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Vision Takes Shape For High Rise At Old Georgetown Road, Commerce Lane

Developers Kettler are planning a 15-story retail and residential building across the street from the Bethesda Metro.

Developers Kettler are moving forward in seeking approvals for a 15-story retail and residential building at the corner of Old Georgetown Road and Commerce Lane, across the street from the Bethesda Metro.

A United Bank is housed at the site now.

Plans were submitted to the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission late last year, Alberto Donoso, Kettler senior development associate, told Patch. The project will soon head to the Montgomery County Planning Board.

Rough renderings for the project, attached to this story, were submitted along with the plans. More refined renderings are in the works, Donoso said.

At a November meeting of the Woodmont Triangle Action Group, developers described the building as “tall and skinny,” with amenities on the roof and a “pocket park” at the building’s main entrance.

“It’s smaller than what we’ve typically done in the past, but location drives everything,” Asheel Shah, Kettler senior vice president for real estate investments, said at the meeting. “We think it’s an opportunity to take the intersection of Commerce and Old Georgetown—somewhat of a forgotten intersection right across from the Metro station—and put a marquee building on it."

Between 104 and 120 rental units are proposed for the site.

Units will range from 600 square feet for a studio and 1,500 square feet for a three-bedroom, Shah said. Parking will be provided for residents of the building only—not retail customers—with a garage entrance on Commerce Lane.

Pending approvals, construction could begin in 2014 with leasing in mid-2015.

What do you think of the building? Tell us in the comments.

JTS53 March 01, 2013 at 02:57 PM
hideous and boring
Joe Galvagna March 01, 2013 at 03:19 PM
Hey what happened to all that sequestration hype just what we need another ugly empty high rise. Maybe it can be used as a day labor office or housing for all freeloaders in Montgomery Co hell it would not hold all the freeloading trash in County. Build it and they will come. Do not anything good in County like maybe help homeless Vets or disabled unemployed Vets. No that would make too much sense. Build another ugly highrise for snobs in Bethesda.
anne March 01, 2013 at 03:38 PM
Space is too tight - won't be attractive and won't be helpful. Bethesda's appeal was in how quaint it was.
Veronica March 01, 2013 at 03:46 PM
I hope this doesn't happen. We don't need any more tall buildings in Bethesda!
marcia March 01, 2013 at 03:46 PM
Ugly and common, like a college dormitory!
Michael Salzberg March 01, 2013 at 05:46 PM
just another ugly horrible building in a prominent location for Bethesda. Why not change the name of the place to Uglyville.
Sammi March 01, 2013 at 08:45 PM
Bethesda was never quaint, but now it is ugly and grid-locked. Surely there could be a more attractive building designed for the space. If Kettler thinks this rendering represents a marquee building, GAWD help us.
Chris March 02, 2013 at 12:12 AM
Well... I kinda like the funky United Bank building, but I guess it isn't indispensable. they better not touch the SunTrust though.
Robert Smythe March 04, 2013 at 11:09 PM
Why don't developers in Bethesda use creative, attractive architectural designs instead of building more and more ugly boxes? Why isn't the County requiring new buildings to meet higher "Green Building" standards and include more pedestrian-friendly features? Who do the Planning Board members think they represent??
Becky Pugh March 13, 2013 at 12:30 PM
Why aren't there more projects in the Bethesda area that focus on making it better for those of us already here? I know - because there's not enough $$ in it. But, could there at least be an architect involved? Could a bottom floor or two be designated for a center for art or something useful?
Veronica March 25, 2013 at 02:34 PM
I completely agree

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