains that too much development is happening. I don't think anyone takes him seriously anymore.

Anonymous said...

Any word of how the Women’s Farm Market building would be used? Leased as a new restaurant or food hall, with adjacent outdoor terrace seating, or as a multi-tenant food market as it is currently used. Hopefully the new owners will ditch the cheesy outdoor and indoor flea market uses. I assume the functional uses and site/building upgrades would be tied to the adjacent high rise approvals. Interesting that they traverse the market site to access the apartment drop off and parking deck entrance. I also see that the adjacent parking lot east of the site is shown with a green tone, implying that the city could build an underground deck and ad a green spaces on top at grade.

Both of these towers and the enhancements to the market site seem like a great idea, and would create a nice bracketed southern gateway to the city. The architecture looks similar, so I assume one firm is designing both. I see that both have cantilevered corners that face each other, which might enhance the gateway idea.

Do we know the design firm?

Anonymous said...

Buh Bye Vace!

Anonymous said...

And you won't be able to move anywhere. Millennials don't have cars and don't want one. But the rest of us are gonna suffer. Bethesda is changing and that's fine. But greenlighting every, single project on every corner is just unreal.

Anonymous said...

"Every corner" does not have a project. Over-the top exaggerations and generalizations don't strengthen your arguments.

Baloney Concrete said...

::whines about moribundity::

::whines about rapid pace of development::

::stealthily deletes comments with vague references to imaginary "comment policy"::

...rinse, repeat.

Anonymous said...

2:05 - over the top huh? you don't live in Bethesda that's obvious. There's no exaggeration here. There are a dozen large-scale projects that are currently or soon to be underway.

Robert Dyer said...

5:53: You apparently share the County Council's nutty belief that residential development = economic development. Economic development is largely about jobs and business growth, not luxury housing.

Residential housing has proven to cost us more in services and infrastructure costs than it generates in revenue for the County.

This is an expensive area that will always have demand for housing. But as the numbers show, that has not prevented our economy from becoming moribund. 3000 net new businesses this decade in both Fairfax and D.C.

How many net new businesses in MoCo over the same period? Six. SIX! Humiliating!

Robert Dyer said...

7:01: MoCo collected all of that tax...and has a $208 million budget shortfall for FY-2019. I am proven correct again.

Robert Dyer said...

6:56: MoCo's 31% increase in murders is a police statistic. It is fact.

Baloney Concrete said...

6:13: Yes! Jobs! Whenever a store closes you trot out the figure of how many retail jobs have disappeared over the past however many years (ignoring the fact that this is part of a much larger macroeconomic trend). Do you know what stores need to survive? Customers. Do you know who shops at stores? Residents!

You also love to accuse Hans Reimer of heading up a “failed” nightlife initiative. Do you know who patronizes bars and restaurants? RESIDENTS!

You also have a penchant for whining about the county’s budget deficits. Do you know who pays taxes into the county coffers? All together now...

...RESIDENTS!!!

Anonymous said...

"Greenlighting every, single project on every corner is just unreal."

"There are a dozen large-scale projects that are currently or soon to be underway."

There are a lot more than "a dozen corners" in Bethesda.

Robert Dyer said...

7:47: Dead wrong again. If loss of jobs was a "larger macroeconomic trend," Fairfax and D.C. wouldn't have each enjoyed a net gain of 3000 new business enterprises this decade. Montgomery County had only six.

Riemer indeed led the failed nighttime economy initiative, which has led to the closure of 15 nightspots in downtown Bethesda alone. Most of those places were packed on weekend, and even Thursday, nights. It certainly wasn't a lack of customers, but rather the policies of Riemer et al that drove them out of business.

Residents are paying a record level of taxes - it's the Council members who have run up a $208 million budget shortfall, not the residents. You can only blame residents for the County's finances if they don't vote for me in November. Then it really will be their fault.

Anonymous said...

Did Riemer enact some sort of “Everybody in bed by 10PM” law that I am not aware of? Is is possible that the demographics of Bethesda have shifted to a more mature resident that has stopped going to clubs? Is it possible that many of these residents can afford 65” 4K TV’s and surround sound systems to stream movies from Netflix and Amazon in their $4K per month high rise apartments, and therefore stopped attending midnight screenings of your favorite movie, Napoleon Dynamite, at the crappy Regal? Every apartment resident pays state and local income tax. Every condo owner and apartment landlord pays both state and local taxes as well as very substantial property tax. Most of these new high rises have minimal school age children to burden the school system. New elderly housing is being added to enhance services for seniors. New and enhanced park space is being created all over the city.

Yes more businesses including services, offices, retail and restaurants are always good. Can you really argue that these new higher density residents are bad for Bethesda. By my rough math, the new offices in the pipeline will bring over 10,000 new workers to the city by 2022. All of these buildings seem to include ground level retail or service spaces. By my rough math, the pipeline includes over 3500 new multi-family residential units. So 13,500 new workers, retailers, restaurant staff and residents is evidence of a moribund economy?

Do you just like to scream that the sky is falling because you think that will get you elected? High density, thoughtfully designed, mixed use projects with active street scapes and buried constrained parking, located close to transit is ALWAYS a good idea for economic stability and growth.

Anonymous said...

9:06 - And there are plenty of assholes and everybody has one.

Anna said...

4:27AM - Yup. He's the king of henny-pennying.

Robert Dyer said...

4:27: Regal Cinemas has been demolished. Napoleon Dynamite is not my favorite movie.

You seem to have assumed the new office space will actually be filled. If the retail and restaurants close, as they have all over downtown Bethesda, your numbers also fall short of reality.

There is little to no new park space being created, unless you count a green postage stamp or hardscaped lot as a "park," as Casey "This is Starbucks, call the police" Anderson does.

Apartments generate students in great numbers. Over 50% of BCC students live in apartments. Their residents indeed pay taxes, but as our budget shortfall shows, that revenue is greatly exceeded by the costs in services and infrastructure they generate.

Anonymous said...

4747 Bethesda is 81% pre leased, and still 1.5 years from being open. 7272 Wisconsin has signed Fox5 News as a large mult-floor tenant with studios, and is still at least 3.5 years from being open. Marriott HQ is being built by a developer and is of 100% leased for a very long lease and 4 years from being open. Both new hotels at Marriott and the AC Hotel at the Avocet Tower have signed deals with hoteliers. That’s at least 6000 new office and maybe 100 new hotel staff, and several hundred new hotel guests every night, even at 75% occupancy. All of the new residential towers will also employee leasing and maintenance staff, so several hundred more workforce and hospitality jobs in the pipeline as well.

We live in a very large multifamily building with at least 300 residents, and at most, 6 kids get on and off the schoolbus each morning and afternoon, and maybe 10 walk to high school. Very low percentage of school age children compared to single family houses.

Anonymous said...

I woudl concur that garden style apartments, with a more afforadble price point, and a higher percentage of 2 and 3 bed room units would have more school age children than nw high rise apartments. Of course new garden style units are not being built. At $4K for a nice two bedroom unit and $5.5 K for a three bedroom unit, i still contend very few residents have school age children, and many that do are likely to use private schools, which further reducs the burden on the admiditly crowded public school system. I just think your observation that this type of high rise density is a bad thing for the region. In some cases its not so good for sunlight if you live on the north side, but that is a different problem.

Capital Cresent Trail Plaza will become a permanent public space once the Puple Line trailers are moved out. Farm Women's Market might become a permanent green space. Vetrans Plaza might be expanded. Two surface parking lots east of Wisconsin might become below grade parking with green space at grade. Ride you bike or thake the Purple Line to the incredible Rock Creek Park just east of Bethesda. Norwood Local Park provides a great green space with ball fields. Behesda has a ton of green space and parks.

Robert Dyer said...

3:22/2:32: That may have been true in the 70s, but not anymore. Families used to have 4, 6 or 8 kids in many homes in 20816. Convinced by propaganda to have only 2.5 kids today, families in single-family homes are producing less students, while apartments are producing more.

That's why over 50% of BCC students are from apartment buildings. That's why Bethesda ES is already in danger of moratorium only months after passage of the Bethesda Downtown plan - to be quickly remedied by MCPS and the developer-controlled Council putting a "paper school" that will never actually be built into the "budget."

I actually like high-rises. I'm a fan of Dubai and Shanghai skyscrapers. But you have to provide the school, road, and park infrastructure to support it, as well as the expensive services. Montgomery County currently does not do this, having a Planning Board and Council literally controlled by developers.

Most of the residents in the new buildings are not paying the going rate that you or I would pay if we went into the leasing office today. They are coming in through a contract housing arrangement, which raises housing discrimination issues. It also boosts the number of kids in the buildings as a result.

CCT Plaza, as you call it, will be taken over by Purple Line tracks when it extends to Westbard and Sumner Place. Veterans Plaza will not be expanded, due to the outcome of the 7-Eleven block development.

There are no parks in "Westbard" besides the strip of the CCT that runs through it. I don't expect those parking lots behind Wisconsin to become parks any year soon. Who will pay for it? It worked to shut up some of the nearby critics, but in reality, that was the only reason it was put in there.

As far as office space/jobs - have you driven through Tysons recently? What you just outlined is a joke compared to the number of jobs and office buildings coming online there this year alone. Capital One tower just by itself - 'nuff said.

Baloney Concrete said...

"Most of the residents in the new buildings are not paying the going rate that you or I would pay if we went into the leasing office today."

[citation needed]

Anonymous said...

"That may have been true in the 70s, but not anymore. Families used to have 4, 6 or 8 kids in many homes in 20816. Convinced by propaganda to have only 2.5 kids today, families in single-family homes are producing less students, while apartments are producing more. "

What in the bloody hell are you babbling about tonight, Dyer? You're about four hours early for your "office hours".

Anonymous said...

"Families used to have 4, 6 or 8 kids in many homes in 20816. Convinced by propaganda to have only 2.5 kids today, families in single-family homes are producing less students, while apartments are producing more"

How come 8 kids per household way back when didn't cause a problem with our schools?

Anonymous said...

"There are no parks in "Westbard" besides the strip of the CCT that runs through it."

Little Falls Parkway doesn't exist? How long have you lived in Westbard, Robert?

Baloney Concrete said...

Baloney Concrete 3:46 AM
The “larger macroeconomic trend” refers to the decline of retail. Try to keep up.

You have a precise count of how many “nightspots” have closed but how many have opened? You report on new businesses opening every day!! And what counts as a “nightspot” anyway?

In your last paragraph you conflate level with volume. Again, try to keep up.

Reply

Baloney Concrete3 :49 AM
For anyone interested in the context behind Dyer’s “31% spike” hysterics, here are the number of homicides in the county since 2007:

19, 21, 12, 17, 16, 15, 8, 19, 30, 16, 21

Why do you keep deleting this comment, Mr. Dyer? Are you afraid that if your readers have all the facts they might not agree with you? If your platform depends on only telling half the story...you might not have a winning argument.