Thursday, June 25, 2015

Bradley Shopping Center exploring future redevelopment options

Owners of the venerable Bradley Shopping Center in Bethesda are actively exploring options for redeveloping their property, their attorney Jody Kline said at last night's public hearing on the Bethesda Downtown sector plan. While Kline said they have no immediate plans to redevelop the site, they have retained Bethesda real estate firm Streetsense to study their options.

"We've found a niche there [with] neighborhood serving" retail, Kline said on behalf of the shopping center. Home to popular retailers like Strosniders Hardware, Bradley Care Drugs and Bradley Food and Beverage - to name only a few - the property sits near the edge of the area covered under the sector plan.

So far, Kline said, one option identified is to put residential above the stores, doubling the 51,000 SF site's density. But Kline argued the property must be allowed more density than the draft plan provides for to successfully redevelop. "The property can handle more density, and certainly more commercial density," Kline said.

It's unlikely the ultimate development would simply put residential above the existing retail footprint. That structure couldn't support additional floors above, and probably occupies barely half of the entire property. The county's new development guidelines emphasize structured or rear parking, and retail that fronts onto the street.

Many real estate observers, who have no stake in the property, have previously marveled at the potential development that could result if the shopping center joined its property with EuroMotorcars. Such a development would virtually rival Bethesda Row in size, and essentially adjoin it at Arlington Road and Bethesda Avenue. Neighbors behind the Roosevelt-era apartments behind the site would likely have something to say about the potential height and density of such a development, however.

I think what most community members would find important is - how many of those retailers will stay, or be "allowed" to stay in regard to rents, in any redevelopment of the property? That could be a big part of getting community buy-in for more density there.


Anonymous said...

Hopefully they will build a checkpoint on Arlington, south of Bradley, to keep the Westbard hordes from infiltrating.

Bethesda for Bethesdans!

"I'm sorry, this bus is too short to enter Bethesda. Please turn around and go back the way you came."

Anonymous said...

7:07 you are right. This would be concrete canyons within walking distance to Kenwood. Does this area look urban to you?

Anonymous said...

Just this morning, there was a report of a short bus from Wesbard, disguised as a Good Humor truck, trying to sneak into Bethesda.

Anonymous said...

Wither Strosniders?

Anonymous said...

Does Euro Motorcars own their property? Combining that would have huge potential. I guess it would end up something like the new Lot 31 development -- big garage below, retail at street level, apartments above.

Steve D. said...

Farewell Bradley Shopping Center. You will be missed.