A rendering of the redeveloped buildings being designed on a lot between St. Elmo and Fairmont avenues Credit: Renderings provided courtesy of Steven J. Karr, AIA Inc.

Update – March 13, 9:15 a.m. – Rockville-based architect Steven J. Karr released new renderings and details on his website this week showing updated designs for the former Blackfinn, Red Tomato and Fresh Grill buildings located between St. Elmo and Fairmont avenues in Bethesda’s Woodmont Triangle.

The approximately $5 million development project will renovate the four separate buildings into a retail and restaurant structure that totals about 25,000 square feet. The redevelopment will include a new 9,500-square-foot addition, according to the designs, which Karr said were the latest under consideration by Greenhill Capital, the property’s landlord. The designs include a lobby with an elevator, retail storefronts on Norfolk Avenue and rooftop patios for the new structure, as well as a new two-story building on St. Elmo Avenue.

Construction is expected to be completed by August 2016, according to Karr.

Red Tomato and Fresh Grill closed following structural problems that developed in their buildings resulting from the construction of the Bainbridge Bethesda apartment building next door. Blackfinn closed last year after falling behind on rent, according to the landlord.

Karr said in an email the scope of the project changed over the past year from a small 1,500 square feet addition and repairs to the existing buildings, to a comprehensive renovation of the former Blackfinn building and the 9,500 square feet of additions that will knit the four buildings together on the lot. Karr said the design of the different buildings uses glass to make them look more similar and one of the goals was to keep the “pedestrian” character of the structures.

Karr is also the architect who designed the new building that is under construction at the former county men’s shelter at 4848 Cordell Ave. Greenhill, which also owns that property, is converting the lot into a restaurant or retail space.




Renderings provided courtesy of Steven J. Karr, AIA Inc.


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