Plans to create White Flint ‘business district’ underway -- Gazette.Net


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The name “White Flint” may conjure images of 1970s shopping malls and surface parking lots, very different from the mixed-use complexes in vogue in downtown Rockville and Bethesda. But it probably won’t stay that way for long.

Federal Realty Investment Trust, the company that developed Rockville’s Town Square, Congressional Plaza on the Rockville Pike and Bethesda Row, has a new mixed-use development in the works near the White Flint Metro station. The development, Pike and Rose, sits at the intersection of Montrose Parkway, Rockville Pike and Old Georgetown Road in North Bethesda and will include apartments, a hotel, offices and retail space.

Evan Goldman, FRIT’s vice president for development, said the area will have a lot in common with downtown Bethesda.

“Bethesda Row is more in the heart of the central business district,” he said. “... I think it’ll have a similar feel to Bethesda, but it’ll be built with all green buildings.”

Goldman said FRIT plans for Pike and Rose, which was formerly known as Mid-Pike Plaza, to be as good as Bethesda at attracting local retailers, but with room for larger, national companies as well.

Phase 1 of the project, which will include 493 residential units, offices, parking and retail space, is already under construction and expected to be finished by the fall of 2014.

FRIT plans to submit a site plan for Phase 2 of the project within the next few weeks, Goldman said. A 300-room hotel is in the plans for Phase 2, as are 405 residential units, about 268,000 square feet of retail space and 475,000 square feet of office space. Construction on that portion is expected to begin by the spring of 2014, with some buildings finished in 2016.

FRIT isn’t the only developer looking to the White Flint sector on the Pike. In October, the Montgomery County Planning Board approved a sketch plan to replace White Flint Mall with a 5.2 million-square-foot town center complex.

More recently, Archstone, which already leases apartments in Gaithersburg, Rockville and North Bethesda, unveiled its sketch plan for a new complex at the intersection of Old Georgetown Road and Nebel Street, about a block from the White Flint Metro stop.

The Archstone development, situated across from Harris Teeter, would include a park with deck overlook, bikeshare racks and benches near the apartments, according to a presentation by the company last month.

Goldman said the type of development going up in the White Flint area will be very different from what is there now, with tall office and residential buildings as well as a string of parks replacing the existing buildings.

“White Flint ultimately will become a larger business district, and we’ll be in the center of that,” he said.