Friday, January 22, 2021

Rockville Planning Commission to discuss Open Meetings Act violations

Rockville's Planning Commission will discuss Open Meetings Act violations at its next (open) meeting on Wednesday, January 27, 2021 at 7:00 PM. Commissioners will specifically address requesting an independent, outside review of OMA violations. No details are provided in the meeting agenda.

Thursday, January 21, 2021

Rockville construction update: The Ansel apartments (Photos)

Here's a look at the latest progress at the Ansel apartments in Rockville Town Center, across from Regal Row. Expectations are high for the retail and restaurant space, given the outstanding tenants developer Duball, LLC signed to the sister property, The Upton/Cambria Suites (World of Beer, Panera Bread, etc.). The Ansel is scheduled for delivery this fall.

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Yi Fang Taiwan Fruit Tea Rockville construction update (Photos)

The interior of Yi Fang Taiwan Fruit Tea is rounding into final shape at 777 Hungerford Drive in Rockville. There are nice finishes and flooring. Unlike existing businesses that have had to adapt to the current health crisis, here they have been able to make a decorative screening of the counter area, rather than simply add plastic shielding.

Trump pardons include local developer Douglas Jemal

Among the 73 pardons issued by President Donald Trump the night before Inauguration Day was a full pardon for one of the most prominent developers in the Washington, D.C. region, Douglas Jemal of Douglas Development. Trump, known for most of his life for his own real estate development business, granted Jemal a full pardon for a 2008 fraud conviction. 

Jemal was found guilty of wire fraud. He had been accused of using the proceeds of a loan taken out with a business partner to purchase a property without the partner's knowledge or consent.

Douglas Development owns numerous properties in Montgomery County, in Bethesda, Rockville, Silver Spring and Gaithersburg. They include the Trader Joe's-anchored Shops of Wisconsin in downtown Bethesda. The White House released the following statement regarding Jemal's pardon:

"President Trump granted a full pardon to Douglas Jemal. Mr. Jemal is an American businessman and philanthropist credited with rebuilding many urban inner cities in the United States. In 2008, Mr. Jemal was convicted of fraud. In addition, Mr. Jemal was instrumental to various other charitable causes, including the rebuilding of churches prior to his conviction.  Notably, at his trial the presiding judge told prosecutors that he thought it 'inconceivable' to send Mr. Jemal to prison."

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

A sign of what's to come at new Darcars dealership on Rockville Pike

First we found out who the mystery tenant was in the new building near Roy Rogers on Rockville Pike. Now we know which brands and what type of sales will be offered at this new Darcars dealership. 

It will feature pre-owned Dodge, Ram, Chrysler and Jeep sales. This makes perfect sense, as these brands match those carried by the existing Darcars dealership directly across the street from the new site.

Monday, January 18, 2021

Rockville arsons in same neighborhood under investigation

Shed destroyed by fire on
Grandin Avenue in Rockville

Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Services investigators are examining what they say is a case of arson in East Rockville, the second reported in that immediate area since last Friday. City of Rockville police responded to a reported case of arson at a home early Friday morning, January 15, 2021. The arson was reported at a home in the 100 block of Coleman Park Lane around 4:21 AM, according to crime data.

Another view of Grandin Avenue
shed fire damage now being 
attributed to arson

Now, MCFRS spokesperson Pete Piringer has announced that fire investigators are seeking public tips regarding a second arson only blocks away. The second fire was allegedly set in a shed in the backyard of a home in the 300 block of Grandin Avenue around 3:00 AM on Sunday. Anyone with information about that fire is asked to call the Arson Tipline at 240.777.2263, Piringer tweeted Sunday night.

Photos by Pete Piringer/MCFRS

Friday, January 15, 2021

Real estate firm touts Rockville bank building as prime spot for restaurant tenant

Virginia-based real estate firm KNLB is marketing a former bank building in Rockville as a potential location for a restaurant. Currently for lease, the 3200 square foot bank structure is in the Traville Village Center, at 9700-9761 Traville Gateway Drive. Renderings prepared by KNLB give a sense of what a bank-to-restaurant conversion might look like.