The MoCo development roundup is the newest addition to MoCo360’s coverage of growth across the county with summaries of progress reports of various projects.
Reporter’s note: The Montgomery County planning board is on summer recess. The next planning board meeting will be on Sept. 7.
First phase of North Bethesda Market II will bring 280 residential units, public plaza and retail
The Montgomery County Planning Board on July 13 approved plans for the long-awaited North Bethesda Market II project, also known as NoBe II. Preliminary plans propose to build a seven-story apartment building with 280 units and a single-story commercial building of up to 7,500 square feet. The first plans for NoBe II were submitted in 2011, according to planning documents.
There will be 35 moderately priced dwelling units (MPDUs) on the property. Although the area is now a 15% MPDU zone, the project was previously approved by the Department of Housing and Community Affairs at 12.5%.
NoBe II will be located along Rockville Pike on the southeast corner of Woodglen Drive and Nicholson Lane. About one block from the site is the North Bethesda Metro station, the Kennedy Shriver Aquatic Center and the Wall Local Park.
Across the street from the site is NoBe Market, which consists of residential apartment buildings, a Whole Foods, Starbucks, the Woodhouse Spa, Arhaus Furniture, LA Fitness and more. NoBe II aims to connect the two commercial-residential blocks for a more pedestrian-friendly experience and site plans include a public plaza and a small park.
Behind the plans are the AvalonBay Communities and Woodglen Master Owner, LLC. The project will involve the demolition of existing commercial buildings on site. According to planning documents, the project will be completed in two phases. The second phase involves the redevelopment of an office building that the restaurant China Garden Han Gong occupies.
Standards for Wheaton streets are updated for multimodality
Streetscape design in downtown Wheaton just got updated standards. On July 27, the planning board approved updates to Wheaton Streetscapes Standards, that aim to represent current best practices for streets that pedestrians, bicyclists and roadway users share in the downtown area, a news release said.
The Planning Board typically approves streetscape standards to guide property owners and developers who are submitting development applications for review, according to Montgomery Planning. Wheaton’s street standards were updated to improve walkability and safety for those biking and rolling to share the streets, as well as to enhance the character of downtown Wheaton and provide a cohesive design.
In the downtown Wheaton area pedestrian safety has been a point of concern for residents and local leaders. According to planners, the area has an uneven use of paving materials and lacks a unified character, resulting in a pedestrian experience that varies for people using other forms of transportation.
Updates include limiting the number of streetscape types to three options, introducing sidewalk zones that will have trees and street lighting placed as buffers to the road, recommending coordinated construction of new streetscapes with separated bike lanes and reducing obstructions for street users with limited mobility.
Read the 2023 Wheaton Streetscape Standards Update report, and take a look at what future streetscapes will look like in Wheaton.
Germantown project switches focus from office to mixed-use housing, gets OK
Century Development Services LLC won a big project proposal to build four residential buildings, two eight-story hotels and two 13-story office buildings in Germantown–over two million square feet of development. Project plans previously approved two office buildings and one hotel for the site, but developers opted to include more housing instead.
According to planning documents, the approved plans will bring 233 residential units with 67 as moderately priced dwelling units (MPDUs). “That’s what the county is looking for,” Planning Board Chair Artie Harris said of the project during the July 27 planning board meeting.
The site is located adjacent to Interstate 270 and Century Boulevard and is in the Cloverleaf District, part of the 2009 Germantown Employment Area Sector Plan. Already existing within the property is a Thermo Fisher Scientific site, townhomes and apartment buildings. Two parts of the first phase of the Century project have already been constructed.
Also included in the plans is a road diet along Century Boulevard. The diet would remove one travel lane in each direction and replace that with a bike lane. At the planning board meeting, developers discussed various road design options for the area to implement a bike lane and pedestrian-friendly infrastructure.