Thursday, March 2, 2023

Crescent at Chevy Chase construction

 I went to talk a look at the Crescent at Chevy Chase apartments construction. There are two buildings in this development with a total of up to 111 units. You can see both buildings in this picture.  This is as close as I got, the old road was entirely closed by construction so I couldn't go back into it and the person walking towards me in the picture kept a close eye on me (but didn't say anything), not that I blame him, I didn't have my hard hat and there was a lot of construction activity going on. In addition to the plans linked above, there is an update to them that primarily replaces the normal-sized balconies with mini "Juliet" balconies. No reason was given for the change.


This development is on Landmark Court in Chevy Chase.  Never heard of that street?  maybe you knew it under its former name, Newdale Road.  Still unsure? Yeah, it was a short road.  It is right between the Purple line bridge and the Giant gas station on the southbound side of Connecticut Avenue, near the Starbucks and Einstein Bagels. The development also has a website of their own.

This shows the side of one of the buildings and the back yard.  On the right of the photo, on the other side of the trees are single family houses. This picture was taken from the gas station parking lot.

This is how it looks from Laird Place. You can see one of the existing single family houses on the right.

What was here before

Prior to this construction there were five multi-family buildings with 41 total units. Here is a picture from 2014 showing the middle building.

I visited this site at the suggestion of twitter user Rob Bindeman.  I don't think it was just an idle request of his, I think it was an attempt to get cheap publicity since he is the Principal Owner and Developer of the project.  In any case it worked.  Given that the development is a bit back from Connecticut Avenue and right next to Purple Line construction, I hadn't noticed it before now.   I also liked that he had a bit of humor in his cover email to the planning board, I don't see enough of that.

Facebook post about Rob

The best building in Montgomery County

Tuesday, February 28, 2023

Another Woodward High School construction update

 I last posted an update about the construction of the new Woodward High School back in October of last year, so it is time for another one.  The old Woodward High School / Tilden Middle School was demolished in the spring of 2021 and since then they have been working on a new school to take its place.

The three stories of the school have the steel frame up and floors (as well as the roof) are installed. This is quite a bit further along than it was in October, then only about half the building was framed and there were no floors. (See the above link for photos.)

One side of the building has the walls in progress, green insulation has been put up on part of it.

ere is a view of the construction of the new Woodward High School as seen from across Old Georgetown Road (Maryland Route 187).  You can see the new bike lanes in this area.

Sunday, February 26, 2023

A fond farewell to Lakeforest Mall


Lakeforest Mall "Green" entrance

Lakeforest Mall opened in 1978 at 701 Russell Ave, Gaithersburg, Maryland. The mall is closing for good in March of this year.  I went there frequently when I was young and this past weekend I went again for one last look.

There are not many stores still open at Lakeforest Mall. Here are three of them, Style One, Aeropostal, and Home Decor & More.  There are a few others scattered around. Most that remain are having store closing sales so there is still reason to go there.

Cafes in the Forest food court at Lakeforest Mall

Most of the restaurants at the food court have already closed, but one or two remain open.

Macy's doesn't want you to forget the store is closing and everything is on sale. Signs to that effect are plastered everywhere.

Macy's is the last remaining anchor store at Lakeforest. It is currently having a closing sale to sell off remaining inventory and fixtures. When I got there, some people were loading tables and other furniture into a U-Haul.

Saturday, February 25, 2023

Old Marriott HQ fencing

It looks like they are starting to move forward on ELP Bethesda at Rock Spring.  The property, located at 10400 Fernwood Road, was formerly the site of the Marriott Headquarters. Marriott has moved to downtown Bethesda and sold this site. Construction fencing has been installed around the property limiting access to the site.  Here is the entrance to the old headquarters building, blocked by a fence with black fabric on it.

The first phase of the new development will be senior housing with over 500 units in two buildings. Later phases will add more. The Montgomery Planning staff report for site plan 820210190 has more information.

The southern entrance has a gate across it. When I went by the gate was open.  The bike parking is behind the fence and thus inaccessible.  Access to Democracy Plaza is not impacted.

The north entrance off of Fernwood Road, you can still pull in this area and go to the construction trailer, but there is a gate across the road further down.

The fence carefully goes around the bus stop, leaving it accessible.


Saturday, February 11, 2023

The Rae apartments: construction update

 I last looked at The Rae Apartments in in October and there has been some noticeable changes since then. The building cladding is now installed. It is a mixture of white, gray, and woodgrain panels.  The Rae is a new apartment building on the corner of Westlake Terrace and Motor City Drive, right next to Montgomery Mall.

The Rae will have 343 apartment units and it backs up to the I-270 spur. The website doesn't have much information on it so I don't know when leasing will start.  Here is the main entrance to the building. Right across the street is the transit center at Montgomery Mall and across the other street (Motor City Dr.) is Home Depot, visible in the background of the photo.

Here's the view from Westlake Terrace looking west. Montgomery Mall is on the left, Home Depot in the background to the right, and the Rae directly to the right.

The back part of the Rae apartments facing Westlake Terrace. To the right is the I-270 Spur. The most notable change here is the ground floor units have had their entrances and porches installed.

Another recent change is that new curbs have been installed on Motor City Drive adjacent to the building.

Monday, February 6, 2023

Fountains of Amalyn

 On Sunday, there was a large jet of water spraying into the air at the Amalyn housing development construction site off of Greentree Road in Bethesda, MD. The water was shooting up 30 feet (or more).

It looks like this isn't a permanent neighborhood water feature, by this morning the water was turned off.

 There is a pipe that sticks up about two feet above ground that the water was coming out of.  The large concrete monolith is one of the footings from the WMAL radio transmitter towers that once were at this site.  Most of the concrete had been buried underground but they have been dug up to allow for development.

 After spraying into the air, the water makes its way to this retention pond on Greentree road. The water then drains under the road to a discharge point that was just upgraded last year.



 The fountain was a little ways away from where they are actively building houses right now. On the left is the nearest house being built and on the right is the spraying water.

Sunday, February 5, 2023

Solaire Bethesda construction update


Solaire apartments has gotten a lot taller since my last update on the Solaire construction.  Then it was only 3 floors, now it looks like it is the full 22 stories tall. When finished it will have 198 apartments and a meager 1,500 square feet of retail space.

There are black bricks being installed on the second and third floors

The location, on the corner of Old Georgetown Road and Commerce lane is tough to beat, just a short block from Bethesda Metro Station.  The only way it could be better would be if there were a grocery store right next door.

The bottom floors have lavender insulating panels installed, but the top floors are, as of now, just concrete.  This corner location is where La Madeleine french bakery and cafe was once located.

Friday, February 3, 2023

More paving in Amalyn

It has been a while since my last update on the Amalyn housing development. For the most part things have been slowly moving along. There have been a few more houses started, and it looks like at least a couple houses are now occupied by their new owners.  This past week there has been a more noticeable change however.

 They now have put a layer of pavement on another set of streets.  It took several days to complete it and the noisome smell of blacktop permeated the surrounding neighborhood for days.  They also worked well past dark at least one night, eliciting complaints from residents of the existing houses.

Where the pavement ends

They haven't paved everything yet, eventually, the road will continue, but for now, this is the end of the line.

Silver Linden St looping around the east side of the Amalyn housing development

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Update on The Camile / 7000 Wisconsin Ave construction

The Camile, a 14-story Mixed-Use development at 7,000 Wisconsin Avenue is really coming along.  Most of the side of the building and many of the windows are in. This building is directly across the street from Walsh Street, near Don Pollo, Moby Dick and a few other places. The building will have 181 residential units with ground-floor retail. It is expected to be complete in September.

 Here's a view of the Camile from behind. It is rising up behind the townhouses on Strathmore Street in Bethesda.

Monday, January 2, 2023

A Bald Eagle in Bethesa?

 This afternoon I went for a hike in Cabin John Park to enjoy the warm weather we are having.  While there, I saw a bald eagle sitting on one of the poles holding up the high-voltage wires. (Thanks to the woman who pointed it out).  It was far away so this was the best photo I could get of it.

After a few minutes it took off and flew away.  A couple of years ago I saw a bald eagle soaring over Democracy Blvd and the I-270 spur, I wonder if this is the same one.