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Blending home with community. Mixing the outside world with the concept of home is becoming the norm. People want to live where there is entertainment, shopping and recreation. Creating a space that houses both in a unique and engaging manner is becoming critical to a whole new generation of people looking for a place to call home.
Developed to be one of the most stylish areas in Maryland, North Bethesda Market offers an energetic environment to live, dine and gather for a new generation. The 650,000-square-foot, mixed-use facility offers 425,000 square feet of residential space. The commercial section totals 220,000 square feet and has a combination of restaurants and retail stores, including a 60,000-square-foot Whole Foods Market. A 1,250-car parking structure is also included for use by residents.
The plan was conceived with a clear set of urban design principles in mind. It was formed around the notion of “making urban blocks” within a neighborhood that lacked clear block structure or hierarchy. The block structure was further broken down into a west block and an east block through the introduction of Festival Street and a service lane. Each block was then filled with development at a scale appropriate to the neighborhood context and to the project itself. Along Rockville Pike, a point tower was introduced to create a landmark gateway for the southern edge of the White Flint district. This allows for a lower density of development along the project’s west edge, keeping with the smaller scale of the neighborhood.
The 24-story tower houses 198 residential units at one corner, with retail for additional stores at the other corner. A second mid-rise residential building contains 200 residential units. The neighborhood around North Bethesda Market is mainly commercial with a large number of mixed-use facilities, and is located near a Metrorail station that offers convenient transportation options for residents and visitors.
The development includes a range of public spaces that create a rich and varied public realm. A new street named Executive Boulevard was introduced, on-street and off-street bicycle trails were added, and streetscape improvements were made along the three public sides of the project. Additionally, the retail- and restaurant-lined Festival Street and plaza enliven the center of the project to offer public space for special community events. Local stone and a commissioned public art piece by renowned artist Jim Sanborn define the plaza space. A variety of secondary pedestrian connections located throughout the property also contribute to the creation of a fine-grained public realm. Examples include a connection to the office buildings to the south from Festival Street. Additionally, a defined connection has been created to offer a visual connection from the plaza to Rockville Pike.