Friday, June 29, 2018

8000 Wisconsin project aiming for 2021 delivery in Bethesda

The developer partners for the 8000 Wisconsin project held a public meeting last night in advance of their expected submission of Preliminary and Site plans to Montgomery County in the next two weeks. Based on feedback from the Bethesda Design Advisory Panel, they are working with the neighboring property owners (JBG Smith and Toll Brothers City Living) to coordinate their building's design with the adjacent redevelopment projects (7900 Wisconsin and 8008 Wisconsin, respectively).
View of the Artena Bethesda from
an office in the Landow Building
The Artena Bethesda will have 441 rental units, 25% of which will be MPDUs. Units will be primarily 1 or 2 bedrooms, with a few 3-bedrooms mixed in. Artena's ground floor will boast 20000 SF of retail and restaurant space, and an underground garage will hold about 300 parking spaces. The only significant open space is an elevated courtyard for residents, which will be at about the height of Bethesda Chocolates' building roofline next door. None of the three developers on this block was successful in acquiring the Bethesda Chocolates building, despite trying their darnedest.
Surprisingly, even with significant retail space, the plans for resident-targeted tenants like dry cleaners and coffee shops doesn't sound very ambitious. 7900 Wisconsin next door will be anchored by a Trader Joe's grocery store. Considering that store is only 13000 SF, the Wisconsin-facing retail space is more than enough for an urban grocery store, or for two sit-down restaurants.
View from St. Elmo Avenue
Attorney Bob Dalrymple predicted a public hearing on the Artena could be held by the Planning Board in November or December of this year. Demolition of the existing structures on the site (which stretches to Woodmont Avenue, as do the Toll Brothers and JBG Smith projects) is expected to begin in 2019. A two-year construction schedule would mean a 2021 delivery of the project.
View from Woodmont Avenue

Elevated courtyard in green

Wisconsin Avenue frontage

Height diagram

Red is retail

View from corner of Cordell Avenue and
Woodmont Avenue

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

Robert, did you see that with just a third of the absentee and provisional ballots counted, Elrich's lead over Blair has dropped by half?

#MoCoMachineNeverBreaks

Brian said...

I would lean the 13,000sf retail space there to be more of a play on a full service gym than a grocery store. There's a Harris Teeter 1 block away and a Trader Joe's going in next door. People are still missing the low cost Fitness First gym.

Anonymous said...

Wow this building has come a long way. Glad the design review pane has been on them. It looks so much nicer than before.

Shame the retail on Woodmont is disconnected from Bethesda Chocolates which is going to be on an island with two loading docks and two garage doors to the left and the pass through to the south.

Suze said...

I'm not sure why having a coffee shop and a dry cleaner is a bad thing. One of the buildings torn down for these three projects housed a dry cleaner/tailor, and I'm sure their services are missed.

I do think that Brian has the right idea regarding a service-based spot instead of retail. Modern developments focus more on place-making, and have a healthy mix of retail, restaurants, and "experiences" like galleries, theaters, etc. Pike & Rose is a good example, with Pinstripes, Amp, and iPic helping to balance out the shops and restaurants.

Anonymous said...

Suze - actually the dry cleaner that was at the corner moved across the street to where the Radio Shack used to be. But I agree that dry cleaners are necessary, especially for the young and middle-aged professionals who will live in the new apartments.

Anonymous said...

Once again, SK+I, a local design firm, has done a great job on a very complicated project. Forced to work between two projects that unfortunately presented blank walls to this interior site, I think they have really come up with a classy and thoughtful instertion on this block. Lots of variety and modulation on the more pedestrian Woodmont side, and a composed and well sorted facade on the vehicular focused Wisconsin side.

That large amount of contiguous retail space might be a great opportunity to build a compact urban cineplex to replace the Regal. They might need to raise the building a bit to allow enough height for large screens and auditoriums, but this might just work in the L shaped plan. A nice accessible location for movie patrons, close to tons of restaurants for dinner and a movie activities. Being at ground level, it would allow for easy access without messy stairs, escalators and elevators. Easy emergency exiting to the sidewalk for movie patrons. Of course a nice through block cineplex lobby would help activate both street facades. Maybe leave a bit of cafe depth retail area on both streets to conceal the opaque auditoriums, and provide supporting uses that movie patrons would use, like a wine bar, or perhaps a small restarant the just serves desserts.

Some of the parking could be split off for movie patron parking and non-reserved resident and resident visitor parking, and the bulk of the lower level parking could be reserved parking for residents.

How about it SK+I? I bet you guys would love to design a cool urban movie theater. Maybe something a bit larger than the Landmark Bethesda Row Cinema, but showing more block buster films. This would be a great addition the downtown Bethesda, especially when Federal Realty decides to build a new tower over the existing cinema, and might need to take it off line for a few years.

Anonymous said...

Robert, I note that you follow Milo Yiannopoulos. Do you have any comment about his recent statement that he "can’t wait for the vigilante squads to start gunning journalists"?

Anonymous said...

"or for two sit-down restaurants."

20K sqft is far more than 2 restaurants, unless you're talking Cheesecake Factories.

Anonymous said...

7:52am Dyer is a journalist

Anonymous said...

Robert Dyer is a journalist who sleeps during the day while the news is happening, and then sneaks around at night peeping at signs and empty construction sites.

He is the journalist that Bethesda deserves.

Anonymous said...

8:21am is a fan of the construction worker in the Village People.

Good feedback!

Anonymous said...

I agree with the other comments that the design has improved dramatically. Also, glad to see a ton of retail space on the site.

Anonymous said...

You'd think today, of all days, Dyer's troll would lay off harassing a journalist.

Anonymous said...

I think that dry cleaner by the old radio shack is different, it was already there before the one on Cordell / Wisconsin closed.

Robert Dyer said...

7:58: You have to examine the site plan - the 20,000 of retail space is broken up into two parts of the building. My point was that the larger space in front could hold two good-size sitdown restaurants.

7:16: It's not a bad thing, it's just bad to say you have 20,000 SF of retail space, and you're going to fill it with a dry cleaner and a coffee shop (unless it's Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf). Leave the small stuff to the boutique buildings in the Woodmont Triangle, or at least have a restaurant along with the dry cleaners.

Anonymous said...

as long as we dont lose saphire....

Robert Dyer said...

1:39: Saphire will be demolished for this project.

Anonymous said...

Hans Riemer will attend the closing ceremony for Sapphire, and personally un-cut a ribbon in front of the entrance.

Anonymous said...

The retail space is going to make for awfully large bank. Maybe it will be split into two or three branches?

What will the double height amenity be?