Tuesday, July 16, 2019

White Flint project slashing planned retail/restaurant space

Developer ProMark is slashing the planned retail and restaurant space in its East Village at North Bethesda Gateway project, another troubling sign of moribundity in the White Flint sector plan area. Only Federal Realty has delivered a fully-realized development since the sector plan passed in 2010. While Federal Realty has delivered on its end of the bargain with its successful Pike & Rose property, its CEO has criticized Montgomery County officials for failing to deliver on their end. Inertia and incompetence among the County's elected officials has been compounded by the jurisdiction's hostile business climate. Both factors crippling White Flint in its effort to compete with booming Tysons, arch-rival Fairfax County's own urban makeover project.

ProMark is asking the County Planning Board to approve a reduction in retail space at East Village from 20,000 SF to only 5000 SF, a retail footprint more in line with a boutique condo building. The developer is clearly looking at market trends, which are all tailing downward in moribund Montgomery County. With the ultra-rich fleeing to lower-tax jurisdictions in the region, there is no longer a wealth base sufficient to support high-end retail, or provide the revenue to fund promised infrastructure and amenities in White Flint and other parts of the county.

Other cost-and-risk-reducing changes in the East Village project reflect the stagnation in the local economy. The originally proposed underground garage, standard in premium luxury buildings, is being replaced with above-ground parking. And the number of residential units is being reduced from 382 to 335.

The Planning Board will take up the proposed plan revisions at its July 18 meeting. Planning staff recommends approval of the changes. East Village will be located at the corner of Nicholson Lane and Huff Court.
Montgomery County is on a fiscal trajectory
towards bankruptcy
Can Montgomery County go on like this? At rock bottom in the region by every relevant economic development benchmark, with revenue declining despite record-high taxes, and with debt so massive that - if the debt were a department in the County government - it would be the third-largest department, the alarm bells are beginning to go off. Those alarms are being heard in New York City, where bond rating agencies are alerting current and potential Montgomery County investors that actions by the County Council have put MoCo's AAA bond rating in danger.

9 comments:

  1. The town crier and liar, Dyer is at it again with the weeping, moribund, sore you continually pick when your get aggravated because no one will elect you. I wonder why.

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    1. Residents in the White Flint, Bethesda, Rockville and beyond will begin to realize how much they lost out on home values when the MoCo Council couldn't close the deal with Amazon.

      If I had a house in Randolph Hills, I'd be livid.

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    2. Residents in White Flint, Bethesda, Rockville didn't want it to begin with. BOOM!

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    3. 9:59 - Try English next time

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    4. I agree with you.

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    5. Agreed.

      RE: Amazon- I own a home in Rockville and didn't want Amazon in our area to begin with. Counties were bending over for Amazon and the tax breaks given to amazon would be offset by my increased property taxes. I'd be paying for their headquarters.

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  2. Putting this into proportion, going from 20,000 square feet to 5,000 is going from approximately four small shops to one. It's hardly the Death of White Flint Mall Redux. The Shoppers space next door is more than twice that size. Probably the surface parking lot is a placeholder for the additional retail.

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  3. MoCo is finished, I'm moving.

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    1. So sad to see you go. I'm sure it'll be impossible to sell your house with the current real estate market. /sarcasm

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