In The Works: Top 3 Bethesda Developments
In May, Bethesda-based Stonebridge broke ground on a new tower at 7373 Wisconsin Ave., a short walk from the Bethesda Metro station. The $350M project, known as Avocet Tower, is set to include 370K SF of office space as well as a 220-unit AC by Marriott hotel. It is being constructed on the site of the former Second District Police Station — Stonebridge received the land after agreeing to build a new police station half a mile north on Rugby Avenue.
The offices in Avocet Tower are being constructed on spec, a practice that has become more common around the D.C. area as demand for high-end office space rises. Developers like JBG Smith and Carr Properties have already seen success with spec buildings in Bethesda, and Stonebridge principal Doug Firstenberg said leasing interest in the building is high. Stonebridge has brought on JLL to handle the leasing of the building’s office. It is partnering with OTO development on the hotel.
Local officials hailed the project as exactly the kind of mixed-use development that Bethesda needs as it densifies and becomes a business center to rival downtown D.C. and Baltimore. Stonebridge is reportedly hoping for a delivery date sometime in 2021.
Battery Lane District
Developer: Aldon Management Corp.
At the very northern end of Bethesda’s central business district, a handful of 50-year-old apartments could soon be replaced by a set of residential towers over 150 feet tall. Aldon Management Group, through the subsidiary Brown Development LLC, has filed plans with the Bethesda Downtown Design Advisory Panel to replace 477 low-rise units along Battery Lane with over 1,500 new apartments.
The Battery Lane District, as Aldon is currently calling the new development, is set to occupy 11.3 acres just north of Bethesda’s city center. Aldon is planning to replace the existing six apartment buildings on a rolling basis over the next 10 to 15 years.
Aldon is using three different architects for the complex, hoping to create an organic-feeling final product. The largest of the planned structures, at 4949 Battery Lane and designed by KGD Architecture, would include two 180-foot-tall towers and a smaller, seven-story building with a total of 520 units. Cooper Carry and DNC Architects are designing two other neighboring parcels with a combined 678 units.
Apex Building Redevelopment
Developer: Carr Properties
Construction is ongoing at Carr Properties’ redevelopment of the former Apex Building at 7272 Wisconsin Ave., just south of the Bethesda Red Line station. The development comprises a 300-foot, 360K SF office tower dubbed the Wilson, as well as a 460-unit multifamily building called the Elm.
Currently, Carr is constructing an underground parking structure and a protective shell for the D.C. Metro’s Purple Line, which will run underneath the two buildings. It expects to return to ground level in December, with final delivery coming in July 2020.
Leasing for the office space is coming along. D.C.’s Fox affiliate, WTTG, inked a lease for 57K SF at the Wilson as it plans to leave its offices in Tenleytown. Alternative energy company Enviva Partners is signed up for 80K SF, and ProShares, an exchange-traded fund, plans to occupy 55K SF.