Boomtown: New Real Estate Developments in Bethesda

Bethesda’s skyline is crowded with construction cranes. Here’s a peek at what’s to come.

By: Diana Elbasha

With sidewalk cafes, art galleries, theaters, and dozens of one-of-a-kind boutiques, downtown Bethesda is among Washington’s most lively neighborhoods. Much of the development has centered around the Bethesda Row area, whose hub is the pedestrian-only Bethesda Lane, strung with lights and lined with shops and restaurants. As space near Bethesda Row has grown scarce, developers have begun to set their sights on Woodmont Triangle, an area north of the Metro station that’s bordered by Old Georgetown Road and Wisconsin and Rugby avenues.

By the end of 2015, the JBG Companies plans to open two mixed-use projects there—one at 4900 Fairmont Avenue, the other at 7900 Wisconsin Avenue—that will include hundreds of new apartments and thousands of square feet of retail. Here are five other residential projects in the works.

As you can see from the gaping hole at the corner of Woodmont and Bethesda avenues, the Darcy (301-741-4022) and the Flats (no phone number yet) will take over two of the final vacant spots along Bethesda Row. The Darcy’s 88 condos, for sale now, range from the upper $600,000s for a one-bedroom to more than $2 million for a large three-bedroom. The Flats will house 162 apartments whose rents will start at $1,800 for a studio and top out around $6,000 for a three-bedroom. Both buildings will have modern finishes—hardwood floors, open kitchens with granite countertops and stainless-steel appliances—and will be completed in early 2015.

Scheduled to open in about a year, Bainbridge Bethesda (4918 St. Elmo Ave.; 301-222-0060) will be a 17-story apartment building with 200 units atop 7,200 square feet of ground-floor shopping. There will be a fitness center on the 15th floor, a pool on the roof, and a two-story lobby; apartments will have floor-to-ceiling windows, hardwood floors, and granite countertops.

On the corner of Auburn and Norfolk avenues, the 17-story Gallery of Bethesda (4800 Auburn Ave.; 202-333-0880)—slated to be finished in April 2014—will contain 234 apartments and 4,660 square feet of ground-floor retail facing Del Ray and Auburn avenues. Amenities will include a rooftop terrace, pool, and party room. The building is part of a project called Woodmont Central, which will include another mixed-use, high-rise apartment building at 4850 Rugby Avenue. A quarter-acre plaza with artwork and fixtures by Brooklyn sculptor Jason Krugman will connect the two buildings. The Gallery is slated to start renting in late 2013; there’s no timeline yet for 4850 Rugby.

After years of delays, plans for the 1.6-acre site at 8300 Wisconsin Avenue (301-913-9610) appear to be moving forward. In spring 2011, developer StonebridgeCarras bought the site from the Patrinely Group, whose plan for a trio of luxury condominium buildings called the Trillium fizzled during the housing downturn. On the books now is a LEED-certified high-rise with 375 apartments atop a 50,000-square-foot Harris Teeter. Rents will range from $1,800 for a studio to $6,000 for a three-bedroom with a balcony. Construction is set to begin this spring and be completed in 2015.

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