A Tale of Two Bethesdas?
After years on ice, construction is heating up in downtown Bethesda, especially in multifamily. But could there be a divide growing between the trendy Woodmont Triangle area and the luxury-filled southern end of downtown? On the left is StonebridgeCarras principal Doug Firstenberg, leading members of Bisnow's Ascent community last night through Lot 31, the decade-in-the-works, mixed-use project his firm is building at Bethesda and Woodmont avenues (though it's not part of Woodmont Triangle) with PN Hoffman and Northwestern Mutual. Doug broke down the region's differences. Luxury residential product and retail dominate the southern end (anchored by projects like Bethesda Row and Lot 31), resulting in a higher price point for buyers and renters. The Triangle area—aided by an influx of trendy retail—has more standard urban residential product that's priced at a more affordable level for younger renters.
While the Triangle may be more affordable than points south, prices are still high; at the apartment project Stonebridge is developing at 8300 Wisconsin, studios are slated for almost $2,000/month. That's still half as much as some apartments at Lot 31's rental product (called The Flats) might rent for. But it's all a direct result of the limited new housing supply in Bethesda, Doug says, as it's been years since new product has delivered. The quick facts on Lot 31 (we snapped this view of downtown Bethesda from its rooftop): It'll include 88 condos (in a building called The Darcy), about 160 apartments in The Flats, and 40k SF of retail, which is already 90% leased. Everything should open up by next spring.