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Friends of White Flint Asks: What Makes The Suburbs Hip?

by BethesdaNow.com | January 22, 2013 at 2:55 pm | No Comments

The Friends of White Flint, a nonprofit supporter of redevelopment in the White Flint section of North Bethesda, is asking community members for their ideas about “making the suburbs hip.”

In the next decade, White Flint’s traditional suburban strip malls will undergo vast changes. Massive mixed-use residential and commercial developments with town centers, pedestrian-friendly streets and all the amenities one expects in an urban center will be built under the framework of the 2010 White Flint Sector Plan.

Mid-Pike Plaza and its large surface parking lot will be gone, replaced by a new batch of high rise and mid rise apartments with ground floor retail and a luxury movie theater. White Flint Mall will be torn down and replaced by a similar concept. Projects near the White Flint Metro station and upgrades to the already completed North Bethesda Market will mean development in all corners of the area.

All told, the changes could bring a predicted 14,000 housing units and 13 million square feet of development.

Friends of White Flint wants to hear people’s thoughts about those changes ahead at a happy hour on Tuesday, Jan. 29 at the Seasons 52 restaurant (11414 Rockville Pike). The event starts at 5:30 p.m. and will feature Councilmembers Hans Riemer (D-At large) of Silver Spring and Roger Berliner (D-Bethesda-Potomac).

For more information, visit the Friends of White Flint website.

Bethesda Big Train Bringing Summer Camp Back For 15th Year

by BethesdaNow.com | January 22, 2013 at 1:25 pm | 1 Comment

The Bethesda Big Train college summer baseball team has announced schedules for its annual series of camps.

The popular sessions include instruction from Big Train manager Sal Colangelo, the Big Train coaches, players and appearances from Washington Nationals and Baltimore Orioles players. Last year, former National closer Chad Cordero was a coach. Pitcher Ross Detwiler and outfielder Roger Bernadina made appearances.

The six camps for boys and girls ages 5-16 range from $160 to $295 per session.

The Big Train is a wooden bat summer league team for college players in the offseason. More than 100 former players have been drafted into Major League Baseball.

The group’s Shirley Povich Field (10600 Westlake Dr.) in Cabin John Regional Park hosts games, clinics and other events throughout the summer.

For more information on camp schedules and prices, visit the Big Train’s website.

Video from Bethesda Big Train

UPDATED: Gas Leak Shuts Down Arlington Road Near Downtown Bethesda

by BethesdaNow.com | January 22, 2013 at 12:10 pm | No Comments

 

(UPDATE: 3:10 p.m.) The Gazette reports the gas leak has been sealed and Arlington Road has been reopened.

(ORIGINAL STORY: 12:10 p.m.) A punctured gas line in front of the old Bethesda Post Office on Arlington Road had closed the busy street in both directions and forced Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Services to evacuate all businesses in the area.

A construction worker doing advance work before the planned teardown of the Post Office reportedly punctured a two-inch gas line in front of the property at 7001 Arlington Road.

Arlington Road is closed from Bethesda Avenue to Bradley Boulevard and MCFRS personnel have also closed westbound Bethesda Avenue at Arlington Road.

A Washington Gas crew arrived at the scene around 12:30 p.m. Avoid the area, as repair work is expected to take at least the next few hours.

 

County Council Approves Controversial Wildwood Apartment

by BethesdaNow.com | January 22, 2013 at 11:35 am | 2 Comments

The Montgomery County Council today approved rezoning at the Wildwood Medical Center on Old Georgetown Road that would allow for a new five-story, 58-unit apartment complex.

Neighbors of the property at 10401 Old Georgetown Rd. argued against the plan because of school overcrowding, traffic and environmental concerns.

But after the County Planning Board imposed setback requirements and made the planned apartment part of the county’s Productivity Housing program, the Wildwood Manor Citizens Association did not oppose it at a special exception hearing.

Six individual residents opposed the project at a Board of Appeals hearing. The Hearing Examiner filed his report and recommendation in favor of the project in December.

The property, which has a three-story, 36,000-square foot medical office building, bank and 206 parking spaces, was supposed to add a general office building. But property owners came back to the county with a new plan for apartments after finding little interest in a struggling office market.

The county’s Productivity Housing program requires 35 percent of the units (21 units) will be below the area-wide median income. The program is meant to provide for affordable housing in new projects in commercial or office zones.

With nearby Walter Johnson High School already overcrowded and with no expansions planned, Hearing Examiner Martin Grossman found that overcrowding was a “legitimate community concern.” But he said the overcrowding issue would be addressed by the Planning Board when evaluating the project’s site plan.

Photo via Google Maps

Bruce Variety Owners Say Support From Customers Motivated Them To Find New Space

by BethesdaNow.com | January 22, 2013 at 10:00 am | No Comments

The owners of the shuttered Bruce Variety store said the support they got from the community, including an online petition with more than 2,900 signatures, motivated them to find a new storefront.

They are rumored to be moving to the former Creative Parties Ltd. space at 8011 Woodmont Ave.

“It’s been the grassroots effort. …That’s really motivated us to really make a concerted effort to find a new space,” co-owner Linda Ridenour told County Cable Montgomery’s County Report This Week.

Ridenour and husband Richard Dimock say the rent at Bradley Shopping Center is too high to maintain profitability. The property owner has not commented on the story.

Video from MyMCMedia

Morning Notes

by BethesdaNow.com | January 22, 2013 at 9:00 am | No Comments

Frick Taking On Frosh In Attorney General Race? — Campaign financing reports and Del. Bill Frick’s recent hiring of an election consultant have fueled the idea that Frick could run against fellow Bethesda state legislator Brian Frosh in the 2014 attorney general race. [Maryland Juice]

Wax Studio Opening On Cordell — Cera Wax Studio (4866 Cordell Ave.) for men and women will have its grand opening on Saturday. [Robert Dyer @ Bethesda Row]

Council Could Cut Request For BRT Studies In Half — The County Council today will decide whether to cut County Executive Isiah Leggett’s suggested $1 million for Bus Rapid Transit studies down to $450,000. Many councilmembers last week said the money could be wasted, as there has been no decision on actually building many of the BRT routes. [The Gazette]

Flickr photo by dbking

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