Tuesday, December 04, 2018
Donohoe proposes 22-story condo tower at 7800 Wisconsin Avenue (Photos)
Some are disappointed that the Montgomery County Council and Planning Board's much-touted plans to expand Veterans Park onto this block of Norfolk at Wisconsin appear to be fading. Others knew that, like the Council and Board's promises of "large, green parks" at Bethesda's border with the Town of Chevy Chase, it was another empty promise to gain community support for passage of the Bethesda Downtown sector plan. The idea was impractical given the physical barrier of Woodmont Avenue, which will only increase in traffic volume over the next two decades, as the state of Maryland allows every Wisconsin Avenue construction site to have use of a curb lane as parking and storage space.
Others are sure to be disappointed that the multiple owners on this block were unable to reach agreement on one larger project, despite many discussions and efforts to do so. We still need a large development site to hold a replacement movie theater for the downtown, which has seen several major restaurants close and record numbers of parking garage spaces empty in the Bethesda Row area since Regal Cinemas Bethesda 10 closed two years ago. The Council declined to make a replacement theater a requirement in the Apex Building redevelopment, despite having full authority to do so. It also didn't require the developer to build the Capital Crescent Trail. We're in luck - the hive mind of the Council will be back in session this morning to begin work on your next tax increase. Let's see of any of the new Councilmembers push for an investigation into the $7 million in public funds embezzled under the last Council, and covered up until after election day in conspiracy with other County officials.
Donohoe has another mixed-use residential tower nearing completion in the Woodmont Triangle. Gallery Bethesda II is expected to open later this month on Rugby Avenue. The lower height of 7800 Wisconsin should at least provide some variety in the skyline, for those concerned about the wall effect of having 29-story buildings next to each other.
Renderings courtesy Donohoe