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Capital Business
Posted at 05:29 PM ET, 12/05/2011

Financing deal means Bethesda construction starts in January

Two local developers have landed a major financial partner that will
Doug Firstenberg and Monty Hoffman, local developers who are planning a new luxury residential and retail development in Bethesda. (Jeffrey MacMillan - Capital Business)
allow a mixed-use project in Bethesda to begin construction next month.

StonebridgeCarras of Bethesda and PN Hoffman of the District announced Monday that they had brought in Northwestern Mutual Real Estate Investments as a co-owner and construction financier for 250 new residential units and 40,000-square-feet retail in downtown Bethesda.

Terms of the deal for the $200 million project were not disclosed, but the developers said it will allow them to begin construction in January with anticipated completion in mid-2014. Stonebridge and Northwestern Mutual worked together previously when Stonebridge sold the Two Constitution Square office project, in NoMa, to Northwestern Mutual in 2010 for $305 million.

When work begins, it will be one of the few large-scale condo projects under construction in the area, as many banks and institutional investors have shied away from financing new condominium construction. Doug Firstenberg of Stonebridge said the deal was possible because of the project’s plan and location. “You’ve got to have all of that today to finance condos, frankly,” he said.

The project will feature two residential portions: the Darcy, an 88-unit condo building, and the Flats, a 162-unit apartment building (previously called the Lofts). The site is currently two county-owned parking lots at the corner of Bethesda and Woodmont avenues. Montgomery County plans to sell the land to the developers and pay for construction of a new underground parking garage with 950 spaces.

Other condo projects have been turned into apartments recently, but Monty Hoffman of PN Hoffman, said there was “no chance” that the developers would bag plans for the Darcy condominiums and had already begun pre-sales. “These are being developed as luxury condominiums and that’s what they are going to be,” he said.

Beware! The project will create parking shortages and traffic delays during construction.

Follow Jonathan O’Connell at @oconnellpostbiz

By  |  05:29 PM ET, 12/05/2011

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