The Ourisman Ford Redevelopment Site Reduced to Single Use
Proposed Changes Will Add 8 Residential Units
The initial renderings and plans for Foulger-Pratt’s redevelopment of the Ourisman Ford site in Bethesda near Montgomery Mall included more than 50K SF of retail space anchored by a 12K SF restaurant space. The ground floor retail was being developed under 340 residential units. Now the project will be entirely residential, according to Bethesda blogger Robert Dyer. Eliminating the retail spaces will allow for 8 additional residential units at the property. This is the second time this year Foulger-Pratt has cut retail space from a redevelopment project. In April retail spaces were eliminated from an office development project in Tysons. The elimination of the retail components of both projects could be a signal of concern for the struggling retail industry.
Changes Still Need Planning Board Approval
The changes are not yet approved by the Montgomery County Planning Board, which had previously approved the redevelopment with the ground floor retail spaces. Foulger-Pratt intends to argue there is no market for the retail or restaurant spaces with the Westfield Montgomery Mall within walking distance. The changes will include a courtyard entrance as the focal point of the building along with a small park area and leisure trail. The biggest hurdle with the changes will be converting the planned below-ground parking garage to an above-grade parking structure.
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