As the demand for housing near shops, restaurants, transit hubs and employment centers grows, residential developers are getting more creative with their vision for what housing can look like and where it can be developed.
Former churches and former office buildings have been converted to residential use in the District and surrounding suburbs, and now EYA, a developer that specializes in building homes in walkable communities, is putting homes on a former parking lot.
“The site for Montgomery Row sits in the middle of a highly successful office park called Rock Spring Park,” says McLean Quinn, vice president of land acquisition and development for EYA. “The space was a surface parking lot with plans for future office buildings, but given the poor leasing environment for suburban offices and the proximity to transportation, retail sites and employment sites, we thought it would make a good location for a townhouse community.”
The 168 residences at Montgomery Row, on 10 acres on Fernwood Road between Rock Spring Drive and Rockledge Drive, are within walking distance of numerous shopping and dining areas. Fifty-four of the units have been sold.
The residences are priced from $769,900 to $1,059,900, with 21 set aside as MPDUs (moderately priced dwelling units) for buyers who meet income restrictions, such as $76,500 for a family of four.
“Once we convinced the owners of the land that we weren’t crazy, our biggest challenge was to design a community that fit into the suburban office park context,” Quinn says. “The office park is attractive, with a lot of green trees and green lawns, but we also needed to define the edges of the residential section.”
Blue-green and gray: EYA designed a 20-foot wide pedestrian promenade that wraps around the townhouses and runs through the middle of the development to a central park with a playground and a lawn. Other open spaces will have contemporary-style park benches.
“We designed the homes to reflect the modern office buildings that surround them, so we chose cooler colors like blue-green and gray with clean lines and steel railings for a modern look,” Quinn says. “We used large windows in the homes because buyers like a lot of natural light and because they are a nod to the windows in the office buildings.”
Montgomery Row’s buyers include some young families who want to be in the Bethesda school district, young professionals who want the “lock-and-go” lifestyle of a townhouse and empty-nesters who are downsizing and want to live within walking distance of numerous amenities, says Preston Innerst, vice president of sales for EYA.
Five-bedroom townhouse: EYA introduced a larger, 22-foot wide townhouse known as the Daniel at Montgomery Row that could be configured as a five-bedroom house to appeal to families or to homeowners who have frequent guests, or even for a multi-generational family.
The Daniel, base-priced at $1,059,900, has 2,650 square feet. The main level has a foyer entrance with an adjacent study or optional bedroom and windows on two walls. This level also has an entrance to the two-car garage, a storage area, a closet and a built-in bench. Buyers can choose to convert a storage closet into a powder room or a full bathroom.
The main level has an open floor plan with a dining area at one end with two walls of windows, a central kitchen and a great room with a wall of windows and a glass door to an optional deck. Buyers can add a fireplace to the great room and built-in cabinetry to the dining room. The kitchen has a pantry, a built-in desk and an oversized center island with a breakfast bar. This level also has a powder room.
The upper-level master suite has windows on two sides, a walk-in closet, a double-door closet and a private bathroom with a glass-enclosed shower with a seat. This level has two more bedrooms, a full bathroom and a closet with laundry equipment. One bedroom has a private balcony.
The loft level has a loft area with a wall of windows leading to the rooftop terrace, a bedroom and an optional bathroom.
“The roof terraces are a big selling point at Montgomery Row,” Innerst says. “Buyers want private outdoor space, and they can customize this with a wet bar, a grill, an outdoor fireplace and an awning.”
What’s nearby: Montgomery Row is within easy walking distance of Westfield Montgomery Mall, the Shops at Wildwood and Georgetown Square. The new shops and restaurants of Pike & Rose are also nearby, along with North Bethesda Market. For commuters, Interstate 270 and the Beltway are within three stoplights. Several employers are within walking distance of Montgomery Row, including Lockheed Martin, HMSHost, Host Hotels & Resorts, Marriott International and several National Institutes of Health facilities.
“This is a part of Bethesda that people know really well because there are so many corporate and medical offices there, along with the shopping mall and restaurants in the area,” Quinn says. “It feels central and has easy transportation options.”
Schools: Ashburton Elementary, North Bethesda Middle, Walter Johnson High.
Transit: A shuttle bus connects residents to the Grosvenor Metro station for Red Line service. Montgomery County Ride-On bus service also serves the community.
10435 Fernwood Rd., Bethesda, Md.
The townhouses are priced from $769,900 to $1,059,900
Features: The townhouses include nine-foot ceilings on the main level, an open floor plan, oak hardwood flooring on the main level and staircase, tile flooring in the foyer, recessed lighting, granite or Corian counters, stainless-steel appliances, maple or painted kitchen cabinets, a kitchen pantry, a glass-enclosed shower with a seat and ceramic tile flooring in the master bathroom.
Bedrooms/bathrooms: 3 to 5 / 3 to 5
Square footage: Approximately 1,700 to 2,650
Homeowner association fees: $210 per month
View models: Open daily 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Contact: Call the sales center at 301-530-1300 or visit 10435 Fernwood Rd. in Bethesda or visit www.eya.com/montgomery-row .