Posts tagged ‘White Flint’
SILVER SPRING, MD – Visitors to the future White Flint Mall site in North Bethesda will see a dramatically different place than the regional retail shopping center standing along Rockville Pike today.
The Montgomery County Planning Board approved a sketch plan for a new mixed development project on the 45.3-acre mall site that will transform the retail establishment into a complete community featuring residential, office, retail and public uses including a large central plaza, a 2.3 acre addition to the existing White Flint Neighborhood Park, and an elementary school site.
It is the fourth mixed-use project approved by the Board in White Flint, reinforcing the 2010 sector plan that encourages innovative, pedestrian-friendly development projects near the Red Line Metro station. Previously, the Board approved Pike and Rose (Mid-Pike Plaza), North Bethesda Market II, and North Bethesda Gateway, mixed-use developments that are expected to change the face of Rockville Pike from a sea of parking lots to a vibrant mix of uses. White Flint Mall is half a mile from the Metro station.
The development application is among the largest reviewed recently by the Board, consisting of 5.22 million square feet, including 2.87 million square feet of residential. The plan’s most transformative element is a new street network that creates developable blocks with many public spaces.
The White Flint Mall project will front Rockville Pike and the eastern part of Executive Boulevard, which, along with Nebel Street, will be extended into the site. A hotel is planned along Executive Boulevard, as well as offices. Residences are planned in a mix of mid-rise and high-rise multi-family buildings.
Developers plan to build a series of public and private streets that create blocks and include ample sidewalks and attractive streetscapes that encourage walking. Most will have on-street parking, although the majority of parking for the development will be underground. A pedestrian promenade will front Rockville Pike and interior courtyards will serve the multi-family high-rise residential buildings.
Environmental features will include stormwater management techniques, such as green roofs, bioswales, and bioretention structures. The proposed sketch plan features building heights and orientations that take advantage of passive solar lighting and heating.
As with the other Rockville Pike projects, White Flint Mall is located in the new Commercial Residential Zone, which fosters a mix of uses and public benefits to update the county’s aging commercial areas.
SILVER SPRING, MD – The Montgomery County Planning Board today approved a plan for a new retail, office, and residential development in White Flint, an area undergoing dramatic change as landowners begin to capitalize on planners’ urban vision for the area.
North Bethesda Market II, approved with four buildings housing up to 414 dwellings and up to 368,000 square feet of retail, including restaurant and entertainment sites, will add a striking set of buildings to Rockville Pike.
It was the third urban-styled, pedestrian-oriented project approved by the Board in the last month, highlighting the resurging local real estate market. The string of approvals also shows support for new mixed-use zoning that encourages innovative development projects near transit.
Last week, the Board approved the Pike and Rose site plan. The project, about a mile north of North Bethesda Market II, will build up to 492 dwelling units and close to 350,000 square feet of commercial uses in its first phase. Eventually, the project will cover 24 acres, converting a huge surface parking lot to an innovative mix of uses, including an upscale cinema and half-acre park.
Planning Board members spoke effusively at today’s hearing about the North Bethesda Market II plan after seeing renderings showing a modular glass, concrete, and metal residential building that steps back floor-by-floor from a retail base to a height of almost 300 feet. The buildings are located at Nicholson Lane and Woodglen Drive one block from the White Flint station on Metro’s Red Line.
Both projects are located in the new Commercial Residential Zone, which fosters a mix of uses and public amenities to update the county’s 1950s-era commercial areas. North Bethesda Market II will provide public benefits, such as a new pedestrian walkway with wayfinding signs, tree canopy, public parking, and public art. The new zone requires such amenities as part of planners’ strategies to replace acres of surface parking lots with more dynamic and productive land uses and improve stormwater management. The North Bethesda Market II site is now occupied by four commercial buildings and surface parking lots.
The public space includes a central plaza with artwork, fountains, seating, planting, and structures. A stormwater management plan approved by the county Department of Permitting Services includes green roofs, bio-filters, and underground filter systems.
In January, the Board approved the residential-retail Falklands Chase development one block from the Silver Spring Metro. This full-block project uses the natural topography as the defining element in locating several, modern-designed residential buildings with new commercial uses lining East-West Highway.
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For immediate release:
July 19, 2011
For more information, contact:
Montgomery County Planning Department
SILVER SPRING, MD – This month, the Planning Board and County Council approved the required planning tools to begin accepting new development applications in White Flint. Located along Rockville Pike north of Bethesda, White Flint is poised for a series of new development projects that will dramatically change the look, feel and function of the community.
With today’s Council approval of the final tool – a transportation analysis program – the planning area is open for new development. To recognize this economic milestone, the Planning Board is hosting a ceremonial ribbon-cutting at 11 a.m. Friday at the White Flint Mall. County Council members, representatives from the County Executive’s Office, Planning Board members, planners, residents and others will be on hand to declare the planning area open for business.
The White Flint Sector Plan, approved last year, establishes prerequisites that must be satisfied at each phase of development to ensure that public services, like roads, are adequate. They include establishing a transportation approval mechanism, a financing mechanism to fund infrastructure improvements, and a transportation analysis and monitoring program.
Opening phase one of development in White Flint allows property owners to submit development applications. The Board approved three sketch plan applications – North Bethesda Market II, North Bethesda Gateway and Mid-Pike Plaza – last winter, but have not accepted more detailed site plans because the staging plan had not been developed. Now that the staging plan has been approved, planners expect applications for those plans as well as others, such as at the White Flint Metro site.
Planners and County Councilmembers have looked to White Flint as an economic engine for the county, given its strategic location along Metro’s Red Line and the availability of re-developable land.
Montgomery County Planning Board
White Flint Phase 1 Ribbon-Cutting
White Flint Mall Center Court
11301 Rockville Pike
(enter off Lot 1 next to Cheesecake Factory)
11 a.m. Friday, July 22
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SILVER SPRING – In one of the most decision-filled meetings in Planning Board history, the panel yesterday approved visions for two communities – Gaithersburg West and White Flint – as well as the 2009-2011 draft Growth Policy and a new family of zones combining commercial and residential uses.
All of the initiatives will go to the County Council for consideration later this summer or fall.
The Gaithersburg West Master Plan articulates a vision for the Shady Grove Life Sciences Center and surrounding areas. With the county’s largest concentration of advanced technology companies and Shady Grove Adventist Hospital, Johns Hopkins University-Montgomery campus, and the Universities at Shady Grove, the area represents a thriving employment area. The plan acknowledges the county’s commitment to the life sciences and provides a blueprint for the institutions to expand apace with the market. It also guides future development into a more compact community of mixed uses including housing.
The Life Sciences Center remains a sprawling, single-use, auto-oriented area. The draft plan features recommendations to make the area more vibrant, dynamic and walkable, with growth tied to the planned Corridor Cities Transitway – a rapid bus or light rail transit project.
The White Flint Sector Plan, which covers north Bethesda along both sides of Rockville Pike, recommends ways to urbanize one of the few remaining locations in the County where excellent public transportation options and the potential to redevelop coincide. With the area dominated by surface parking lots, planners say much can be done to improve the landscape and environmental quality. The plan envisions a diverse mixed use center near the White Flint station and transforming Rockville Pike into a landscaped boulevard accompanied by a grid of new streets.
The Board also approved the 2009-2011 Growth Policy, the latest in a series of biennial reports determining how development should be analyzed for school and road capacity. This version of the growth policy addresses whether county officials should try to reduce congestion by building away from trafficked areas or instead influence traffic demand. The Planning Board adopted the staff recommendation addressing the second approach.
A key tenet of the Growth Policy is to work toward reducing travel by vehicles driven by one person, called vehicle miles traveled in planning terminology, when the Board is considering new development applications. Another important focus of the proposed Growth Policy is connecting societal values like environmental protection – encouraging mixed uses near transit, lowering the carbon output of new buildings and potentially creating energy on site – to new building projects.
The County Council will consider and eventually approve its version of the growth policy this fall, then it will be implemented through the county’s Adequate Public Facility Ordinance.
The Planning Board also voted to advance a commercial-residential (CR) zone that would encourage new development that includes a mix of commercial and residential uses at varying densities. As with the growth policy proposal, the new zone encourages development near transit, particularly daily-use-oriented commercial shops and green building elements. The proximity of services would save people time, increase a sense of community, and decrease congestion.
While the two master plans and the growth policy will be transmitted to the County Council for final action in the coming weeks, the CR zone will return to the Planning Board after Council review for additional refinement.
Yesterday’s decisions represent a landmark for the Planning Board. Together, the planning initiatives encourage strategic growth, infill development and new housing near services and jobs, all intended to improve the quality of place in the county.
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