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Project: North Bethesda Market

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North Bethesda Marke    

Project: North Bethesda Market
Architect: HKS Architects
Typology: Mixed-Use Residential
Location: Rockville, MD
Sustainability Elements: Economy, Food

Conveniently located along Rockville Pike and walking distance to the Metro, North Bethesda Market is a mixed-use, transit oriented development comprised of residential and commercial retail uses. It is envisioned as a vibrant new component of the larger, mixed-use live, work, play environment toward which Rockville Pike and the White Flint neighborhood are evolving. The project’s location near the White Flint Metro Station makes it a prominent example of both transit oriented development and Smart Growth. The project emphasizes public transportation and alternatives to single occupancy vehicles through its Metro location, pedestrian environment and mix of uses.

The project consists of three buildings: a 24-story tower and a 6-story mid-rise building, both combining retail and residential as well as a 2-story retail-only building on Rockville Pike. The first and second floors of each of the buildings will be devoted to various retail uses, including restaurants, a high-end home furniture store, and a Whole Foods grocery store. The project also features a 50,000 sf below-grade LA Fitness gym. Overall the project will offer over 200,000 sf of retail space which will serve the on-site neighboring residential communities, the surrounding office buildings as well as the 50,000 daily commuters that pass the project on Rockville Pike.

Located above the retail in the mid-rise and high rise buildings will be 397 residential units. Residents of North Bethesda Market will benefit not only from a close proximity to the Metro, but also from Class A living in a community-centered environment fostered by the creation of a central plaza and Paseo, a tree-lined private street within the community. North Bethesda Market, with its 24-story tower on Rockville Pike, will feature the tallest building in Montgomery County, serving as a landmark to locals and visitors alike and providing sweeping vistas of the District of Columbia to North Bethesda Market residents. Functionally, North Bethesda Market will seamlessly integrate the residential zone to the west with the more commercialized Rockville Pike to the east. A more detailed description of each of the buildings follows:

Residential Tower

As the the tallest building in Montgomery County, the iconic element of the project is a 24-story, 187-unit “point” tower building that will anchor and define the North Bethesda Market development along Rockville Pike. The building will serve as an area landmark at the southern edge of the “North Bethesda” district. The first two floors of the building will be comprised of approximately 27,000 square feet of retail. This retail augments the mixed-use aspects of the development, which serve as a prime example of the Rockville Pike corridor’s unfolding transition to new urbanism from its more dated standard suburban retail use. The overall architecture of the building will be expressed using modern aesthetics. Signage and storefronts will vary on a tenant-by-tenant basis creating interest at the pedestrian scale.

Whole Foods and Mid-Rise Residential

The westernmost building is a 6-story building whose character is defined by its transitional location adjacent to a residential townhouse neighborhood to the west. At its base, it houses a Whole Foods grocery store and two stories of small shop retail and restaurant space along Paseo Drive at its eastern edge. The ground floor is animated with varied storefronts that define and enliven the pedestrian environment, as well as outdoor dining areas along the Paseo as well as along the Executive Boulevard frontage. Above the ground floor retail is a full level of parking, followed by a U-shaped 210-unit residential component featuring a central roof top courtyard with an outdoor pool and other recreational amenities for residents.

Free Standing Retail and LA Fitness

The third building is a two-story, 36,000 sf retail building, fronting Rockville Pike and the project’s central plaza. Below-grade, underneath Building A and B, is a 50,000 square foot LA|Fitness athletic facility.

In addition to the other improvements this project will make to the area, the development will also provide amenities for public use. The development will provide a significant amount of open space by creating an urban streetscape with Executive Blvd and an internal market place or festival type street to be named at a later time. Paseo Drive can be closed for special events to allow for additional gathering space. A variety of pedestrian connections located throughout the property will also contribute to the quality of public realm by creating a series of small scale connections within the project and to the surrounding community to encourage pedestrian activity to and from this smart growth development.

The proposed landscape for the North Bethesda Market project is designed to provide an engaging and pedestrian-friendly urban experience. The plan places special emphasis on human scale and ease of access appropriate to the developing urban fabric of the North Bethesda area. Streets and sidewalks are separated from automobile traffic and sheltered by a canopy of trees, and café areas and small public places are sprinkled throughout. The project will also include a pedestrian-only plaza, featuring a fountain, landscaping, places to gather and a series of of public art by Jim Sanborn, the nationally- acclaimed local artist featured in Dan Brown’s The Lost Symbol.

Parking for the project will be mainly underground and accessible from the Service Lane and from Executive Blvd. This parking will serve both retail and residential. There will also be above grade parking located in a parking garage above a portion of the grocery site.

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