How to have a say in new name for White Flint area


File: White Flint shopping mall (Photo by Bill O’Leary/The Washington Post)

Have an opinion about what the area of North Bethesda near the almost-empty White Flint Mall should be called?

Montgomery County business development leaders are hosting a community “conversation” Sept. 11 to discuss “the branding of the Pike” as the area attempts to morph from a car-centric suburb into a more urban, walkable hub of high-rise living, shopping, eating and working.

Some developers say the area needs a new, unique identity to convey the sort of vibrant community they’re seeking to build. The area, now best known by the White Flint Mall which is slated for redevelopment, spans 1.5 miles of Rockville Pike (Route 355) from the Capital Beltway to Montrose Road. The area includes the White Flint and Twinbrook stations on Metro’s Red Line.

The names for postal address and neighborhoods would not be affected, according to the Friends of White Flint, a nonprofit group of residents, community organizations, businesses owners and developers.

A recent county poll showed strong support for “Pike District” and “North Bethesda.” The issue also has drawn strong opinions from Post readers.

Talk about an identity crisis. The area has a Rockville Zip code of 20852, which also handles mail addressed to North Bethesda, but is not in the Rockville city limits. The eastern portion has a Kensington postal address, while the county’s growth plan for the area was titled “White Flint.” The Rockville Whole Foods is in a development called North Bethesda Market.

The Sept. 11 gathering will be held at 3 Bethesda Metro #140, in the building atop the Bethesda Metro station, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

 

 

Katherine Shaver is a transportation and development reporter. She joined The Washington Post in 1997 and has covered crime, courts, education and local government but most prefers writing about how people get — or don’t get — around the Washington region.

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