The Bethesda-Rockville-Frederick metropolitan area is the fifth least likely to be hit by a natural disaster, according to a report put out by real estate website Trulia.com.
If you read BethesdaNow.com regularly, you’re by now probably well aware that many of these rankings use the “metropolitan area,” as defined by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, when researching and categorizing lists including “Most Secure Place in the U.S.,” “Best City For Finding Employment Right Now,” “Best 2013 Housing Markets,” and even the “Highest Ratio of Single Women to Single Men in the U.S.”
So chalk up another one for the supposed metropolis that is Bethesda-Rockville-Frederick.
Trulia created a “Natural Hazard Visualizations Map,” using hurricane and tornado data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and wildfire data from the U.S. Forest Service.
Bethesda-Rockville-Frederick ranks fifth on the list of housing markets at lower risk of natural disasters, according to the website’s research. Of course, the area’s asking price for a home per square feet far surpassed any other area in the top 10.
Syracuse, N.Y. took the top rank for lowest natural disaster risk, followed by Cleveland, Akron, Ohio and Buffalo, N.Y.
A pair of Bethesda companies made the top 500 of year’s Inc. Magazine’s list of 5000 fastest growing companies.
Mobomo, the mobile app developer based on Democracy Boulevard, came in as the No. 159 fastest growing company in 2013 with $2.8 million in revenue last year, up from $107,540 in 2009. The company is still small — it started in 2009 and has added 10 employees in the past three years for a total of 13 — but it is the highest ranking Bethesda company on the list.
Wellness Corporate Solutions, the Cabin John-based firm that creates wellness programs for corporate and government clients, came in at No. 357 in the rankings. It tailors health programming for offices. Its clients include a single office with 50 employees, multi-state corporations with 150,000 employees and many places in between. The company posted $9.3 million in revenue in 2012 and has added 46 employees over the past three years for a total of 51. It was founded in 2004.
Other Bethesda-based companies on the list include government cyber security and IT contractor Digital Management at No. 513 and online wedding organizer and services company WeddingWire at No. 613.
Digital Management reported a 2012 revenue of $162.3 million and has added 1,093 jobs in the past three years for a total of 1,212 employees. WeddingWire, which in the past year moved from Bethesda to bigger offices in Chevy Chase, launched PromWire.com and MitzvahWire.com and had a reported 2012 revenue of $19.7 million. WeddingWire came in at No. 309 on last year’s list.
Streetsense, the all-in-one retail and restaurant broker, architecture, design and branding firm, moved into a vacant space at 3 Bethesda Metro earlier this year. It came in at No. 2,129 this year and has added 50 jobs in the past three years.
Two Bethesda zip codes are among the area’s 50 wealthiest, according to data presented by the Washington Business Journal.
The Business Journal determined the wealthiest zips my measuring average disposable income and average net worth.
Bethesda’s 20816 zip, made up mainly of single family home neighborhoods west of River Road and south of Goldsboro Road, came in at No. 12 with an average disposable income of $153,242 and net worth of $1,534,989.
Their neighbors to the north in the 20817, which includes the area of Westfield Montgomery Mall and extends to Potomac, were ranked as the No. 16 wealthiest area zip with an average disposable income of $149,333 and net worth of $1,522,879.
Great Falls in Virginia took the wealthiest zip code ranking with an average net worth of $1,890,528. Potomac’s 20854 came in No. 3, Garrett Park’s 20896 No. 6 and Cabin John/Glen Echo’s 20818 No. 9.
Chevy Chase and its 208515 zip code was ranked No. 38 with an average disposable income of $136,635 and net worth of $1,259,215.
Flickr photo by afagen
The Metropolitan area that includes Bethesda, Gaithersburg and Frederick has been named the “Most Secure Place to Live in the U.S.,” by Farmers Insurance, which did a study of crime stats, extreme weather, housing value and other factors to come up with the ranking.
The company ranks metropolitan areas of 500,000 or more people by factoring in criteria including crime, risk of natural disasters, foreclosures, air quality, life expectancy, motor vehicle fatalities and employment.
The Bethesda-Gaithersburg-Frederick Metro area (used in many of these rankings and defined by the Bureau of Labor Statistics) ranked No. 1 in the study. It has been ranked in the top 10 every year since 2007:
Some of the key factors that helped the historical Maryland area earn its No. 1 spot in the 2012 study included its low unemployment and low personal crime rates, while its long life expectancy rate contributed to its top rating.
Grand Rapids, Mich., was ranked No. 2. It was followed by Pittsburgh, Austin-Round Rock, Texas and Cambridge-Newton-Farminghan, Mass.
The Washington Business Journal recently published a subscription-only list of the largest publicly traded companies in the area that includes 13 based in Bethesda and 30 in Montgomery County.
Montgomery County Director of Economic Development Steve Silverman praised that number as an indication of the “overall strength of our business community.”
Montgomery’s highest-ranking company on the list is Bethesda-based Lockheed Martin, ranked No. 3 with 2012 revenue of more than $47.1 billion. Also making the top 25 are Bethesda-based Marriott International (2012 revenue of $11.81 billion), Host Hotels & Resorts, (2012 revenue of $5.29 billion) and American Capital Agency Corp. (2012 revenue of $2.11 billion).
Other Bethesda companies on the list were USEC, Inc., a nuclear fuel provider, LaSalle Hotel Properties, RLJ Lodging Trust, DiamondRock Hospitality, private equity firm American Capital, Ltd., Pebblebrook Hotel Trust, real estate finance company Walker & Dunlop, First Potomac Realty Trust, developer Saul Centers, Eagle Bancorp, Chinese healthcare company Chindex International. American Capital Mortgage Investment Corp. and Sucampo Pharmaceuticals.
In May, the county announced a 4-percent job growth rate since 2010, meaning its workforce grew by nearly 25,000 jobs.
The county used the announcement to point out the job growth rate was slightly higher than the rate in Fairfax County, which it frequently competes against for large businesses. Three of the top five largest companies on the Washington Business Journal’s list are located in Fairfax.
Flickr photo by kgunnar
Bethesda and Chevy Chase have been named among the smartest cities in the U.S. before. Now, a website has ranked Bethesda as “the most educated place in America,” by weighing the level of education of residents.
NerdWallett.com, a site that compares credit cards, used U.S. Census data on the percentage of the population to finish high school, get an associate’s degree, bachelor’s degree, master’s degree and professional or doctoral degrees.
The website weighed the percentage of residents 25 and over who have finished high school or have an associate’s degree at their highest level of education for 30 percent of the overall score. The percentage of residents with a bachelor’s degree made up another 30 percent of the score.
Higher degrees made up the last 40 percent, a way the website says the ranking measures “broad-based education,” not a workforce, “where some workers are very highly educated.”
Still, it’s clear the area’s highly-educated population played a role in the No. 1 ranking:
Bethesda is home to the main campuses of the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (where the president gets his yearly check-up), the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences and the National Institutes of Health, whose research has helped create hundreds of thousands of biomedical jobs both in Bethesda and around the country. Numerous government, technology, healthcare and investment companies, including Lockheed Martin, GetWellNetwork, and Cambridge Information Group, have headquarters in Bethesda, making it a hotspot for workers in these fields. A whopping 27.3% of the city’s population has a professional or doctoral degree as their highest level of education, and another 26.8% of the population has a master’s degree as their highest level of education. Only 1.9% of the population did not finish high school. The wide variety of technical and challenging work in Bethesda ensures a continued supply of well-educated workers.
Bethesda beat out Palo Alto, Calif. and Wellesley, Mass., for the top spot. Potomac was ranked No. 5.
This time, The Daily Beast rated the top 2,000 public high schools in the country based on a formula that seeks to measure how well a school prepares students for college. A few weeks ago, both Walt Whitman (No. 59) and Bethesda-Chevy Chase (No. 128) High Schools made the cut for the U.S. News and World Report rankings.
The Newsweek/Daily Beast rankings put Whitman at No. 137, Walter Johnson at No. 148 and B-CC at No. 178. Poolesville (No. 96) and Winston Churchill in Potomac (No. 97) were the top two Montgomery County schools. A total of 17 MCPS schools made the list.
The rankings were determined by a formula that includes graduation rate (25 percent), college acceptance rate (25 percent), Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB), and other college-level tests taken per student (25 percent), average SAT/ACT scores (10 percent), average AP, IB and other college-level test scores (10 percent) and percent of students enrolled in at least one AP, IB or other college-level course (5 percent).
“The Newsweek rankings, and other such lists, demonstrate that our high schools are national leaders in preparing students for college and the workplace,” MCPS Superintendent Joshua Starr said in a release. “While there is still work left to be done, our staff and community should be proud of how well we are serving our students.”
Two Bethesda high schools achieved gold medal status in the latest rankings from U.S. News and World Report, with Walt Whitman ranked No. 59 on a list of best high schools in the country.
Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School was ranked No. 128. The top 500 high schools get gold medal status.
MCPS had six schools in the top 500, led by Winston Churchill in Potomac (No. 52). Poolesville (No. 99), Thomas S. Wootton in Rockville (No. 105), Richard Montgomery in Rockville (No. 106) and Montgomery Blair in Silver Spring (No. 247) were also on the list, as well as Wheaton (No. 1,032).
MCPS had the six top schools in Maryland and seven of the top 10.
“The schools on the U.S. News Best High Schools list should be proud of the work they have done to serve their students and prepare them for college and the workplace,” MCPS superintendent Joshua Starr said in a statement. “I am pleased with the work that all of our high schools are doing, and we must continue to focus on meeting the needs of all students so we can prepare them for the future they want.”
Schools were judged on student to teacher ratio, college readiness as indicated by participation in Advanced Placement courses and proficiency in Algebra and English.
Adecco created the top 10 list by using Department of Labor employment statistics and their own job growth and demand data. The metropolitan areas were then rated based on diversity of industry, cost of living, range in size of companies offering employment and education levels.
Bethesda (though presumably the Bethesda-Rockville-Frederick metropolitan area as defined by the Department of Labor) came in No. 1, beating out Austin, Texas and Jacksonville, Fla. New York City came in No. 8:
The best place for finding employment right now is the Bethesda, Md. metro area, where the unemployment rate is 5.2%, as of February 2013. That’s 2.5 percentage points lower than the national rate, which was 7.7% in February.
“Bethesda has a very low unemployment rate and has proven to be a major competitor with its highly educated job market and growth in a number of sectors including hospitality and healthcare,” [Adecco Staffing President Joyce] Russell says. “The housing market is doing well and Bethesda often appears on lists ranking most livable cities. Maryland is also ranked No. 1 in the nation for schools, which also feeds into a positive outlook in the area for employment opportunities and a great quality of life.”
The most in-demand skills in the area: Specialty trade contractors, accounting and bookkeeping, and food service and hospitality. The top hiring industries right now? Hospitality, construction, healthcare.
“The growth in construction and hospitality positions are encouraging to local manufacturing and distribution companies as they are optimistic the impact will reflect in their overall bottom-line as well,” says Lisa Imler, Adecco Staffing’s regional vice president of the Chesapeake Region.
Two of Bethesda’s high profile new gathering spots made a Washington Post list of new and notable restaurants from around the region, a sign of a growing nightlife according to the list.
Punches are served in Mason jars and exposed brick boasts a “Vote Against Prohibition” sign painted on it, hitting all the faux-Prohibition notes. For a sports bar, Brickside’s bar fare is elevated. The menu includes roasted cauliflower with tahini sauce and phyllo-wrapped shrimp, as well as Chicken ‘pops’ that “bring together three fried drumsticks glazed with barbecue sauce and accompanied by yogurt-cucumber sauce,” writes [Post food critic] Tom Sietsema. “The snack is hot, cool and tidy.”
The Bethesda Blues and Jazz Supper Club (7719 Wisconsin Ave.) also made the list and is an opening that according to the Post means as much to Bethesda’s nightlife scene as it does to the restaurant scene.
Bethesda’s nightlife continues to grow, notably with the arrival in March of the elegant Bethesda Blues and Jazz Supper Club, a 500-seat, art deco jazz club that’s brought in major talent in its opening weeks. Situated on Wisconsin Avenue in a building that’s houses a few misguided projects before, this project seems more promising, what with a director of Operations who spend decades managing and booking Blues Alley and the Cellar Door.
NBC News released results from real estate analysts at Trulia.com that rank Bethesda among big cities such as Houston, San Francisco and San Antonio for “2013′s Top 10 Healthiest Housing Markets.”
Trulia took data from the Bethesda-Rockville-Frederick, MD area as defined by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. A 2.8 percent job growth rate in the first 10 months of 2012 was one of the nation’s highest and low vacancy and foreclosure rates helped rank Bethesda at No. 3:
The 2.8 percent job growth in the first 10 months of 2012 was one of the highest rates in the United States. Area home prices have been pushed upwards by limited supply: the Bethesda-Rockville-Frederick area had one of the nation’s lowest vacancy rates, at 1.2 percent in November, as well as one of its lowest foreclosure inventories, at just 2.7 homes per 1,000 units during October. Through November, the asking price per square foot for homes in the area was lower than only 14 other metro areas. Over the last year, asking prices have risen just 5.5 percent and median price per square foot was $169.15, slightly higher than Washington, D.C.
Houston came in first and San Francisco was second. San Antonio, Austin, Texas, Seattle, Omaha, Neb., Peabody, Mass., Fort Worth, Texas and Louisville, Ky., followed.
B-CC Girls Soccer Seeks Fifth Straight State Title — The Barons face Anne Arundel County’s South River today at 7:30 p.m. at UMBC with a chance to win their fifth consecutive state championship. Some thought this would be the season others, such as Bethesda rival Walt Whitman, would put an end to B-CC’s run. [The Gazette]
County Basketball Sign-Ups Begin — The Montgomery County Recreation Department is having sign-ups for youth and adult basketball leagues through Dec. 12. For information about adult leagues, call Pat Sullivan at 240-777-6870. [Montgomery County Recreation Department]
Magazine Names Bethesda ‘Second Healthiest’ For Women — Self magazine named Bethesda its second healthiest city for women, behind San Jose, Calif. The description is brief: “It’s supersafe, with half the violent crime average.” It also includes a file photo of a golf course. [Self magazine]
Flickr photo by FourCourses
Buses To Replace Trains on Red Line This Weekend — Metro is replacing rails and replacing fasteners on the Red Line between the Grosvenor and Friendship Heights stations this weekend, which means buses will replace trains at Grosvenor, Medical Center and Bethesda. [WMATA]
Chevy Chase Woman Semifinalist in National Recipe Contest — Aviva Goldfarb is a semifinalist in the “Your Best Recipe” contest for her Israeli salad with tahini lemon dressing appetizer. Winners will be announced on Nov. 12. [Chevy Chase Patch]
Area Residents Make Forbes Richest List — A number of area residents, including Chevy Chase resident and Washington Nationals owner Ted Lerner, Bethesda native Mitchell Rales and Bethesda resident and Carlyle Group CEO David Rubenstein, are on Forbes list of 400 richest Americans. [Baltimore Business Journal]
Jayna Murray 5K Run/Walk Rescheduled — The second annual event, in memory of slain Lululemon employee Jayna Murray, will now happen Nov. 11 instead of Nov. 4 to avoid a conflict with the Edgemoor Classic 5K. [Bethesda Patch]
A number of Bethesda companies made Inc. magazine’s just released list of the top 5,000 fastest-growing companies in 2012.
Leading the way at No. 265 on the Inc. 5000 list is IT market research company RainKing Solutions, which matches up IT vendors with companies buying their products. The Rockledge Drive firm brought home $8.6 million in revenue in 2011 and has added 57 employees to its total staff of 92 in the past three years.
Other Bethesda companies that made the top 500 include wedding services company WeddingWire at No. 309. The company recently announced it will be moving into a bigger office space in the Chevy Chase Metro Building in Chevy Chase. WeddingWire made a reported $10.1 million in revenue in 2011.
IT services company LongView International Technology Solutions came in at No. 489. The North Bethesda company on Rockville Pike near Old Georgetown Road made $21.8 million in revenue in 2011.
Hundreds of Maryland companies made the list. You can view them here.
This time, Bethesda came in at No. 1 in CNN Money Magazine’s ranking of “Top-Earning Towns,” not surprising considering Bethesda’s $82,300 per capita income, according to the 2010 U.S. Census. (The state per capita income figure was $34,849.)
CNN lists the median family income in Bethesda as $184,606 and the median home price as $740,000, “more than twice as pricey as the state average.”
Next on the list are Greenwich, Conn., and Palo Alta, Calif. Other area towns include Ashburn, Va., at No. 6, Arlington, Va., at No. 11 and Ellicott City at No. 12.
Here’s CNN’s full write-up, which seems to better validate the ranking than Forbes’ oft-mocked coolest city list from July:
An easy commute from Washington D.C., Bethesda is a hotspot for the highly educated, with nearly half of its residents boasting a graduate or professional degree. That may explain the incomes — the highest on our list this year. They enable people to afford luxe homes here, which are more than twice as pricey as the state average.
Though Washington D.C. is a quick Metro ride away, there’s no need to head to the nation’s capital for culture. Bethesda’s urban downtown offers its own live theater, international cuisine and a variety of events, from monthly art walks to annual juried art competitions.
Flickr photo by outdoormovies