Tuesday, March 13, 2012

White Flint Update

By Dan Hoffman

The promise of White Flint is becoming more of a reality every day, and the past several weeks are no exception. Two site plans have been approved for White Flint and both demonstrate the vision outlined in the White Flint Sector Plan. We continue to monitor progress in White Flint and ensure that property owners and the County alike adhere to the vision of the sector plan. 

First, the property we currently call Mid Pike Plaza will soon become Pike & Rose, a mixed use development with retail, new restaurants, a high-end movie theater and an attractive residential building. This site plan for this property, owned by Federal Realty Investment Trust, was approved unanimously by the Planning Board. It will actually ADD trees to the existing site and greatly enhance storm water management with elements like green roofs and LEED certification. The development will also add 215 moderately priced dwelling units and a childcare center. Of course, we also can't ignore the $1.1 billion in net new tax revenue generated by the new development over the life of the plan. You can view a complete presentation on the project here.

Pike & Rose
Pike & Rose

The second plan is on the block north of the new Whole Foods in White Flint. This plan, presented by the JBG corporation, offers us the most exciting design proposal so far in White Flint. In what could become the most iconic building in White Flint, JBG has proposed a residential tower on the northwest corner of the property with a cascading glass facade that is difficult to describe with words. So I encourage you to go to the presentation referenced below for pictures. The property will also include a very attractive plaza, and office building, and a more 'soda and popcorn' oriented theater. This site plan was also unanimously approved by the Planning Board. The presentation for this plan can be found here.

North Bethesda Market II
North Bethesda Market II
In the coming months we will see more plans come up for approved. The sketch plan for the property that is currently home to White Flint Mall will come before the Planning Board soon. Many of you have already seen the presentation of the plan from the Lerner Corporation and the Tower Company. It reflects the growing movement away from the suburban, auto-oriented shopping mall.

One other sketch plan has already been approved but has not yet moved forward into the site plan process. That plan involves the Fitzgerald property on Rockville Pike. There is no estimated time frame for that plan to advance further. We will continue to monitor the progress of all of these plans and any new ones that may arrive.

Dan Hoffman is Vice Chair of the Western Montgomery County Citizens Advisory Board; Chair of the White Flint Implementation Committee administered by the Planning Department; and President of the Randolph Civic Association.