Showing posts with label Pike District. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Pike District. Show all posts

Thursday, August 1, 2019

Pup Scouts Daycare & Boarding opening in Rockville

Pup Scouts Daycare & Boarding is a locally-owned daycamp and boarding facility for dogs in the Rockville and Bethesda areas. They have just located in the Pike Center shopping center, behind 5-11 Tactical at 12220-B Rockville Pike. Daycamp offers daycare services for dogs, while boarding is an option if you are leaving town for a vacation, for example. Pup Scouts may especially come in handy for folks living in the apartment buildings along the Rockville Pike corridor.

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Title Boxing Club to open at White Flint Plaza

A new boxing gym is coming to the Pike District of Montgomery County. Title Boxing Club, which has an existing Rockville facility at 10028 Darnestown Road, will soon open a new location at 5268-R Nicholson Lane. This will be in the White Flint Plaza shopping center.

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.

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Java Nation opening Rockville location

Kensington's Java Nation is opening a new location in White Flint. It will be next to Hank Dietle's Tavern, in a space vacated by Helen's restaurant. A sign out front refers to the new location as a "social house and roastery."

Java Nation has operated in Kensington since 2012. Their menu includes hearty breakfast entrees, sandwiches and wraps, pupusas, beef tacos and chicken mushroom empanadas. Of course, a full menu of hot and cold coffee drinks, teas and cocoa is available, as are beer and wine during happy hour. The menu for the new Rockville location is still under wraps as of this morning.

Monday, April 1, 2019

AT&T to modify and add cell towers in White Flint

AT&T is planning to modify its existing cell towers on the water tank at 11400 Woodglen Drive in the White Flint area of Rockville. They will replace six antennas with new ones, the tips of which will be a maximum height of 113' above ground level. AT&T also plans to add new remote radio head units to the water tank. The tank and towers are in view of several residential buildings, particularly North Bethesda Market, which is diagonally across the street.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Federal Realty plan would deliver new White Flint Metro entrance sooner at lower price (Photos)

The long-planned construction of a north entrance to the White Flint Metro station has been stalled since 2010. That year, Montgomery County approved the White Flint sector plan that requires the entrance be built, and WMATA conducted a study. An entrance closer to Pike & Rose, and - in relative terms - to properties north of Montrose Parkway, is considered essential to a successful redevelopment of the northern Pike District by property owners.

To try and get the ball rolling again at a time when Montgomery County councilmembers have managed to spend us into an ongoing structural deficit, developer Federal Realty hired a consultant to put together an independent study. Consultant AECOM and Federal Realty say the finished report shows the new entrance can be delivered sooner, and at a lower cost, than currently expected.

To achieve savings, the plan proposes breaking the development of the entrance into three phases. The Federal Realty proposal's price tag for Phase 1 would come in below the lowball option price of WMATA's study, which was priced in recession-era 2010 dollars, so the savings are likely even bigger than the numbers indicate. At only $11.1 million, Federal Realty's plan would deliver a functional station entrance at completion of Phase 1.

Later phases would add a station supervisor kiosk, exit fare machines, a pedestrian plaza, a bike storage facility, and employee and public restrooms, among other features and amenities. The push for the station takes on extra urgency, as the Pike District is considered the leading potential destination for Amazon's HQ 2 in Montgomery County.

While the empty former site of White Flint Mall is a major candidate, Pike & Rose is arguably the best choice for the long-term. Not only does it already have the urban "neighborhood" and entertainment, dining and retail options Amazon wants, but Federal Realty has several other large properties primed for redevelopment on the next blocks of Rockville Pike north of Pike & Rose. Amazon could end up with space to grow on the Montrose Crossing and Federal Plaza properties, which would be easily walkable from Pike & Rose - especially if a creative use or redevelopment of the underutilized parking lot north of Montrose Parkway at Towne Road is approved.
Federal Realty is now seeking to have a development study for their proposal funded in the FY-2019 Montgomery County CIP budget, and to develop a funding agreement and timetable among the County, WMATA and private stakeholders. The Federal Realty plan currently estimates the total price tag as $25.3 million.

PowerPoint images courtesy Federal Realty