Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Rockville apartment building sold

Mallory Square Apartments
at 15251 Siesta Key Way in Rockville has a new owner. Nuveen Real Estate acquired the recently-constructed building for $110 million, according to Julie Sanders of REbusinessOnline

Mallory Square is one of two recent stack-and-pack-style apartment buildings along the MD 28 corridor near Shady Grove. It features a Dunkin' Donuts on the ground floor.

Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Pike Center gets new signage in Rockville (Photos)

Pike Center
at 12137 Rockville Pike has new entryway signage. The signage features a vertical Pike Center logo, and several horizontal, lighted panels designed to feature tenants of the shopping center. Only TGI Friday's has been added so far. Its panel manages to squeeze in both the restaurant chain's logo, and its current marketing tagline, "In here, it's always Friday."

Monday, June 28, 2021

Rockville poised to extend outdoor dining streeteries through Halloween 2021

Picnic benches for outdoor dining
on Gibbs Street in Rockville

Diners in the City of Rockville will likely continue to have the option to eat outdoors on some city streets through Halloween, if the Mayor and Council approve an extension of the pandemic-related program this Thursday night. An extension order drawn up for the July 1 meeting will allow outdoor dining to continue in select public rights-of-way through October 31, 2021. Approved streets include Gibbs Street, South Adams Street, and E. Montgomery Avenue.

Seventeen businesses across the city currently hold permits for such outdoor dining spaces on public easements and along public sidewalks. Those are scheduled to expire on Thursday, if officials take no action. The extension is expected to be approved, as the Mayor and Council unanimously voted to allow the outdoor dining use last June.

Friday, June 25, 2021

Slice of Rockville closing tonight - last chance!!

Slice of Rockville
at 1111 Nelson Street in the Woodley Gardens shopping center, will close permanently at the close of business (9:00 PM) tonight, June 25, 2021, according to the pizzeria's Facebook page. The pizza parlor has had a good 11-year run in challenging times, but is sure to be missed by the neighborhood and the nearby Rockville Senior Center. A new restaurant tenant will take over the space in the near future, but today is your last chance to stop by for a Slice of Rockville! 🍕

Thursday, June 24, 2021

Rockville fireworks 2021

Montgomery County has canceled its government-funded public fireworks displays this year, making it an outlier among our neighbors Frederick and Howard counties, who are proceeding with theirs. The City of Rockville has also canceled its display, and City of Gaithersburg officials have postponed theirs. What is a traditionalist to do? If you are near any of these mostly-private fireworks displays, you may be able to enjoy a free show anyway (just don't trespass on private property). 

Bethesda/Chevy Chase/Potomac

Chevy Chase Club - July 3, 2021/9:30 PM
Columbia Country Club - June 29/9:10 PM
Congressional Country Club - July 4/9:15 PM
Kenwood Golf & Country Club - June 30/9:15 PM

Poolesville (PUBLIC)

Upper Montgomery County Volunteer Fire Department at soccer fields on Hughes Road at Sugarland Road - July 4/Event begins 5:00 PM, fireworks "after dark"/Parking $5.00


Manor Country Club - July 1/9:30 PM
Norbeck Country Club - July 1/9:20 PM
Woodmont Country Club - June 26/9:30 PM

Silver Spring

Argyle Country Club - July 2/9:30 PM

Thai Chef posts "coming soon" signage at Rockville Town Square

Thai Chef
is coming soon to Rockville Town Square, and signage has been installed in the windows to remind passersby of that. It is expected to open later this summer. The restaurant is currently hiring for all positions.

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Construction begins at Sports & Social in Rockville (Photos)

Sports & Social
is now under-construction at 11800 Grand Park Avenue at Pike & Rose. Massive windows screens promote the upscale sports bar in the former Del Frisco's Grille space. One touts the giant video wall that will be a centerpiece on game days. I spy scrapple and "boozy cereal" on the brunch menu.

Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Assault at Rockville grocery store

City of Rockville police responded to a report of an assault at a grocery store on Saturday afternoon. The incident took place at a supermarket in the 1800 block of Rockville Pike around 3:27 PM, according to crime data.

Monday, June 21, 2021

Want to buy a Walgreens in Rockville?

The building currently home to Walgreens at 430 Hungerford Drive in Rockville is for sale. Before you hear the asking price, you may want to have a seat. Buying this property will set you back a wallet-busting $10,650,000.

Rather than indicating that Walgreens is struggling, the selling point of the building is that the Walgreens is a successful, highly-desirable tenant. Walgreens has an absolute net lease with 7 years remaining on it, and rent escalations every five years. The drugstore opened in 2013; its 1970 building was previously home to the legendary Orange Ball Billiards and Cafe.

Another reason you'll have pay over $10 million, is the redevelopment potential of the site. You could practically throw a football and hit the Rockville Metro station from the property. Assemble additional parcels, and you would have a very profitable redevelopment opportunity, but a nice opportunity even by itself.

Friday, June 18, 2021

Panera Bread reopens in Rockville Town Center

Earlier this month, I reported that Panera Bread would be reopening after a long pandemic closure at 219 E. Middle Lane in Rockville Town Center. The store has now officially opened for business again. Among the items on the summer menu are Summer Corn Chowder, a Chipotle Chicken and Bacon flatbread pizza, and frozen strawberry lemonade.

IT'SUGAR, late of Rockville Town Square, to open at Montgomery Mall

While the brief trend of upscale candy stores at town centers ended up sinking in spectacular fashion, it turns out there was enough room on the door for IT'SUGAR. The candy shop closed at Rockville Town Square at the end of 2020. Now it will get another chance at Westfield Montgomery Mall in Bethesda.

IT'SUGAR will be located on Level 1 in the Nordstrom wing, by Everything But Water. Will the late Sugarfina at Bethesda Row get a bonus life at the mall? Not likely, as that chain went into bankruptcy. Both shops had some interesting novelty items during their short runs, like Donald Trump and Super Mario. I'll buy that for a dollar!

Thursday, June 17, 2021

Shake Shack coming to Rockville Pike

Incredible news from the White Flint area of Rockville Pike: Shake Shack will be the new tenant in the fast food restaurant building recently vacated by Arby's at 11710 Rockville Pike. Shake Shack is also opening a location not far away at Westfield Montgomery Mall. But what makes this new location just revealed by the Washington Business Journal so exciting, is that it will have a drive-thru. The line will likely be backed up onto the Pike when the restaurant first opens.

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Part of Baltimore Road in Rockville to close until October

The latest phase of improvements to Baltimore Road in Rockville will require an extended closure of part of the street. On or about June 23, 2021, the segment between Gladstone Drive and Broadwood Drive will be closed, and remain closed until October. Detour signs will reroute drivers via Broadwood and Edmonston Drive. There will also be signs to direct pedestrians to a pedestrian detour.

Part of the project will be replacing a culvert over a stream that flows beneath Baltimore Road near Rockville Cemetery. Storm drain installation and stream restoration will also be performed during the closure. The closed segment should reopen by mid-October, the city announced yesterday. Baltimore Road will be resurfaced when all of the projects are completed, and that should wrap up by spring 2022.

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Rockville construction update: Amazon Fresh grocery store on Shady Grove Road (Photos)

Here's a look at the progress on the construction of the Amazon Fresh grocery store at the 270 Center on Shady Grove Road. This was previously Office Depot, until Amazon added it to a growing number of grocery store locations it plans to open in the region.

Monday, June 14, 2021

Power outages in Rockville, Derwood

There are two small power outages in the Rockville area this morning. One is near the intersection of Edmonston Drive and Veirs Mill Road. The other is in Derwood, close to the intersection of Redland Road and Needwood Road. Pepco estimates power will be restored to customers in both outages by 1:00 PM this afternoon.

Friday, June 11, 2021

More renovations planned for Rockville Target store

After a significant remodeling in 2019, more interior changes are now planned for the Target store at 5700 Bou Avenue in Rockville. In addition to further changes to enhance grocery pickup services, the project will include new lighting fixtures, flooring, and changes to wall finishes and ceilings. Work is expected to begin this summer. 

Montgomery County police union trolls elected officials on social media for defunding police amid crime wave

Montgomery County's Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 35 criticized County elected officials on social media Thursday for "defunding MoCo police" amid a crime wave. The posts on Facebook and Twitter called out County Executive Marc Elrich and the County Council for eliminating 27 police officer positions in the budget. They also cited violent crimes in the county that made area headlines in the last few days.

"3 carjackings in 2 days (2 @ gunpoint, 1 w/ serious injuries) when is @MontCoExec and @MoCoCouncilMD going to get their priorities straight and stop defunding MoCo police?" the posts asked. Officers have reported that morale on the force and officer recruiting efforts are both trending downward.

"Just because of the, so much of the anti-police sentiment, not being treated well," County Officer Petr Speight told CBS' Ted Koppel in a report aired Sunday. "Those kind of things are just discouraging people from wanting to stick around. Things have just changed, the way people view us, and the way they view our role in society and our jobs."

While anti-police sentiment has markedly increased after the death of George Floyd, declining police morale has actually been trending in Montgomery County for more than a decade, based on what officers have told me over that time period. The County Council tried to slash disability benefits for officers in 2009, approving a modified version of that plan in 2011. Councilmembers, and the Washington Post editorial board, falsely characterized officers seeking disability benefits as schemers and scam artists without evidence to back up those claims. Both have publicly criticized County police on a regular basis for a variety of grievances since that opening move.

Thursday, June 10, 2021

Rockville Mayor & Council to discuss potential litigation regarding Maryland Express Lanes project in closed session

Rockville's Mayor and Council will discuss potential litigation related to "a construction project" and the "P3 I-270 expansion project" in closed session at its Monday, June 14, 2021 meeting, which begins at 5:30 PM for that purpose. The Mayor and Council have spoken against the I-270 Express Lanes project over the last few years, since it was proposed by Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan.

Curbside EV charging stations proposed
for multiple locations in Rockville

When the Mayor and Council reconvene in public session Monday night, they will consider approving increased fines for parking within 15 feet of a fire hydrant, a contract with Pepco for electric vehicle charging stations throughout the city, support for excavation improvements in the public right-of-way for the B.F. Saul Twinbrook Quarter project, and a $299,600 contract to install sewer grinders at the N. Horners Lane and Fallsgrove Sewage Pump Stations.

Proposed locations for Pepco
curbside EV charging stations

Also on the agenda is a public hearing on the Rockville 2040 Comprehensive Master Plan, and a project plan for a new retail center long in the works at 900 Rockville Pike. The Mayor and Council could choose to approve that project Monday night, or simply discuss it and recommend next steps to city staff.

Images courtesy City of Rockville

Wednesday, June 9, 2021

New Rockville skate park opens

Skate or die! The new and updated Rockville Skate Park has opened at 355 Martins Lane. Gone is the 2001-model wood and steel park. In its place are concrete ramps and bowls, and new rails. Other features include an entrance building with a family/gender-neutral restroom, lighting, landscaping, parking, a stormwater management facility, and access road improvements. The park was designed and built by Spohn Ranch of Los Angeles, in coordination with input from the skating community in Rockville.

Challenges at the park include a kidney bowl, manual pads, quarter pipes, a radius wedge, a rainbow grind rail, a grind ledge, a slappy curb and pole. Whether you know what those terms mean or not makes no difference; the City says the park is designed for all ages and skill levels.

The park’s hours are: 3-9 p.m. Tuesday-Friday; 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The park is closed on Mondays through Tuesday, June 15. Summer hours, beginning Wednesday, June 16, are noon-9 p.m. Monday-Friday, and 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Helmets are required; a few loaner helmets will be available at the park. Staff at the park will strictly enforce the helmet rule during operating hours.

Photo courtesy City of Rockville

Tuesday, June 8, 2021

Google Street View car spotted in Rockville (Photos)

Google is updating Street View in the Rockville area at the moment. This Google Street View car was caught trolling through the city in recent days.