Thursday, February 18, 2021

New Bethesda Row development at 7070 Arlington Road would demolish Uncle Julio's (Photos)


The first renderings of the new development proposed for 7070 Arlington Road at Bethesda Row show Uncle Julio's being replaced at the corner of Arlington and Bethesda Avenue. Property owner Federal Realty plans to retain the Apple Store and other retail and restaurant structures east of Uncle Julio's along the south side of Bethesda Avenue. On the sites of Uncle Julio's, the small retail structure between Uncle Julio's and the future Audi Bethesda dealership on Arlington Road, and the parking lot behind the stores on Bethesda Avenue would rise a residential building of up to 90' with ground floor retail.


The development will not please fans of Uncle Julio's, one of the most-popular restaurants at Bethesda Row. Of course, it could return in the ground floor of the new development. And given Federal Realty's track record at Bethesda Row and Pike & Rose, whichever tenants do fill the ground floor retail are almost certain to be A-list names.


One other positive that jumps out in the early renderings is a feature that many downtown residents have sought but rarely found in recent developments - an on-property solution for delivery and loading trucks. Here, Federal Realty appears to be taking the same approach as JBG Smith has at 8001 Woodmont. An internal driveway will pass through the building, allowing trucks to enter on one side, unload, and then simply continue forward to exit on the other side. This prevents the problem of trucks blocking traffic lanes or sidewalks.


Expect more details to be revealed at the virtual community meeting regarding the project, which will be held Monday, February 22, 2021 at 7:00 PM.

Renderings courtesy Federal Realty/Hickok Cole

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Wow. This is pretty incredible. Hopefully Uncle Julio's can be integrated into the new building design. Bethesda is growing like crazy. The amount of construction (and proposed construction) in the Downtown Area is simply unreal.

Anonymous said...

I respectfully disagree about Uncle Julio's. It was good years ago but has gone downhill of late. It won't be missed.

Anonymous said...

This looks like a nice project, and would replace an unattractive surface parking lot with a nice building. An eight story building at the corner would create a nice gateway into Bethesda Row from the west. I hope they create a nice Activated Alley, something like Cady’s Alley in Georgetown. With decorative paving, decorative pedestrian scale lighting, and some benches. Maybe some nice art murals as well. Perhaps over time, some of these retailers and restaurants might add storefront windows or entrances facing the back side, like Cady’s Alley. I wonder if they will maintain any public parking on the remaining lot, or hopefully add a pedestrian plaza with some shade trees on the east end adjacent to the Ourisman garage.

Anonymous said...

Having a big anchor restaurant at that end does seem to bring folks to the corner. Not unlike a department store anchor in a shopping mall. Lots more foot traffic is generated past smaller shops.The Spanish Diner, MonAmi Gabi, Matchbox and hopefully the Riggsby do the same thing.

SocialNorm said...

That "internal driveway" concept is currently practiced in two buildings in the Rockville Town Center. The Cambria Hotel and the residential project across Helen Heneghan Way have this entry port for service vehicles.

Anonymous said...

@7:35 AM: Great point about Cady's alley. That would be great if they could do something like that. With the right kind of investment, you eventually hit critical mass to sustain continued development. Just look at was Hawker's has done for alley traffic. Who knows, Bethesda might actually have a nightlife again.

Anonymous said...

I miss Maloney Concrete.

Anonymous said...

Get rid of Apple and Big Tech tyranny and censorship
And keep uncle Julio’s

Anonymous said...

One does not simply 'demolish' Uncle Julio's. You are talking about the heart, the soul, and mostly the stomach of Bethesda. That tortilla machine has been unremittingly
dropping pillows of soft dough onto patron plates since its colorful Fairmont Ave days. Thought a fancy condo forced em out then? No, Uncle J only grew stronger... a belly of a franchise that expanded into Virginia and reversed gentrified malls like RIO in its wake. Tear it down, the tortillas will only return from scratch. Viva plato gordo!

Anonymous said...

Not much retail here compared to the rentals being built.