Rockville Rock Star
Federal Realty Investment Trust has made a major national name for itself by creating iconic retail showcases, like Santana Row in San Jose, Assembly Row in Boston and Bethesda Row in suburban DC. But for the first time in a generation, the newest model it's creating for the industry is being undertaken just steps from its corporate headquarters and will redefine its own neighborhood.
We're speaking of course about Pike & Rose, so local it draws its name from streets Federal Realty officials drive every day to work: Rockville Pike and Montrose Parkway. Shepherding its all-important leasing are Federal Realty EVP Chris Weilminster and teammates Wendy Seher and Stuart Biel. Chris recalls that on joining the firm in 1990 (happy 25th!), he was told not to do leases for predecessor Mid-Pike Plaza beyond 2009, because Federal was already contemplating its eventual repositioning.
It's hard to overstate the significance of the project for both Federal and the Rockville area. From the point of view of the company, the 24-acre development, with a Phase 1 cost of $250M, has been one of its biggest national projects of recent years. Two blocks from the White Flint Metro, it aims to show the efficiencies of smart growth, the appeal of transit-oriented mixed-use, the potential for city-type living in the suburbs, and the power of Millennial tastes to attract people of all ages. National recognition has begun: The MoCo Planning Commission just won an award from the American Planning Association related to the project.
From the point of view of the submarket, it's the first big step in the long-anticipated reinvention of Rockville Pike. Much public debate has occurred this decade on how to transform the area into an urban and walkable new Bethesda or Clarendon, and and the vision is finally starting to unfold at Pike & Rose. Traveling south into the newly named "Pike District," the development is what Federal calls the "front door" for the White Flint Sector Plan that will feature more revolutionizing of a 430-acre area in the coming 5 to 10 years by Federal and other top developers like JBG, Lerner, LCOR and Saul Centers.
Phase 1 has opened to fanfare: The 174 rentals at Per Sei apartments have sold out; another 320 units in the luxury Pallas apartment and penthouse tower will start pre-lease in two months, before they deliver this summer. The 8-screen iPic theater has been jammed since it opened in October (the cold didn't hurt because this is not your ordinary movie house—they give you warm and comfy leather seats with pillows, blankets and food). The 180k SF retail lineup also includes imports like Stella Barra and Summer House Santa Monica from the famed Lettuce Entertain You restaurant group, Maryland's first Del Frisco's Grille, City Perch white tablecloth dining at iPic, Shophouse, Chipotle, Roti Mediterranean Grill (opening soon), and (coming this fall) a UK import, Carluccio's Italian Restaurant and Market, as well as Michael Babin's first restaurant in Maryland. Gap, City Sports, Francesca's, Lucky, and Yogaso (a specialty children's store) round out the offerings along Grand Park Avenue.
Phase 2, already underway, is set to deliver another 200k feet in early 2017, including Pinstripes bowling out of Chicago, 273 more apartment units, Hilton's much talked about new lifestyle hotel "Canopy" with 104 condo units above it, and Rose Park. Other announcements are expected. Meanwhile, Federal owns another 1.2M feet along the Pike, including Congressional Plaza, Federal Plaza, Montrose Crossing and Rockville Town Square. Nationally it owns over 20M SF in 90 best-of-class assets, largely on both coasts. But what it's doing in its own backyard has become very special.
Projects like this are why we're excited to host our Bisnow "The Future of Rockville Pike" on Thursday, April 16, starting 7:45am at Rockville Metro Plaza II. Sign up here.
And we're honored that Federal Realty, a revered industry pioneer for 53 years, has joined us as a Founding Partner of the Bisnow Beltway Bash, to be held during ICSC Recon in Las Vegas in May. Please join us if you're there. Or, to sponsor, contact Bisnow's Chris Wainwright. We are astounded at the retail talent represented in the Washington region.