Monday, May 15, 2023

Amalyn housing development progress


It's time for another update on the Amalyn housing development in Bethesda.  This is where the WMAL radio broadcast towers used to be.  When completed there will be over 300 single family houses and townhouses in this 75 acre development. You can read all my posts on this subject.

The house in the center is nearly done and there are two houses nearby that are clad in green boards.  On the right is one that is just a foundation. This is on the east side of the development.

Three houses in a row that are all at the same state of completion on Silver Linden St. near Derbyshire Ln.

Here's a row of townhouses that are just going up. Just the first story walls are up so far. Silver Linden St on the west side of the development. Silver Linden Street is currently the longest road in the development so a lot of construction is occurring on it.

Here's a row of nearly complete townhouses and behind them are completed townhomes. Photo taken from Silver Linden St, but the houses are on Viceroy Alley.

Here's a look at where they are currently building. This is taken from near Renita Lane. There will be many more houses before they are done.

They filled the pool with water earlier this month and the pool furniture has been delivered. The clubhouse and pool are on the corner of Greyswood Rd and Bluestar Ave.

Sunday, May 7, 2023

Stratton Place luxury homes


There is going to be a bit more infill development here in Bethesda, and, no surprise, it will be luxury homes. This house will be demolished and a new road, Andrus Rd, will be built perpendicular to Greentree Rd with houses on the left side of it.

From the preliminary plan (pdf link)  "proposes eight (8) new lots by subdividing the rear of seven (7) existing lots, for a total of 15 lots, on a total of 5.38 acres of land zoned R-90. Eight (8) houses will be new, six (6) will remain, and one (1) will be demolished and replaced."


 Of note, this also excludes a portion of Site Area per Adverse Possession case and including a bit of additional Right-of-Way on Barnett Rd.

These houses will be in the Burning Tree Elementary School, Pyle Middle School, and Whitman High School districts.

For a bit of perspective, here is Greentree Road. The new development is directly on the right. On the left is the Amalyn housing development, in the near-distance on the right is Barnett Road, and directly ahead you can see the chain-link fence that is on the bridge where Greentree Road goes over Interstate 495.

Saturday, May 6, 2023

Construction on the C & O Canal near Great Falls

 Right now there is an ongoing construction project on the C & O Canal just north of Great Falls Tavern, I don't think they will be working weekends, but during the week there could be an impact.  I saw them working on Friday, but they were done for the day by 3:30.


They have built a gravel bridge across the canal to provide access to the towpath side, and in places, the towpath is a bit torn up from heavy equipment driving on it, but it is still easily passible.

Construction notice

More information is on a sign at the construction site: "Contractors and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers are working to remove sediment from select locations along the canal in the vicinity of Great Falla, resurfacing the towpath from Lock 21-23, and removal of debrise from the canal between Lock 20-23.  During these projects, the towpath will intermittently be closed for up to 1-hour to facilitate construction access."

Also, it is gosling season. There were a number of Canada Goose families with young goslings on the canal above Great Falls.

Thursday, April 27, 2023

Widening sidewalks on Battery Lane


Apparently it is really hard to move utility poles, lots of different utilities (power, telephone, cable, etc) use them and getting everyone lined up to put new poles in and move everything takes forever and is very expensive.  Because of this, in older areas of Bethesda you sometimes see utility poles sprouting in the middle of the sidewalk. This is bad because it makes hard for disabled people to get around, as well as people with strollers or little kids.  One solution, which the county uses from time to time is to make the sidewalks a little wider so you still have a full sidewalks width between the end of the pole and the grass.


Battery Lane in Bethesda (shown here) is one of those places with sidewalks impaled with utility poles.  Just today I saw that they are working around that by widening the sidewalks in those areas. All down the north side of Battery Ln, around each of the utility poles, they have made the sidwalks just a little bit wider.

Sunday, April 23, 2023

4909/4915 Auburn construction update


Auburn Ave construction site from above
It has been six months since I last gave an update on the construction of 4909/4915 Auburn Avenue in Bethesda, MD.  At the time, it was just a hole in the ground, but a lot has happened since then. Here you get a good view of the extra-tall first level and can see the second floor is partially complete.

V Nails and construction

V Nails on the corner of Auburn Avenue and Norfolk Avenue with construction behind it.

A view from the back

This is the back driveway to the Auburn Avenue construction site. It opens onto Norfolk Ave

Formerly this site was occupied by the Auburn Professional Building which was torn down October of 2021. When complete, the development will have 180 dwelling units and 12,500 square feet of "non-residential use".  It will be called 4909 Auburn Avenue Apartments.

Sunday, April 16, 2023

The sunbeam is going the wrong way

Last night I saw this sunbeam peaking through the clouds and it caught my attention.  The issue is that it is going the wrong way. The sun isn't in the top right of the photo, it is off to the left.  This isn't the sun peaking through the clouds at all.  I found it highly confusing but after some contemplation, I believe it is the sun reflecting off a body of water and back up onto the clouds.

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.

Update: See some photos of Lakeforest Mall on the last day it was open, March 31, 2023.