Judging from the huge amount of construction and renovation in the Upper Northwest/Chevy Chase shopping district around the District-Maryland line, it looks as if the upscale area is pretty serious about competing in the increasingly intense retail arena. Mazza Gallerie and Woodies are spending big bucks on renovations, the nearly complete Chevy Chase Pavilion will house 60 more stores and a number of other developments are planned.

And now the merchants along Wisconsin Avenue are putting finishing touches on the bylaws of the Chevy Chase Retailers Association, to match the advertising and promotional clout of area malls such as the two Tysons Corner complexes in Virginia and White Flint and Montgomery malls in Maryland. The Chevy Chase association hopes to coordinate store hours, advertising, parking and other customer services, turning the area into a single shopping experience rather than the disorganized jumble of stores that has characterized the area.

"We feel that it's important to work together to really make this a fabulous retail area," said William Vose, head of the Donohoe Development Co.'s Pavilion project and a member of the fledgling association. "When you are in a mall, it's easy to work together, but it's just as important for us to do that too."