Second Phase of Redevelopment Project at Mid-Pike Plaza in Rockville to Move Forward

October 2, 2013

Federal Realty Investment Trust is ready to go ahead with the second phase of its massive redevelopment project at Mid-Pike Plaza.

The preliminary and site plans for Phase 2 of the Pike & Rose project are set to go before the Montgomery County Planning Board on Oct. 10. The Board’s approval would clear the way for 1.6 million square feet of mixed-use development, 462 residential units, a public green, three parking structures and a 290-room hotel.

Federal Realty hopes to open Phase 1 of the project, now under construction in the southwest corner of the property, by late 2014. The Rockville-based developer has previously said it hopes to deliver part of Phase 2 in 2016, with the delivery date for the rest of the buildings undetermined.

Phase 2 includes nine buildings and the construction of a new road network. Grand Park Avenue is set to run from Old Georgetown Road north-south through the development to Rose Avenue, the main east-west road that will connect Rockville Pike and Hoya Street. Hoya Street will be renamed Towne Road.

Those streets will be public and supplemented by private streets: Trade Street, Meeting Street and Prose Street.

An approximately 23,000 square foot green space known as Rose Park will be located at the intersection of Rose and Grand Park Avenues toward the north end of the development. The park will have a sloped lawn area and two retail kiosk structures.

The first part of Phase 2 will include Building 3, a proposed 150-foot-high apartment building on Rockville Pike that will have 214,750 square feet of commercial/retail uses. Building 8, a 62-foot-high building of 61,000 square feet of retail will be built just south on Rockville Pike.

Seven more buildings are planned in Phases 2B and 2C, including a 200-foot-high, 290-room hotel at the southeastern intersection of Rose Avenue and Grand Park Avenue.

Federal Realty is proposing an additional 2,009 parking spaces in three garages for Phase 2. The Planning Board approved a little more than 1,082 parking spaces for Phase 1. The total 3,091 parking spaces for Pike & Rose will be slightly more than the minimum requirement of 2,396. The limit is 6,546.

Planning Department staff does want Federal Realty to conduct a noise impact evaluation for apartments planned near Montrose Parkway. Planning staff says guidelines stipulate that a developer must provide a baseline noise analysis to show that noise coming from highway traffic will be within the 65-decibel limit for outdoor spaces and 45-decibel limit inside residential units.

Federal Realty says it won’t conduct the noise evaluation because it’s an added cost “better spent on placemaking and site amenities.” Federal Realty will argue that Montrose Parkway isn’t really a highway — or at least not more of a highway than Rockville Pike, Old Georgetown Road, Wisconsin Avenue or Arlington Road in Bethesda.

This specific section of Montrose Parkway behind block two sits between two traffic lights which, by their nature, slow traffic down in this area, and thus, there is reduced auto noise. The parkway is also not a through-street for trucks, removing the types of vehicles that are known to make the most damaging noises. Finally, the Parkway speed is 35 MPH, which is less than the current posted speed on Rockville Pike. The presence of the road is not an issue that renters or purchasers in block two will be unaware of, as the road is already constructed and carrying traffic today. Applicant is open to discussing this issue at the Planning Board hearing but does not intend to perform such study for numerous reasons.

SOURCE: Bethesda Now
Image via Montgomery County Planning Department

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