A plan to redevelop Bethesda’s Battery Lane district is ready for its first round of Planning Board review and features more than 300 affordable housing units, according to developers.
Plans call for razing six aging apartment buildings on Battery Lane and replacing them with new complexes, capped at 160 feet tall.
In total, 477 apartments will be replaced with 1,530 new units, a net increase of 1,053 units.
The property currently has no affordable-housing units.
New apartments will range in size from “co-living units” and studios to two-bedroom units, the new development application says. A two-story townhouse-like apartment corridor facing Battery Lane Park is possible.
In its initial presentation to the public, developers presented a slightly different plan, with 1,498 units and 375 affordable housing units.
New plans also include 12,000 square feet of commercial space, a “two-way cycle track on the north side of Battery Lane,” several through-block connections to join the neighborhood with Woodmont Avenue and significant landscaping, according to the development application.
Some walkways would be widened, more public open spaces would be added and a new parking garage would be added.
Also included in the project proposal is improvements to The Bethesda Trolley Trail, which provides a pathway around the National Institutes of Health connecting Rugby Avenue to Old Georgetown Road.
With a focus in the project on “connectivity, neighborhood identity and livability,” developers propose using three different architecture firms to develop the six new buildings and “weave a complex urban fabric, melding old with its new buildings and adding critical, usable connecting spaces for an authentic residential neighborhood built over time,” according to the development application.
Development is expected to happen in phases and each apartment will remain in use until its turn for redevelopment. Construction is expected to begin in 2021 or 2022.
“The Project is a comprehensive redevelopment plan for the long-time owners/operator to replace six of its 50+ year-old garden-style rental apartment buildings with a mix of modern housing in a rolling, phased approach over 10-15 years,” the development application says.
Caitlynn Peetz can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org