Bethesda to get Affordable Housing, Parks and Parking Development

Montgomery County officials announced the development of affordable housing, parks, and parking garage in downtown Bethesda. 

Earlier this month County Executive Marc Elrich announced an innovative new development project that would transform two Bethesda Parking Lot Districts (PLD), Lots 25 and 44, to almost 300 affordable and deeply affordable housing units. The project is a joint venture with private partners and will also include a greenway between Highland and West Virginia Avenues as envisioned in the Bethesda Downtown Sector Plan. The County Executive was joined at the announcement by Montgomery County Councilmember Andrew Friedson, whose district includes this area.

During the negotiations leading to this agreement, County Executive Elrich emphasized the importance of providing the greenway as outlined in the Bethesda Downtown Sector Plan and need for affordable housing at various income levels in Bethesda.

According to the press release:

“What we did here we can do throughout Montgomery County,” said County Executive Elrich. “Affordable Housing is desperately needed throughout the County, and we are using innovative approaches that bring the community and developers to the table to make it happen. This week’s announcement is a great example of what happens when everyone is determined to succeed, and I thank the public and private partners who made this happen.”

The development will also replace the surface parking spaces with approximately 145 public parking spaces in a turnkey, underground public parking garage owned by the County and operated by its Department of Transportation (MCDOT). The County Executive, MCDOT and the Department of Housing and Community Affairs (DHCA) collaboratively worked on the joint venture to incorporate deeply affordable Moderately Priced Dwelling Units (MPDUs) in the multi-family buildings proposed for Lots 25 and 44.

The Sector Plan envisioned redevelopment of PLD Lots 25 and 44 to accommodate part of the Eastern Greenway, designed to function as a public park and open space for the community while creating a transition between the established single-family neighborhood to the east and the Wisconsin Avenue Corridor to the west. Shortly after the Council adopted the Sector Plan in 2017, Broad Branch Development put into a motion a redevelopment vision for 4702 West Virginia Avenue, the property located immediately to the east of PLD Lot 44. While obtaining development approvals for a multi-family project at 4702 West Virginia Avenue, Broad Branch Development approached MCDOT to discuss their vision for an assemblage with PLD Lot 44 to allow for a more comprehensive redevelopment which would, if approved, result in public parkland being shifted further to the east to allow for an expansion of Chase Avenue Urban Park.

The project is a joint venture between the County government, and Broad Branch Development, Mosaic Realty, Monument Realty, with the assistance of Selzer Gurvitch Rabin Wertheimer and Polott, P.C.

Read the full press release. 

At the 2022 MACo Summer Conference Solutions Showcase, “Let’s Talk Housing: National Problem, Local Solutions” an expert panel discusses county-level policy options and opportunities to help solve our housing crisis. 

The 2022 MACo Summer Conference will be held at the Roland Powell Convention Center in Ocean City, MD from August 17-22. This year’s theme is “Taking Care of Business.” More information can be found on our conference website.

 

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