Thursday, November 15, 2018
B.F. Saul promises "beautiful landmark" for Bethesda with Rockefeller Center-inspired Metro Tower project
"It's a building of elegant proportions," Torti said, which will also be sensitive to the pedestrian experience at its base. The 250' tower will be set back 25' from the curb of Wisconsin Avenue, and 15' from the curbs of Elm Street and Hampden Lane. Torti envisions style elements that reminded many of Rockefeller Center in New York, with two-story storefronts for its ground-level retail. The art deco design will also stand out from the more-modern architecture of The Wilson and The Elm, 290' towers that will be Metro Tower's next-door neighbors in the next decade. Torti also cited the Bethesda Naval Hospital tower as another great art deco structure in the area.
Expect 370-390 rental apartment units above the retail, with .5 parking spaces per unit, as the development will be within the downtown Bethesda parking district. B.F. Saul noted at the meeting that the firm holds onto its properties unlike some other developers, and is therefore fully invested in their success and longevity.
Saul will submit its sketch plan to Montgomery County by the end of this month. The designs showed a significant lighting feature atop the building, similar to the Chevy Chase Bank tower also developed by Saul, a feature missing on many dull and dark rooflines among the post-Great Recession buildings in Montgomery County.