JBG details plans for new apartment building at 7900 Wisconsin Ave. -- Gazette.Net



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JBG Companies detailed plans for a new apartment building at 7900 Wisconsin Ave. after pulling out of a land swap deal last month that would have resulted in a new 2nd District police station.

Were looking at this as a standalone project right now, said Frank Craighill of JBG Companies, at a presentation Dec. 14 before the Woodmont Triangle Action Group.

The proposed building is a 17-story, T-shaped structure that would feature ground floor retail, underground parking, a pedestrian connection between Wisconsin and Woodmont avenues and a public plaza with a grassy area and seating. Amenities for residents would include a rooftop grass terrace and pool, according to the JBG plan. JBG is also interested in providing a bikeshare station, he said.

He said the units will most likely be apartments. The project is being proposed with a maximum of 475 units, but JBG has not determined the final count, Craighill said. JBG hopes to start demolition of some of the existing small structures on the site in 2014, followed by a two-year construction period.

Im glad theyre going ahead with this kind of project, said Sue Knapp, chairwoman of the Woodmont Triangle Action Group. I loved it.

JBG will present its plans to the general public at 7 p.m. on Dec. 18 at the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Regional Services Center at 4805 Edgemoor Lane.

Blaming a slow economic recovery, JBG Companies pulled out of the land swap deal with Montgomery County that would have given them the land where the 2nd District police station currently sits at 7359 Wisconsin Ave., valued at nearly $9 million, in exchange for JBG paying for the majority of the cost for the new station to be located on Cordell Avenue between Wisconsin and Montgomery avenues. The county would have contributed an additional $9.2 million for design, furniture and equipment for a new police station. It was scheduled to open in 2017, Ken Hartman, director of the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Regional Services Center said.

The Woodmont Triangle Action Group also discussed the Bethesda Central Business District Sector Plan update, which is scheduled to begin in the next few years. The sector plan, which guides development for twenty years, is currently 18 years old.

With a large number of projects in various stages of development in downtown Bethesda, now is the time to update the sector plan, according to a draft version of a letter from the action group to Montgomery County Council President Nancy Navarro (D-Dist. 4).

jablamsky@gazette.net