Giant Food hopes to open a Peapod grocery pick-up facility and gas station at the Sunoco gas station site in Chevy Chase by this fall, according to a company spokesperson.
The location, at 8500 Connecticut Ave., would be for pick-up orders placed online, according to Giant Food spokesman Jamie Miller. Miller said the Peapod by Giant will open in late summer or early fall.
The facility will be built in the Chevy Chase Lake Sector, where the Montgomery County Council is currently weighing a series of significant zoning changes. Developer Chevy Chase Land Company hopes to build a mixed-use town center across the street from the site and the Planning Board approved a Sector Plan that would rezone the 8500 Connecticut Ave. property to allow for a 35-foot-tall residential and retail development and a 70-foot one after the Chevy Chase Lake Purple Line station is assured.
“The relatively small size of this property limits its potential redevelopment as a stand-alone project. However, its location creates opportunities for redevelopment, as part of an assemblage of properties. To encourage this, the Plan recommends rezoning to match the shopping center’s height and density. If this property is ever assembled with others, as part of a unified development, the number of curb cuts along Connecticut Avenue, between Manor Road and Chevy Chase Lake Drive, should be reduced,” according to the Sector Plan.
A gas station and grocery pick-up site seems to contradict the more urban and transit-friendly feeling developers and the Planning Board seek for Chevy Chase Lake.
Miller said it will be a small facility, “where customers can place their online orders in the morning or while at work, then come pick the orders up on the way home.
“We’ve identified a demand for the service at that location,” Miller said. “We feel that this is going to be a growing part of the grocery business and a great convenience.”
Giant Food and Peapod opened a similar location in April in Clarksville and Columbia, both in Howard County.
“Our mission at Peapod is to save our customers time and money — and for many busy families, especially moms, who are always on the go, a quick stop at our pick-up location on the way home is the most convenient option,” Peapod President Andrew Parkinson said in the press release announcing the Howard County openings. “Peapod Pick-Up is fast and easy. Peapod associates greet you at your car, collect your coupons and load your groceries into your vehicle for you — all within five minutes. There’s no need for you to even get out of your car.”
Landmark Theatres completed its renovation of the Bethesda Row Cinema today, just in time for a private company event tonight and tomorrow’s reopening to the public.
The company installed a full-service bar, lounge areas and new leather seats that movie-goers can now reserve before they go to see a show. The 140,000-square-foot theater, opened in 2002, now has RealD 3D projection, new screens, sound systems and a new menu.
The front of the building (7235 Woodmont Ave.) has a new marquee with a digital board of showtimes and a set of personal ticket kiosks are inside. The descent into the theater lobby now includes a view of a shimmering screen of hanging crystals.
On Friday, the theater will re-open with Academy Award nominee “Kon-Tiki,” and “Max Manus: Man of War,” before “The Great Gatsby” remake starts on May 10.
The Bethesda Blues and Jazz Supper Club opened in March, but it has delayed an official re-opening celebration until it could celebrate another milestone.
On May 17, the Club will couple a ribbon-cutting ceremony with a celebration of the historic Bethesda Theatre’s 75th anniversary. Jazz saxophonist Branford Marsalis will take the stage for a special performance.
The theater (7719 Wisconsin Ave.) was built in 1938 in the streamline moderne style and is on the National Register of Historic Places. It’s Wisconsin Avenue marquee went unchanged until the Club took over operations and renovated the 500-seat theater for $8 million.
The theater went to auction in 2010 with a $4 million debt attached. A $12 million contribution from developer Bozzuto Group helped re-open it in 2007 when Bozzuto built The Whitney apartment complex above it.
Club owner Rick Brown’s mother graduated from Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School on the theater’s stage in 1947. He remembered going to movies there when it was still a movie theater in the 1950′s.
On May 17 at 6 p.m., local dignitaries and others will make remarks and cut a ribbon. A cocktail reception will follow from 6:30 p.m. to 7:15 p.m. The main event, with Marsalis, starts with dinner at 7:15 p.m. and the show at 8:30 p.m. Tickets cost $175 and include dinner, drinks, tax, handling and gratuity.
For more info, visit the Club website.
A Bethesda nonprofit that holds support groups and mind-body classes for cancer patients showed off its new home in the historic Beaumont House on Thursday morning.
Hope Connections for Cancer Support moved to the space, on the Federation of American Societies for Experiemental Biology (FASEB) campus at 9650 Rockville Pike, on April 1. President and CEO Paula Rothenberg said the organization wanted to get out of its previous location, near the Grosvenor Mansion, before that land is redeveloped into a townhome community.
Through a connection to FASEB, Hope Connections was able to claim about a third of the Beaumont House, built in 1929 in a secluded, tree-filled area just south of Pooks Hill Road.
The result is a bucolic new location for the organization’s weekly and monthly cancer support groups, gentle yoga courses, knitting, stich and chat sessions and other free programming.
“We don’t do the medicine. We provide free programs of emotional support,” Rothenberg said. “We don’t charge a penny for the work we do because we don’t want this to be a choice for people. We want our doors to be open to anyone.”
Bonnie and Bernie Kogod started the foundation in 2005 to honor their daughter, Michelle Susan Kogod, who died of cancer at age 18. They were in attendance for Thursday’s ribbon cutting ceremony.
So was County Councilmember Roger Berliner (D-Bethesda-Potomac) and Del. Bill Frick (D-Dist. 16). They both spoke about the value they felt Hope Connections brings to the area, one that is already full of medical facilities conducting research and treating a wide range of diseases.
The luxury movie theater business is heating up and the CEO of the company that operates the Bethesda Row Cinema says it’s sparing no expense to keep pace.
Yesterday, almost a month after Landmark Theatres closed the Cinema (7235 Woodmont Ave.) closed for a remodeling and renovation, CEO and President Ted Mundorff detailed some of the changes in a press release.
A full-service bar and lounge area, leather seats that patrons will reserve before shows, RealD 3D projection, new screens and sound systems are some of the changes that patrons will see when Bethesda Row Cinema reopens on Friday, May 3.
The move comes as the upscale movie theater competition around Bethesda Row gets tougher. The arrival of luxury movie house iPic in White Flint is expected next summer or fall. It too will offer the pre-reserved seat option and full bar and food menus.
Another luxury theater was planned for new development at Rockledge Drive, but that project hit a snag last year.
The new Bethesda Row Cinema will also feature a satellite feed for live domestic and international performances, the first of which will come on June 29 with the London’s National Theatre’s live production of “The Audience,” starring Helen Mirren.
“From the minute you approach the theatre and see our stunning new marquee, our hope is that our guests notice the attention to detail in every facet of the theatre and share our excitement as we begin a new chapter at the Bethesda Row,” Mundorff said in the statement. “We have spared no expense to give our patrons the best movie-going experience in town.”
Bethesda Row Cinema opened in 2002. The 140,000-square-foot theater has served as an anchor tenant for Bethesda Row since that time.
The Giant Food in Georgetown Square celebrated the completion of a renovation with local officials and a donation to a local nonprofit.
Store manager David grove presented a $2,500 check to KEEN Greater DC, a group that that organizes recreational activities for kids with developmental and physical disabilities.
Giant will provide a “tasting passport” to all customers until 7 p.m. today and from noon to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday for a chance to win free groceries for a month.
Improvements to the store include a new seating area, soup and salad bar, bakery, six new self-checkout lanes and nine additional regular checkout lanes.
County Executive Isiah Leggett and County Councilmember Roger Berliner (D-Bethesda-Potomac) joined the celebration this morning. Beata Okulska accepted the donation for KEEN Greater DC.
Photos via Giant Food
March is truly coming in like a lion, at least in terms of Bethesda’s business climate.
Four openings of unique Bethesda shops or venues are scheduled for Friday and Saturday, including the opening of the relocated and much-beloved Bruce Variety store and the opening night for the highly anticipated Bethesda Blues and Jazz Club.
Then, there’s the grand opening celebration planned for Friday for Bethesda Scooters & Boards, the eclectic shop from Bethesda resident Kaare Wieneke that will move across Woodmont Triangle after a pop-up shop trial run last summer.
Co-owner Wieneke and his “Chris Sacks Band” will be playing and the store (4825 Fairmont Ave.) will be filled with scooters, skateboards, stand-up paddle boards, customized Bethesda t-shirts and a large variety of other items.
Also reopening is Jason McCarther, the owner of the former Box Bar sports bar who sold, then re-bought the place at 7525 Old Georgetown Rd. after the short-lived Dry Fried Wing Bar and Grille fizzled out. McCarther plans to open Roc Bar Live, a live music version of his Roc Bar nightclub in D.C., on Saturday with rock artist and Rockville native Mike Westcott.
Nearby, the Bethesda Blues and Jazz Supper Club (7719 Wisconsin Ave.) will be hosting its second night of live music with local jazz pianist and keyboardist Marcus Johnson. Friday’s opening night performance in the revamped Bethesda Theatre features New Orleans trumpeter and bandleader Irvin Mayfield.
Also on Friday, Bruce Variety will return.
In December, owners of the crafts store known for its odd and hard-to-find items said they could no longer afford the rent at its location of 60 years in the Bradley Shopping Center. That announcement shocked and saddened many, some who even signed a petition asking Shopping Center owners to lower the store’s rent.
But soon after Bruce Variety closed on Arlington Road, it found a new home in the old home of Creative Parties Ltd., in the blue and green house at 8011 Woodmont Ave. It signed a lease there in January.
Executives from D.C.-based developer Akridge, investment partner Rockwood Capital, County Executive Isiah Leggett, County Councilmembers and business representatives cut the ribbon on Tuesday at Bethesda’s first new Class A office building since 2001.
Akridge and Rockwood purchased the vacant building from the General Services Administration for $12.5 million via an online auction in 2010. The company then set about replacing everything but the concrete, Akridge President Matthew Klein said, in an effort to make the building LEED Gold certified.
“We essentially recycled an entire office building,” Klein said.
Akridge recycled 50 percent of the demolition debris and used more than more than 20 percent recycled content in the rebuild, which includes large panes of glass on the west and north sides of the 120,000-square-foot building that stands less than a block from the Bethesda Metro station.
The 10-story building was built in 1964 and was once home to offices of the National Institutes of Health. It was vacant for more than eight years before the GSA put it up for auction.
Earlier this month, an Akridge spokesperson said none of the building had yet been leased, though the developer is confident in the interest the building has received so far.
For Leggett and the County Councilmembers in attendance (Roger Berliner (D-Bethesda-Potomac), Nancy Floreen (D-At large), George Leventhal (D-At large) and Hans Riemer (D-At large)) the appeal of a rare new Class A office building in downtown Bethesda was obvious.
“We see that we’ve brought more vitality back to Bethesda to add to the ambience and the atmosphere that already exists here,” Leggett said. “This is the first of what I hope to be many Class A office buildings that will continue to be in the Bethesda area.”
In November, County officials celebrated the groundbreaking for construction on a 220,000-square-foot Class A office building at 4500 East-West Highway, on the former site of a McDonald’s.
“We are proud of every aspect of what this means for our community: Class A office space, smart growth, a good urban feel. The architecture in my judgement in our county is not what I aspire for it to be and I am so grateful that we have this kind of urban feel to this spot in particular,” Berliner said. “I think obviously the sustainability aspect of your project matters. We want this to be an example of what every new building in Montgomery County ought to be.”
Rick Brown grew up not far from Bethesda, the son of a jazz drummer and a graduate of Blair High School who on Tuesday unveiled the multi-million dollar Bethesda Blues and Jazz Club in the revamped Bethesda Theater.
Brown’s mother graduated from Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School on the same stage in 1947. Brown went to movies in the Theater in the 1950′s. On Monday, Brown’s father (87 and still playing drums) saw the inside of his son’s club before its public grand opening on Friday.
Brown said he originally hoped to lease the property to an outside operator when he bought it two years ago. Soon, the idea of putting together the Club, along with veteran Washington music manager Ralph Camilli, turned into a special undertaking because of his family and his ties to the area. His brother, jazz pianist Larry Brown, will be the director of entertainment.
“I’m very proud of it. We were raised by a dad who was a drummer. And it wasn’t always easy,” Rick Brown said. “We had a small house with a big band coming home late at night. It’s really a blessing for me to be able to do this in this marketplace. It’s beautiful.”
A $6 million renovation in 2007 from developer Bozzuto, which built The Whitney apartments above the historic theater, helped make the transition to jazz dinner club easier, Camilli said. Still, Brown has put a major personal investment in making the Club (7719 Wisconsin Ave.) come to life.
“We feel that it’s not really a gamble,” said Brown, a Bethesda-based realtor. “We think we have the pieces in place to make this work. We think we have a quality property, great location, tremendous staff. We think that it’s a need ready to be filled.”
Bethesda Blues & Jazz Coming Along — The much-anticipated venue, taking over the space of the historic Bethesda Theater, is set to open March 1. [Bethesda Blues & Jazz Supper Club via Twitter]
Six More Weeks Of Blasting At Lot 31 — The contractor working on the underground garage and apartment project at the former site of Lot 31 expects six more weeks of excavation blasting. Most blasts occur between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. [Bethesda-Chevy Chase Regional Services Center]
County Council Members Spent Thousands On Food In 2012 — Council members recently took part in the SNAP Challenge, living off $5 worth of food for five days to raise awareness of poverty and those who get assistance through the SNAP program. In 2012, the Council spent thousands on lunches for meetings with state politicians and for other events. Lunch with Sen. Ben Cardin (D) cost $266, $26.60 per person for the nine council members and Cardin. [The Gazette]