Unveiling of the first phase of the redevelopment of the Battery Lane district
The first phase of a major redevelopment project in the Battery Lane neighborhood of Bethesda is moving forward, approximately three years after the plan was unveiled.
The developer leading the project, Brown Development, plans to submit the project soon to county planners, who will outline the construction of the first building in a five-part plan that will span more than a decade, replacing buildings in ‘garden style apartments built in the 1960s. with skyscrapers.
Brown, who owns the buildings, is partnering with construction company Hensel Phelps on the project. Construction is expected to begin in 2023.
“Given the last development we undertook was in the 1960s, bringing in someone with a bit more current expertise seemed like a thoughtful thing to do,” said Doug Wrenn, executive vice president of the development for Brown Development. “And I think together we will be able to execute that idea and achieve that vision.”
Standing 120 feet tall, the new building will have 315 units and replace a complex that has 147 units, according to Wrenn.
Unit floor plans will range from bachelors to three bedrooms, Wrenn said, and 15% will be designated as affordable housing, per county law. In the general plans for the Battery Lane District, Brown plans to designate approximately 20% of the new units he develops as affordable housing.
In total, the Battery Lane District project will demolish approximately 477 units and replace them with approximately 1,130 new units.
The project proposal also includes improvements to the Bethesda Trolley Trail, which provides a path around the National Institutes of Health connecting Rugby Avenue to Old Georgetown Road. Wrenn said developers plan to widen the trail and provide landscaping along the route.
The first phase of the project will include several amenities, such as a dog park, a penthouse, courtyards, a swimming pool, gardens, several open spaces and a fitness center.
Some of the units in the new building will be two-story and will have their own private entrances accessed via a walkway that wraps around the property.
Wrenn said plans and timelines for other phases of the overall project have yet to be decided.
Two buildings owned by Aldon will remain, offering units that are more expensive than the county-mandated mid-priced housing units but cheaper than market-priced luxury apartments, Wrenn said.
Caitlynn Peetz can be reached at [email protected]