A four-studio art incubator space part of a planned downtown condo is coming into focus.
Chevy Chase-based developer Starr Capital will go to the Planning Board next month with a proposal for a 17-story, 72-unit luxury condo at 4990 Fairmont Ave., the site of a shuttered BP gas station.
The project includes ground floor retail and four levels of parking immediately above, so residents can overlook the county’s Lot 11 garage next door. As its public amenity, Starr Capital has proposed dedicating 2,000 square feet of the ground floor space to the county, which would then hand over management of the property to the Bethesda Urban Partnership.
BUP would lease out four art studios with separate entrances to the alley between the condo and Lot 11.
Starr Capital would build an overhang above the first floor studios to expand the alley’s width from five feet to 10 and hopes to project the artists’ work onto the cinder block garage wall across the way.
An art incubator space has been an objective of BUP and some members of the Woodmont Triangle Action Group (an advisory group made up of residents, business reps and developers) since a similar plan for the 8300 Wisconsin development fell through.
Attorney Bob Dalrymple, from Bethesda-based Linowes and Blocher, said Starr Capital will work off of the agreement worked up for the 8300 Wisconsin project. At the Woodmont Triangle Action Group’s meeting on Friday morning, Dalrymple asked for and got the advisory board’s support for the project.
Starr Capital is planning roughly 100 parking spaces for the four levels of above-grade parking, which will be outfitted with glass and other materials to make it look the same as the rest of the building. The 100 spaces is more than the zoning code allows for, so the developer will have to pay into a parking fund, pending the outcome of the zoning code rewrite discussion going on at the County Council.
The developer is looking for suggestions on how to utilize the four columns that must be built to support the building outside of the studios. One WTAG member suggested putting art inside or wrapping it around the columns.
BUP is looking at minimum one-year leases for each of the studios, which could include signage that declares the alley as an Art Walk or something similar.
The Shop Salon (8231 Woodmont Ave.) will knock down the wall of the next-door beer and wine shop and take over that space. The beer and wine shop will move one spot over to 8227 Woodmont Ave., the former space of a Kim’s Cleaners, which moved across Battery Lane earlier this year.
The two-floor salon has been at the corner of Woodmont Avenue and Battery Lane since 2006 and has garnered praise for its longtime stylists. It was named the Best Family Friendly Salon and was the top vote-getter as Best Salon in Bethesda Magazine’s 2013 Best Of Bethesda contest.
That section of Bethesda’s Central Business District, on the northern edge near NIH and Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, could soon become an activity center. Across the street from the salon, developer StonebridgeCarras is building its 8300 Wisconsin project, which will feature a 359-unit apartment building and Harris Teeter grocery store.
Construction is slated to top out in late 2014. The entire project is expected to be finished in the third quarter of 2015.
From 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., Take5 Boutique (4920 Fairmont Ave.) will put on a “5 O’Clock Tea” to celebrate the store’s debut of a new line in a British clothing brand.
The event will also include an opportunity to drive the Rapide S, the newest from the British luxury sports car maker of James Bond fame.
Flickr photo by OOOHOOW
The hotel (8120 Wisconsin Ave.) is adding Friday night pool parties to its Thursday night and Sunday parties, which will make room for a more subdued atmosphere on Thursdays:
“Thursdays 5 p.m. – 10 p.m., this year you will find Thursdays to be a relaxing sophisticated evening with light jazz, crafted cocktails, single malt selections and cigar smokers welcome. The chef will have a Tapas menu available from the grill.”
Fridays from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. will be back to margaritas and burgers from the grill. DJs, drink specials and grill food will return on Sundays starting at 1 p.m., in an event that can reach capacity by mid-afternoon. A recently created map of D.C. area rooftop bars found the DoubleTree was the only one in Montgomery County.
The 2013 rooftop pool party season will start Thursday, May 30. For more information about specials and weather, visit the Facebook page.
The Bethesda-Chevy Chase Rotary Club’s annual Strut Your Mutt fundraiser went on Saturday despite overcast skies and some rain.
Area dog owners brought their canines to Norfolk Avenue for a dog parade, training sessions and a look at a number of local businesses with dog-focused services.
Proceeds will go to the Montgomery Humane Society and other dog care organizations.
The free movies will all begin at 9 p.m. at the corner of Norfolk and Auburn Avenues. Attendees can bring their own lawn chairs. BUP will provide a limited number of chairs.
This year’s selection includes “The Princess Bride,” on Tuesday, July 23, the Alfred Hitchock classic “Rear Window,” on July 24, “Back to the Future,” on July 25, “The Hunger Games,” on Friday, July 26 and “Life of Pi,” to round out the event on Saturday, July 27.
BUP hopes to attract crowds to Woodmont Triangle’s nearby restaurants. Parking is available at street meters and in a number of public garages and lots nearby.
For more info, visit BUP’s website.
Photo via Bethesda Urban Partnership
Bethesda’s street festival for the 12-and-under crowd is coming back to Woodmont Triangle on Saturday, June 1 with a number of art projects, performances and activities geared specifically to children.
The 19th annual Imagination Bethesda, put on by the Bethesda Urban Partnership, will take place from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Auburn and Norfolk Avenues.
Activity tents include face painting, pastel drawing, sculpture making and musical instruments from a number of area arts organizations with programming for kids. Imagination Stage, Round House Theatre, Strathmore, Adventure Theatre and the Washington Conservatory of Music will all offer activities.
Norfolk Avenue dance studio Dansez! Dansez! will put on a stage performance, as well as some other children’s musicians.
For more information, visit the event website.
Photos via Bethesda Urban Partnership
The Bethesda Craft Beer Tasting Tour, set for 2 p.m. to 9 p.m., will include specials on beer prices and food at BlackFinn (4901 Fairmont Ave.), Brickside Food & Drink (4866 Cordell Ave.), Caddies on Cordell (4922 Cordell Ave.), Hard Times Cafe (4920 Del Ray Ave.), Flanagan’s Harp & Fiddle (4844 Cordell Ave.), Maggie’s (4914 Cordell Ave.), Steamers (4820 Auburn Ave.), Tommy Joe’s (4714 Montgomery Lane) and Union Jack’s (4915 St Elmo Ave.).
Lindy Promotions, Miller Lite and Manna are partnering up for the event.
Tickets are $10 and tour-goers can get half-priced entry if they donate two canned goods that will go to Manna. Advanced tickets are available here. Day-of tickets will be available at Caddies from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Specials include $2 Miller Lites and $3 craft bottles that will include Batch 19, Redds Apple Ale, Leinenkugel’s Summer Shandy, Blue Moon Agave Nectar Ale, Third Shift, Killian’s and Henry Weinhard’s Woodsland Pass IPA.
The developer of the 8300 Wisconsin apartment and Harris Teeter grocery store project says Montgomery County Planning staff “over-counted” the amount of new car trips that will be generated from the building.
Attorneys representing Bethesda-based developer StonebridgeCarras will head back to the Planning Board next week to try for an amendment to the Preliminary and Site Plans that the Board approved last May. The amendment would allow building to start on the site, near the intersection of Wisconsin Avenue and Battery Lane, without satisfying what were previously binding traffic mitigation requirements.
In a January letter to the Planning Board from attorneys Bob Dalrymple and Heather Dlhopolsky, the developer argued Planning Department staff did not factor in vehicle trips already on the road, called “pass-by trips”, for a proposed grocery store.
The letter says that led to a trip number that required a binding traffic mitigation condition in the original Site Plan. The letter also says StonebridgeCarras brought this up to Planning staff before the hearing and in front of the Board last May:
Despite the materials provided by the Applicant to Staff in advance of the Planning Board hearing and the Applicant’s attempt to discuss the Project’s PAMR requirements at the hearing, the Planning Board would not permit discussion on these items at the hearing itself. As a result, the issue of interpretation of treatment of pass-by trips in applying the CBS Special Trip Rates was never really decided by the Planning Board.
Now, Planning staff is recommending the Board agree with the developer’s argument. The April 2012 traffic study projected 115 new vehicle trips to and from the apartments and grocery store in the weekday morning peak-hour period and 389 new vehicle trips in the evening peak-hour.
Crews have been busy with preliminary utility and environmental work at and around the site. The projected completion of the site was Spring 2015 with groundbreaking this month. The 359-unit, 430,000-square-foot apartment building will include 50,000 square feet of ground floor space for the Harris Teeter, which in February announced it signed a 20-year lease.
The traffic discussion is scheduled for the afternoon session of the Planning Board’s regular hearing on May 2.
Rendering via StonebridgeCarras
The Bethesda-Chevy Chase Rotary Club’s annual Strut Your Mutt fundraiser and festival for the Montgomery Humane Society will take over Woodmont Triangle again on Saturday, May 18 with a long list of activities and its signature dog parade.
The parade and exhibitors with dog accessories, photographers, walkers, trainers and daycare providers will take over Norfolk Avenue from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The parade starts at 10:30 a.m. on the main stage, with prizes for best large dog strut, small dog strut, biggest dog, smallest dog, best tail wag, best parade outfit and best mutt.
There will be training shows and dogs up for adoption by loca rescue groups every half hour and a dog contest, with winners for best owner/dog look-alike, best kisser and best singer included.
The registration fee is $25.00 plus processing fee (per dog) and includes a doggie goodie bag, event t-shirt, and entry into the Strut Your Mutt parade and dog-owner contests. It’s a rain or shine event and refunds will not be issued.
For more information and to register, visit the event website.
Flickr photo by robot-girl
Blogger Robert Dyer reported the restaurant at 4932 St Elmo Ave. posted a note on its door last weekend that it would be closed and that “We hope to be able to serve you again soon, once we have resolved matters.”
Those matters apparently weren’t resolved. A For Lease sign went up in the window of the restaurant on Tuesday.
When reached for comment, a representative for the restaurant said he was heading into a meeting with a lawyer and that the situation was “quite the story.” We haven’t heard back.
The restaurant opened in 2011 and earned mixed reviews, but was perhaps best known for its Saturday night Flamenco dancing.
The concerts take place from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. in Veterans Park at the corner of Norfolk and Woodmont Avenues. The full schedule follows:
May 2: Joker’s Wild (Swing)
May 9: Lloyd Dobler Effect (Irish rock)
May 16: The Walkaways (Alt-country)
May 23: JohnStone Raggae Band (Reggae)
May 30: Flo Anito (Pop, Jazz)
The two-day annual event is coming back to Woodmont Triangle for its 10th year with 130 artists of sculptures, paintings, photography, mixed media, ceramics, clothing and jewelry showing off their goods.
The festival is set for 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, May 11 and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, May 12.
Booths will be set up along Norfolk, Auburn, Del Ray and Cordell Avenues with live entertainment, children’s activities and food from Haagen Dazs, Freddy’s Lobster & Clams, Mamma Lucia, Hard Times Cafe and Yamas Mediterranean Grill.
The event is free. For more information, visit the Bethesda Urban Partnership’s event website.
Photo via Bethesda Urban Partnership
UPDATED 1:20 p.m. on Monday A spokesperson for Smashburger, a Denver-based hamburger chain, confirmed today that the restaurant has signed a lease for the building under construction at the corner of Norfolk and Cordell Avenues.
Smashburger’s Stacie Lang said the burger shop will be about 2,100-square-feet and will open in late 2013 or early 2014.
Bethesda Urban Partnership director David Dabney told the Woodmont Triangle Action Group today that an unnamed hamburger restaurant is going into the building, which will house a two-story bar and restaurant from Tommy Joe’s owner Alan Pohoryles.
The restaurant, called “Roof,” will include a rooftop bar in the middle of one of Woodmont Triangle’s busiest areas.
Smashburger has more than 200 corporate and franchise restaurants in 29 states and five countries. The only other local location is in Fairfax.
Smashburger will fill out the first floor of the building, which will also include a Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin-Robbins.
From Smashburger’s website:
By offering fresh, premium “smashed to order” burgers, chicken sandwiches, salads, signature side items and hand-spun Haagen-Dazs shakes, Smashburger has modernized the way people think about burgers. Known for localizing its menu in every market with regionally inspired burgers and side items and offering local craft beers, Smashburger has received numerous awards including topping Fast Casual’s 2012 Top Mover & Shakers list, America’s Most Promising Company by Forbes magazine, INC. 500’s List of America’s Fastest Growing Companies INC’s #9 Hire Power Award winner, and is regularly voted “best burger’ in cities all around the world.
A typical burger ranges from $4.99 to $6.99. It’s most apparent competition will be the BGR The Burger Joint location in Veterans Park (4827 Fairmont Ave.). Pohoryles has said he hopes to have Roof open by July.