Over 60 ULI members gathered to hear about the development of the major infill project in Bethesda at the intersection of Woodmont and Bethesda Avenues. The development is a public, private project that replaced a small surface parking lot in the heart of Bethesda with 250 luxury for-sale and for-tent residences and 40,000 square feet of retail. Approximately 25% of the units are set aside for affordable and workforce units. The project also trIn 2004 the County released an RFP for the site and in 2005, a joint venture of StonebridgeCarras and PN Hoffman was selected by the County as developer of the project. Over 900 public parking spaces were provided on-site. The entire process was governed by a detailed General Development Agreement (GDA) entered into by the developers and the County; the GDA spelled out the terms and conditions for every element of the project, for both the public and private sectors.
The project included the relocation of Verizon’s west Bethesda network of phones and data before the project could commence. Additionally, the Great Recession took place during the project period, and that created a need for rethinking the financing structure as well as the development strategy for the private development components due to the new economics of development.
Attendees got to hear from project principals as well as the main Montgomery County Department of Transportation staff who headed the effort for the County. Tours of the project were given that allowed attendees to see a model unit, the rooftop and other amenities, as well as the beautiful outdoor plaza and the connection to the adjacent Capital Crescent Trail. Sidewalks were widened and the reconfiguration of the Bethesda/Woodmont intersection has made the project safer for pedestrians.
Two panels shared their knowledge and insights with the attendees; both were moderated by Bob Dalrymple, the private sector attorney who worked on the project over its 10-year lifespan. The first panel focused on the vision of the redevelopment and how it became a reality, and the second panel provided information on the success of the project now that it is virtually complete.
- Robert “Bob” Dalrymple (Moderator), Partner, Linowes and Blocher LLP
- Douglas Firstenberg, Principal, StonebridgeCarras, LLC.
- Monty Hoffman, Founder and CEO, PN Hoffman
- Al Roshdieh, Acting Director, Montgomery County Department of Transportation
- Jane G. Mahaffie, Principal, StonebridgeCarras, LLC.
- Michelle F. Giannini, Senior Vice President, PN Hoffman
- Noelle Sharbaugh, Regional Vice President, Bozzuto Management Company