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StonebridgeCarras Acquires Final Parcel For 500K SF Downtown Bethesda Project

An aerial view of the downtown Bethesda site StonebridgeCarras has acquired.

A new 250-foot-tall development in the heart of downtown Bethesda is one step closer to becoming reality. 

StonebridgeCarras has acquired 4630 Montgomery Lane, the final parcel needed for the development it is planning on the site of the 2nd District Police Station at the intersection of Wisconsin and Montgomery avenues. 

The site has an area of 15K SF and is occupied by a 32K SF building. StonebridgeCarras acquired it for $15.25M from an affiliate of The Goldstar Group. 

The developer is receiving the building rights for the police station site at 7359 Wisconsin Ave. as part of an exchange with Montgomery County. StonebridgeCarras is building a new police station at 4823 Rugby Road in return for the ability to build on the prime development site across from the Bethesda Metro station. 

StonebridgeCarras acquired a parcel at 7351 Wisconsin Ave., occupied by the Carpet Palace, in February 2015. 

With the three adjacent sites, StonebridgeCarras will have the ability to develop up to 250 feet high and will have roughly 500K SF of density to work with. The developer expects to release detailed plans later this summer, but principal Doug Firstenberg said the building will be predominately office with ground-floor retail. 

“With the prominence of the site, the angles and the additional height it really just looks like a fantastic office site,” Firstenberg said.  

Firstenberg aims to break ground in 2019 and deliver the project in 2021. He said the latest acquisition improves the accessibility of the site for the development.

“It gives us a better development site,” Firstenberg said. “It gives us more access to the street, which is really important in Bethesda. It gives us great access and a far superior footprint.”  

A rendering of Carr Properties' development at 7272 Wisconsin Ave. in Bethesda.

The project would be the latest addition to downtown Bethesda's growing development pipeline. One block south, Carr Properties is beginning work on its Apex Building development, which will include 460 residential units and 360K SF of office, plus 15K SF of ground-level retail and a public plaza. One block west of that, JBG Smith is planning a 14-story mixed-use building with 287K SF of office and retail anchored by Dean & Deluca. The gourmet food market is set to open later this year, and JBG is waiting to sign an anchor tenant before going vertical on the office component. 

Marriott International is also preparing to move to downtown Bethesda. The hospitality giant in January picked Bernstein Cos.' site at 7750 Wisconsin Ave. to build its new $660M HQ campus. Along with Boston Properties, it is planning a 22-story, 770K SF office building and a 200-room hotel on the site.