Monday, October 23, 2017

Public meetings scheduled for proposed self-storage, retail center in Rockville

Public meetings have been scheduled for two development projects proposed in Rockville. One is a 95000 SF self-storage facility that would be located at 204 North Stonestreet Avenue. The public can learn more at a meeting to be held Wednesday, November 1, 2017 at 7:00 PM at the Rockville Memorial Library 1st floor meeting room, at 21 Maryland Avenue.

On the next night, a public meeting on a proposed 6000 SF retail center at 900 Rockville Pike will be held on Thursday, November 2, 2017 at 7:00 PM, in the Blue Crab Conference Room at Rockville City Hall. You may recall this project is on the undeveloped land southeast of the intersection of the Pike and Edmonston Drive.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Rockville construction update: 1900 Chapman Avenue apartments (Photos)

The multi-family residential building portion of the 1900 Chapman Avenue development is about four stories above street level at this point. Surprisingly, there still is no website or promotional materials for the building that I can find online. That's highly-unusual for a project this advanced in construction.
This is phase 1 of the project, which will eventually have a 61-townhome development on the other half of the site. The property is bordered by Chapman to the west, Twinbrook Parkway to the south, and the CSX railroad to the east. This used to be the location of Syms.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Rockville construction update: Cava Grill at Upper Rock (Photos)

Cava Grill is rapidly multiplying in the area, and one of the fast casual Mediterranean chain's newest locations will be at JBG Smith's Upper Rock retail development. It is near the intersection of Shady Grove Road and I-270. Much like the neighboring MOM's Organic Market, the exterior is looking ready, but there's much more to be done inside.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Ice rink under construction as Rockville Town Square gears up to celebrate first decade (Photos)

There are signs of winter at Rockville Town Square besides the chill in the air early this week. The ice rink is now being assembled in the square for its yearly winter run.
Rockville Town Square's newest
tenant, Pandora Seafood House,
opened on Sunday
Federal Realty's property, which anchored the redevelopment of Rockville's Town Center, will celebrate its tenth anniversary on Friday, November 3, 2017 from 6:00-9:00 PM in the square. There will be live music, special offers and gift card contests from merchants, cake and an anniversary toast with Mayor Bridget Donnell Newton.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Canadian firm buys The Fenestra apartments at Rockville Town Square

The Fenestra apartments at Rockville Town Square have been sold. A Canadian firm has purchased the 492-unit property at 20 Maryland Avenue for $129 million in U.S. dollars. Ownership of the three-building complex will be split 50/50 between the Morguard Corporation itself, and its real estate investment trust.

"The Fenestra's condo-quality amenities, recent construction and prominent location in the hub of a growing community make the property an excellent addition to our portfolio," K. Rai Sahi, CEO of Morguard said in a statement. Sahi ranks #51 on the list of Canada's richest people, and the Globe and Mail estimates his net worth at $2 billion. Morguard cites the value of its total real estate portfolio as $21.9 billion.

Morguard obtained financing of $70.95 million in U.S. dollars, with a ten-year term at an interest rate of 3.55%.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Pandora Seafood House & Bar opens in Rockville (Menu+Photos)

Pandora Seafood House & Bar opened yesterday at Rockville Town Square. The construction took a long time, but once you step inside, you'll understand why. The interior is very impressive, with great detail and lighting accents. They did not simply refresh the old American Tap Room design.

Starters include selections from their raw bar, and appetizers like Lobster Foie Gras Ravioli and spiced prawns. The menu centers on specialties of the house like Cioppino, a classic Italian fisherman's stew featuring King Crab, mussels, clams, shrimp, calamari, and octopus in a spicy tomato broth, served with sourdough bread; and whole lobster. Cioppino will cost you $44, but serves two.
Entree choices range from several fresh fish selections, to land-lover's options like Mahogany Butter-Glazed Strip Loin and Honey Lavender Duck Breast. A wild mushroom risotto may fit the bill for vegetarian diners.
Pandora will be open Monday-Sunday from 11:30 AM to 5:00 PM for lunch, and from 5:00-10:30 PM for dinner. On Friday and Saturday nights, they will stay open until 1:00 AM. Pandora is located at 36-A Maryland Avenue, an easy walk from the Town Square parking garage on Maryland Avenue.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Rockville construction update: MOM's Organic Market at Upper Rock (Photos)

The exterior shell and windows of the future MOM's Organic Market at JBG Smith's Upper Rock development are completed, and HVAC and some lighting are in place. There's still a long way to go inside of the store, which will eventually be a convenient grocery store for Upper Rock residents in this growing community off Shady Grove Road at I-270.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

MCPS a top ten offender in spending money that doesn't go to the classroom


Montgomery County is ranked 8th in the nation in school spending that goes to administrators, rather than the classroom, according to Fox 45's Project Baltimore investigative unit. Baltimore City was the worst offender in the nation, their journalists found. Montgomery County Public Schools rank 8th out of all school systems in America in pumping cash to administrators, rather than to teachers and classroom costs. Six of the top ten are in Maryland.

This is once again proof that the record tax hike of 2016 did not go to hire teachers or improve academic performance (as recent PARCC test results proved - math scores declined, and English scores rose statewide, proving there was an obvious flaw in English portion of the test, rather than actual success by MCPS). In fact, a large chunk of the recordation tax money went to pay off the County's legal costs in the Silver Spring Transit Center debacle, in an outrageous and corrupt bait-and-switch by the County Council.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

CVS Pharmacy opens in Upper Rock area of Rockville (Photos)

The CVS Pharmacy has opened at JBG Smith's Upper Rock development, slightly behind schedule of an expected mid-2017 debut. Still to come are other retail tenants, including MOM's Organic Market. This was formerly an office park development turned into retail space along Shady Grove Road near I-270. The CVS, for GPS purposes, is located at 20 Upper Rock Circle. It features a convenient drive-thru pharmacy, much like the Rockville Town Square location.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Gyroland to open in Rockville (Photos)

Maria's Bakery Cafe closed last month at 1701-B3 Rockville Pike. Replacing it soon will be Gyroland, a fast casual restaurant promising authentic Greek cuisine. Along with the namesake gyros will be other dishes, including salads and kebabs. Gyroland will be located at the Shops at Congressional Village.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Akira Ramen & Izakaya soft opening in Rockville (Photos)

Akira Ramen & Izakaya is holding a soft opening this week in Rockville. The new restaurant is located at 1800 Rockville Pike in the new Galvan apartments. Hours during the soft opening, which runs through this Friday, October 13, 2017, will be 5:00-10:00 PM.

Akira combines ramen dishes with casual Japanese gastropub fare. The soft opening menu (click photo below to enlarge for detail) includes 16 appetizers ranging from fried chicken to fried squid legs, 6 ramen bowls, and Green Tea cheesecake with green tea ice cream for dessert. Be one of the first to check it out in Rockville!

Friday, October 6, 2017

Halloween stores face off across Rockville Pike (Photos)

Spirit Halloween in Rockville
Ghouls have overtaken the former REI outdoor store at 1701 Rockville Pike. America's most popular Halloween store, Spirit Halloween, has moved in for the frightful season. Just across the street at 1616 Rockville Pike, in the former Annapolis Lighting showroom, Xtreme Halloween returns to scare up business. Both offer costumes, props and accessories. A tour of the animated props at Spirit Halloween is a Halloween season event in itself. But remember, when you see someone down in a sewer in Montgomery County, it's just as likely to be a crooked County Councilmember as a demonic clown. Well, technically, both are clowns.