Friday, April 21, 2017

Another office project to go residential in Rockville (Photos)

Project site at the northeast corner
of W. Montgomery Avenue and
West Gude Drive
More potential high-wage jobs are about to disappear in Rockville. A site at the corner of W. Montgomery Avenue and West Gude Drive once planned to hold office space and research facilities will trade conference rooms for bedrooms, should a revised mixed-use project receive approval. Applicant J2 Holdings, LLC is asking to replace the already-approved 3 office/R&D buildings with 2 buildings, holding 459 residential units and 10,053 SF of retail space.

J2 Holdings is also requesting a 75' building height, 10' more than is allowed under the current zoning. 620 parking spaces are planned. The property and currently-approved office use were part of the Fallsgrove Concept Plan.
The site is currently a
wooded area along Route 28
Montgomery County's moribund private-sector economy, and hostile-to-business reputation, have led to a high number of office vacancies. With residential development more profitable than office, many developers have seized on the opportunity to shoehorn more residential into office zones. Critics note that the resulting loss of jobs increases driving and auto emissions, as residents of bedroom community Montgomery County are forced to commute to job centers elsewhere in the region.

After a Development Review Committee meeting on May 11, the project will go to the Planning Commission for review.


  1. It always bothers me when I see some LLC or LLP business name and not who the real developer is. Most of the time, the company behind the LLC or LLP (Limited Liability Company or Limited Liability Partnership) is a larger regional or national developer, like Learner, Bozzuto, B F Saul, etc. In this case, it appears that J2 Holdings, LLC is a smaller operation with several regional developments in play in Gaithersburg and Rockville. The owner of J2 Holdings, LLC is Potomac resident, Jatinder S. Sekhon, M.D. Dr. Sekhon, who lives in a $2.8M Potomac home, is a “leading” gastroenterologist based in Rockville. The doctor’s home also serves as his headquarters for his development projects. Dr. Sekhon even has his own staff, which assists in various development plans and studies (e.g. traffic impact studies). It is also possible that J2 Holdings may have a connection with Lebling Development LLC, which is a large-scale developer. All that said, you never know if Dr. Sekhon has plans to sell any of J2 Holdings’ projects to a Lebling or some other large-scale developer sometime in the future. I would caution Dr. Sekhon however in his forays into the real estate game… there are occasions when the general public is not on board with certain development projects and may even go as far as demonstrating their concerns by showing up at the developer’s medical practice.

    1. Are you stalking him? That's pretty creepy you making assumptions and posting it here.

  2. Funny, your previous item was about how a residential project is getting partially redesignated as offices. Why didn't you call that out as a healthy sign about MoCo's business climate? It's not very intellectually honest to call out the one and not the other, Robert.

    I enjoy your news about retail openings and closings, but your commentary on Montgomery County politics is so overwhelmingly one-sided that I fear that I actually get less well-informed when I read it.

    1. Funny, your previous run for office was about how a campaign of fearmongering (confederate statue) was repackaged as a devastating 3rd place loss (even in your home district). Why didn't you call that out for what it was; polarizing rhetoric designed to serve your agenda? It’s not very intellectually honest to claim to be a unifier, while pitting citizen against citizen, Tom.

      I enjoy the news of your defeats, but your attempted participation in Rockville and Montgomery County politics is so overwhelmingly divisive, I fear that voters actually get less well-informed as they read your blog postings.

      [Bob, keep up the good work!]

  3. Tom, from my understanding of the other project, the amount of office space will be relatively insignificant. This project, by contrast, is deleting a major high-wage job hub from the I-270 corridor and from the City.

    I think there's widespread agreement that the office market is struggling. The disagreement seems to be on why that is. Given that Apple, Google, defense contractors and other top companies are doubling down on suburban office park campuses, the reason is obviously not merely that office parks have gone out of style, as we keep hearing from the County planning department.