Bethesda Industrial Site to Be Remade as Residential Complex

Friday, June 15, 2012
A moribund, paved-over industrial site just off of Little Falls Parkway in Bethesda is slated to be replaced with a 30-townhome housing development.

The 1.8 acre property at 5400 Butler Road is bracketed by Little Falls Parkway and Butler Road, between River Road and Massachusetts Avenue, and surrounded on three sides by parkland.  Presently the site of the BETCO block plant complex of buildings and surface parking lots, plans call for the site to be razed, the pavement removed, and replaced with a Lessard Group-designed "scale-appropriate residential community" of 30 single-family garage-centered homes.

"We actually just got our planning board approval last week for the site plan and preliminary plan," said Stephanie Marcus of lead developer EYA Development.  "We hope to start construction at very end of this year or early in 2013."

Five of the townhouses (16.67%) will be moderately-priced units, and just under forty percent of the new site will be green space, up from basically zero percent at the current site.  Plans also call for about 2 parking spaces per market rate unit and one per MPDU, totaling approximately 64 spaces.

The developers have made several optional concessions, including
removing the existing pavement at their own cost, throwing in an extra MPDU (they're only required to include four), installing stormwater management at their own cost, and setting the amount of green space at 38%, 8% above the requirement.  The project will also remedy the BETCO plant debris' encroachment onto nearby parkland.

The plan itself is somewhat unremarkable - let's face it, a development of townhomes excites pretty much no one - but it's essentially making something from nothing, and in the big picture the removal of the pavement, remediation of parkland encroachment, and significant addition of greenspace, more than makes up for what may be lacking aesthetically.

Bethesda, Maryland real estate development news