Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Woodmont Ave. segment to close

Update: Woodmont Ave. segment closure now expected on September 7.

On or about September 7, Woodmont Avenue between Bethesda Avenue and Miller Avenue will close for approximately 20 months. (Miller itself will remain open.) The closure is necessitated by the development of parking lots 31 and 31A.

Only local traffic will be permitted on Leland Street between Wisconsin Avenue and Miller Avenue. Drivers will be able to turn from Bradley Boulevard onto Leland Street. However, they then will not be able to get to Woodmont by turning left on Leland, although they will be able to get to Miller Avenue. Also, drivers coming from Wisconsin Avenue will not be able to use Leland where it turns left towards Bradley Boulevard.

Portable sign boards have been installed in Bethesda announcing the closing of Woodmont Avenue next to the development of lots 31 and 31A. There will be extensive coordination between signal lights, crosswalk identification and signage before the road is closed.

When completed, the public benefit of the development will be a new 940-space public parking garage and a reconfigured intersection of Bethesda and Woodmont that will be safer for pedestrians.

For more information about lot 31, see

Monday, August 20, 2012

Bethesda Celebrates Hometown Olympians this Friday, 5:30pm

The Bethesda community will celebrate the accomplishments of Bethesda's Olympic athletes including Gold Medalist Katie Ledecky, Scott Parsons, and Julie Zetlin this Friday, August 24 at 5:30pm at the Bethesda Metro Center plaza. The free community event is organized by the Greater Bethesda Chevy Chase Chamber of Commerce, Bethesda Urban Partnership, Bethesda-Chevy Chase Regional Services Center, and Brookfield Properties. Congressman Chris Van Hollen and Montgomery County Council President Roger Berliner will help honor these outstanding local athletes.

Ledecky, of Bethesda, is 15 years old and a student at Stone Ridge School of the Sacred Heart. She was the youngest member of the 2012 Olympic team and won the gold medal in the 800m freestyle swim race. Parsons, of Bethesda, has participated in the 2004, 2008 and 2012 Olympics and is a slalom kayaker. Zetlin, of Bethesda, is a rhythmic gymnast and 2012 was her first time on the U.S.Olympic team.

The celebration will be followed by the Metro Center Dance Concert featuring Cityscape from 6-8pm. All are welcome.




Friday, August 10, 2012

Live & Learn brings new topics, fun, and IONA Senior Services to the BCC Center this Fall

A note from Bev Amsterdam, Executive Director of Live and Learn Bethesda

I want to extend a warm welcome to our Live & Learn Bethesda friends. We have just completed the classes for our first Live & Learn Bethesda catalog – Spring/Summer of 2012. I wanted to thank all of you who attended LLB classes and helped us make our first catalog a success. I enjoyed meeting each and every one of you and having you become part of the LLB family. I appreciate your suggestions for topics, presentations, and times of classes.

Our Fall Catalog (now available on our website) is an opportunity for you to explore, to learn, and pursue your interests with a wide array of class lectures. Our instructors are selected for their passion and depth of knowledge in their chosen subject areas. I would like every experience at LLB to be one where you feel you have gotten “value” from your time. Life is an exciting adventure, and LLB is your roadmap, providing unique and exciting classes as you travel along the road. Our classes are conveniently offered in the morning, afternoon and evening – and some weekends too!

LLB will be offering several new series of classes this fall. Here’s a few of them – Award winning storyteller Noa Baum will present a series entitled Hidden Treasures: Your Story as a Gift. Mark and Martha Hanak will present a series of ballroom dancing classes featuring the waltz, swing, salsa and the cha cha.

I am so pleased to be able to share programs with you from my new friends – IONA Senior Services. IONA’s mission is to support people as they experience the challenges and opportunities of aging. IONA will present a series on Aging in Place and the Community, with classes on Retirement and Beyond, Health and Wellness, How to be an Effective Caregiver, and Staying in Charge.

Lylie Fisher, an award winning visual artist, transformational coach, and Director of Community Engagement at IONA, will be presenting two series of classes, Innovation and the Creativity Incubator, and Reaching for the Unknown and Beyond - Life Intention Workout. Meg Artley, Director of Development at IONA will present three series of classes – Creativity Circles, Vinyassa Flow Yoga, and Hatha Yoga.

Please join the LLB family and help us make it successful.

I hope to see you often in the coming fall season.

- Bev

Friday, August 3, 2012

Downtown White Flint takes shape

Part One: Development

The 2010 White Flint Sector Plan aimed to create a thriving mixed-use center, with the highest intensity closest to Metro and along Rockville Pike. As planned, the new downtown will offer new parks and public spaces, including a community recreation center and public library. A new urban street grid will be constructed and pedestrian and bicycling access improved. Ultimately, Rockville Pike will be transformed into a boulevard with street trees and improved crosswalks.

More than 14,000 housing units are ultimately planned for White Flint, along with nearly 13 million commercial square feet, phased in over the next 25 years. At the time of the sector plan approval, there were 2,300 housing units and 5.5 million square feet of commercial space in White Flint.

Since the completion of the sector plan, new projects have been completed and others are underway. For example, in 2011, JBG’s North Bethesda Market added a 24-story apartment building and retail, including a Whole Foods supermarket. North Bethesda Market includes 397 apartments, and 200,000 square feet of retail space. The apartment tower is the tallest building in Montgomery County.

A new 14-story office building on Marinelli Lane is nearing completion and will be occupied by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. It is the second building constructed by LCOR, which has approval to build a total of 1,350 residential units; 1.1 million square feet of office space, and 280,000 square feet of retail just east of the metro station. A third building, which includes 341 apartments, broke ground this summer.

Also breaking ground this summer was the first phase of Federal Realty’s Pike and Rose development. Pike and Rose will replace Mid-Pike Plaza with 3.4 million square feet of mixed-use development. The first phase includes 492 housing units and close to 390,000 square feet of commercial uses. The North Bethesda Market II project may soon get underway. This project is located just north of North Bethesda Market and will be constructed by JBG. North Bethesda Market II received approval in March for 414 residential units and 368,000 square feet of retail.

Other projects in the pipeline include redevelopment of White Flint Mall and North Bethesda Gateway. As proposed, White Flint Mall may ultimately include 5.2 million square feet of buildings - including 1 million square feet of office space, 1 million square feet of retail space, 2500 residential units and a 300-room hotel. The current three-level mall is about 800,000 square feet. Located southeast of the intersection of Rockville Pike and Nicholson Lane, the 11-acre North Bethesda Gateway project is envisioned to include 667,000 square feet of residential and one million square feet of commercial uses.

All of these projects require intensive coordination to move forward. In the next installment, we’ll look at how the County is juggling the complexities of urban redevelopment in White Flint including new roads, public facilities, and urban services. 

View White Flint Development in a larger map