correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly reported that 20 percent of the units will be set aside for affordable workforce housing; actually, 12.5 percent are reserved for affordable housing. The earlier version also reported that Federal Realty Investment Trust has owned the property since the 1970s; actually, it has owned it since the 1980s. Also the earlier version said the Henri has 70 microunits; actually, it has eight microunits and 60 studios.
If strip malls represent the zenith of the American love affair with the car, new walkable urban-suburban communities exemplify the new love of walking, biking, ride-sharing and relying on public transportation. The replacement of acres of parking lots and shops with "surban" developments is more than a fad; it's a re-imagination of how people prefer to live.
Transforming the former strip malls along Rockville Pike in North Bethesda into the Pike & Rose development may seem like a natural outgrowth of the contemporary taste for citylike neighborhoods, but Rockville-based developer Federal Realty Investment Trust, owner of the property since the 1980s, began planning the redevelopment more than a decade ago.
"We started to control our leases in the 1990s so that they would end at the same time and give us an opportunity to reposition the properties," says Chris Weilminster, president of the mixed-use division at Federal Realty. "Yet we didn't open Phase 1 of Pike & Rose until 2014."
The time Federal Realty took to design Pike & Rose is visible even as the development continues to mature. Rather than resembling a planned, cookie-cutter "town center," the neighborhood looks as if it has grown organically. In part, that's because it has, rising in an area with some roads and streets and shops already in place. In addition, the developer deliberately designed narrower lanes and sidewalks of stone and brick to establish a pedestrian-friendly central street.
Weilminster says that eventually the roads surrounding Pike & Rose will all connect, part of the developer's partnership with Montgomery County, which has allocated $150 million for infrastructure improvements in the area. Rockville Pike, Old Georgetown Road, Montrose Parkway and Towne Road form the boundaries of the new development. The White Flint Metro stop with Red Line service is within a short walk of every building in Pike & Rose.
When complete, Pike & Rose will have 864 apartments and condos, with 12.5 percent in each of the three residential buildings reserved as affordable workforce housing. (Workforce housing is priced to be affordable to households with incomes at or below 120 percent of the areawide median, which is $110,000 for a family of four in 2017.)
"Five years ago there were no residents in this part of North Bethesda, and now there are about 1,500 residents, with more to come," says Michael Ennes, vice president of the residential division at Federal Realty.
Weilminster says Montgomery County's plan is eventually to have as many as 20,000 new residents in the central business district of North Bethesda that includes Pike & Rose.
The residential, retail and office buildings at Pike & Rose have varied architectural styles.
"We deliberately hired different architects for each of the major buildings so they would be distinctive," Weilminster says. "We also have a master architect who oversees the entire development."
Persei, the first rental building to open at Pike & Rose, is a modern brick-and-glass structure with decorative iron accents. The second rental building to open, called Pallas, has art deco detailing. The Henri, another rental building, is a stately redbrick structure that bears a resemblance to the well-known Puck Building in New York City. The condo building, 930 Rose, which will occupy the 11th through 20th floors above the Hilton Canopy hotel, is a glass-enclosed modern high-rise.
Rents at Pike & Rose range from $1,430 to more than $8,000 per month, for apartments ranging from one-bedroom to three-bedroom units, some with a den, Ennes says.
"We deliberately varied the size and price of our rentals so we can attract a broad spectrum of renters of different ages and at different life phases," Ennes says. "The average square feet in the Pallas building is more than 1,000, while in the Henri the average apartment size is 815 square feet. In the Pallas building we even have some three-bedroom penthouses that rent for more than $8,000 per month."
At the Henri, eight of the 270 residences will be micro-units and 60 will be studios.
"The Henri will have a more youthful vibe than the other rental buildings and has a cool arcade with games indoors, a back yard with outdoor games and a dog-walking space on the roof," Ennes says.
Each of the rental buildings has a swimming pool and resident lounge areas. The Pallas has a solarium that can be rented for private events and a seventh-floor lounge, pool and sun deck.
By offering rentals and condos at a variety of price points, Ennes says, Pike & Rose provides value for people who might like to live in downtown Bethesda or the District.
"Residents here can have a similar experience of walking to restaurants, shops and nightlife," he says. "And they can also easily walk to Metro or use ride sharing if they want to go downtown or into D.C."
The 930 Rose condos are slated to open during the first quarter of 2018 along with the Hilton Canopy hotel, which shares the building. An Elizabeth Arden Red Door salon will be on the ground floor, along with several restaurants.
The 99 condos include units ranging from a 650-square-foot studio to a 2,382-square-foot unit with three bedrooms and a den. The base prices range from $325,900 to $1.6 million, with monthly condo fees from $370 to $1,480.
Resident-only amenities include a separate lobby and elevators from the hotel, as well as secure garage parking, a rooftop garden terrace with grills and a dog park, a fitness center, and a clubroom with a lounge, a dining area and an entertaining kitchen.
"Residents will get a 'Can-Do' card from the hotel that entitles them to hotel amenities," Ennes says. "They can have a complimentary breakfast like the hotel guests and even grab it to take with them to work if they want. They'll also have the ability to host events in the hotel spaces."
Other hotel amenities available to condo owners, sometimes with a fee, include valet laundry and dry-cleaning services, housekeeping, catering, restaurant and bar discounts, friend and family room rates and discounts on meeting and event rooms.
The condos, 62 of which have a terrace or balcony with glass railings, are designed with floor-to-ceiling windows that frame views of Pike & Rose's buildings and overlook Rose Park and surrounding green roofs. The modern condos have open floor plans with nine-foot-high ceilings, laminate wood flooring and open kitchens with large islands, stainless-steel appliances, solid-surface counters with full-height tile backsplashes and Italian cabinets with either a sleek modern style or a more classic look.
Each condo has a full-size stacked washer-dryer and a high-efficiency heating and cooling system.
The bathrooms have tile flooring, cast-iron tubs and frameless glass shower enclosures. The units have been built with concrete structural walls to minimize sound. Buyers can upgrade their units with numerous options.
A one-bedroom unit, No. 1706, priced at $461,400 with a monthly condo fee of $460, includes an open kitchen, living and dining area with a wall of windows and a balcony.
This condo has a bedroom with a walk-in closet and a linen closet, a coat closet near the kitchen and a bathroom with a double-sink vanity and combination tub and shower. This unit has 792 square feet.
Unit 1610, priced at $881,900 with a monthly condo fee of $960, has a balcony off the living and dining area, which is open to the kitchen and has walls of windows on two sides.
This condo has a den, a master bedroom with a walk-in closet, a master bathroom with a glass-enclosed shower and a second bedroom with an adjacent full bathroom. This unit has 1,554 square feet.
Penthouse No. 2001, priced at $1,489,900 with a monthly condo fee of $1,450, has a central living and dining area with a kitchen and a wall of windows.
On one side of the living area is a master suite with a private balcony, a walk-in closet, a linen closet and a large bathroom with a soaking tub and separate shower.
Nearby are a half bath and several additional closets.
On the opposite side of the living area are two more bedrooms, numerous closets and a second full bathroom. This unit has 2,363 square feet.
Federal Realty, known for its mixed-use development at Bethesda Row as well as similar projects at Santana Row in San Jose and Assembly Row in Somerville, Mass., focuses on creating vibrant, active places with interesting streets and landscaped gathering areas where people want to stay longer after running an errand, Weilminster says.
While Pike & Rose includes retailers such as Sephora and H&M, as well as an REI store and a 30,000-square-foot Sport & Health center, the development also has music, movies and a sophisticated bowling and bocce center that keep the area active at night.
Amp by Strathmore, a 200-seat music venue, is adjacent to an iPic movie theater, which has eight screens and offers premium seating with reclining leather loungers, blankets, and servers who bring food and drinks to your seat.
The Pinstripes venue, which has bowling and bocce, includes a year-round roof deck.
Numerous restaurants have also opened at Pike & Rose, with more to come, including one with a beer garden.
The community is designed with numerous outdoor spaces where people can gather to socialize, such as a cluster of tables and chairs under a canopy of trees adjacent to a fountain where children can play. Across from the hotel is Rose Park, which has another fountain, a sloping lawn for playing and picnicking, a meandering path through a garden and extensive outdoor seating. A glass-enclosed pavilion in the park will probably become a restaurant with outdoor tables.
Developers use the term "placemaking" to describe the process underway at Pike & Rose, where the attention to detail includes stone walls, wrought-iron railings and streetlamps with flower-filled planters. Symbols incorporated into steps, railings and building details include ampersands for the "&" in Pike & Rose and musical notes in a nod to Amp.
"We planted larger trees so no one has to wait for the community to look as if it has been here awhile," Weilminster says.
In addition to the terraces and roof decks on the residential buildings, many of the restaurants and entertainment venues in the community include decks and green roofs to add to the places where people can gather. Federal Realty plans numerous events for residents and visitors throughout the year, including a weekly Saturday farmers market, Stroller Strides fitness classes for mothers and babies, an Oktoberfest and a summer-solstice outdoor dinner.
Plans for Pike & Rose include more residential development and additional restaurants and shops, such as a Porsche dealer and an L.L. Bean store that are under construction.