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Montgomery County to Develop Affordable Housing, Add Parks and Operate Parking Garage in Downtown Bethesda

For Immediate Release: Friday, July 15, 2022


View more photos from the Flickr album | Watch the press event

On Thursday, County Executive Marc Elrich announced an innovative new development project that would transform two Bethesda Parking Lot Districts (PLD), Lots 25 and 44, to almost 300 affordable and deeply affordable housing units. The project is a joint venture with private partners and will also include a greenway between Highland and West Virginia Avenues as envisioned in the Bethesda Downtown Sector Plan. The County Executive was joined at the announcement by Montgomery County Councilmember Andrew Friedson, whose district includes this area.

During the negotiations leading to this agreement, County Executive Elrich emphasized the importance of providing the greenway as outlined in the Bethesda Downtown Sector Plan and need for affordable housing at various income levels in Bethesda.

“What we did here we can do throughout Montgomery County,” said County Executive Elrich. “Affordable Housing is desperately needed throughout the County, and we are using innovative approaches that bring the community and developers to the table to make it happen. This week’s announcement is a great example of what happens when everyone is determined to succeed, and I thank the public and private partners who made this happen.” 

The development will also replace the surface parking spaces with approximately 145 public parking spaces in a turnkey, underground public parking garage owned by the County and operated by its Department of Transportation (MCDOT). The County Executive, MCDOT and the Department of Housing and Community Affairs (DHCA) collaboratively worked on the joint venture to incorporate deeply affordable Moderately Priced Dwelling Units (MPDUs) in the multi-family buildings proposed for Lots 25 and 44.   

“This important addition of affordable housing options in this community demonstrates the value of development on County owned land,” said DHCA Director Aseem K. Nigam. “In addition to meeting the County’s MPDU law requirement for 15 percent MPDUs, the County negotiated a commitment for additional deeply affordable units, including rental and for-sale units priced for 50 percent area median income.  The approach for any condominium development on the properties would provide MPDUs priced with condominium fees and sales prices adjusted to ensure total monthly payments affordable to households with incomes less than half of the area median.”

The Sector Plan envisioned redevelopment of PLD Lots 25 and 44 to accommodate part of the Eastern Greenway, designed to function as a public park and open space for the community while creating a transition between the established single-family neighborhood to the east and the Wisconsin Avenue Corridor to the west. Shortly after the Council adopted the Sector Plan in 2017, Broad Branch Development put into a motion a redevelopment vision for 4702 West Virginia Avenue, the property located immediately to the east of PLD Lot 44. While obtaining development approvals for a multi-family project at 4702 West Virginia Avenue, Broad Branch Development approached MCDOT to discuss their vision for an assemblage with PLD Lot 44 to allow for a more comprehensive redevelopment which would, if approved, result in public parkland being shifted further to the east to allow for an expansion of Chase Avenue Urban Park.

“This project will help advance the quality of life for County residents,” said MCDOT Director Chris Conklin. “This is a prime example of how local government works to facilitate progress. This project benefits everyone by providing needed affordable housing, creating parks that enhance residents’ well-being, and continuing to support local businesses with public parking.”

The project is a joint venture between the County government, and Broad Branch Development, Mosaic Realty, Monument Realty, with the assistance of Selzer Gurvitch Rabin Wertheimer and Polott, P.C.

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Release ID: 22-395
Media Contact: Emily DeTitta 240-372-2282
Link to Photos or Video:
Categories: Housing