Rodgers Consulting, Inc. utilized its urban infill experience to help create a true mixed-use development along a highly visible corner in downtown Bethesda. The Flats and The Darcy (formerly The Lot 31 Project) is a unique public/private partnership beset with many challenges, which emerged as a highly regarded project that provides increased public parking, enhanced pedestrian safety and mixed income housing to an already thriving and vital area of Montgomery County. These two residential buildings, named The Darcy and The Flats are composed of 250 units, supported by first floor retail, and showcase a courtyard plaza along the southern boundary that offers public space opportunities to residents and the public alike. Designed to build and incorporate an efficient public/private garage whose spaces will be shared by local visitors and the residential occupants of the project, approximately 40,000 square feet of retail space will be available to lease. In accordance with Montgomery County requirements, the residential component will include up to 35 workforce housing units and 12.5% Moderately Priced Dwelling Units (MPDUs). Two story townhouse-style condominiums on the property’s southern edge will activate links and provide a transition to an enhanced Crescent Trail in a design that speaks to pedestrian first.
Development of the subject site required flawless coordination of a variety of application processes to culminate in its full-scale approval. Rodgers Consulting Inc. played a preeminent role in the coordination of the rezoning application, submission of the preliminary plan and site plan applications, approval of the Development Plan, mandatory referral of the planned public parking garage, as well as the required abandonment of a portion of Woodmont Avenue that would make possible the needed alignment of the road to accommodate the buildings’ locations. The 2.59 F.A.R. project promises to integrate with the bustling Bethesda transit-oriented dynamics currently in place. Design coordination was particularly challenging given the site’s ultimate configuration which incorporated existing surface parking lots on either side of Woodmont Avenue transforming the area to provide five stories of underground parking beneath the road to seamlessly link the two residential sides of the site.