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Bethesda’s Battery Lane 1.7M Square Foot Redevelopment Sketch Plan Approved

February 24, 2020

Brown Development LLC, with the assistance of Shulman Rogers’ Zoning and Land Use Partner, Nancy Regelin, secured Montgomery County Planning Board approval for the largest Sketch Plan in Downtown Bethesda encompassing 11 acres and 1.7 million square feet of residential development. 

The comprehensive redevelopment plan for the long-time owners-operators replaces six aging garden-style rental apartment buildings on Battery Lane in Downtown Bethesda into a mix of modern housing totaling 1530 dwelling units in a rolling, phased approach over 10-15 years. 

Working with Rodgers Consulting, Wells & Associates, and 3 architecture firms – Cooper Carry, KGD Architects, and DNC Architects – the Battery District Project is comprehensively designed to fashion the Battery Lane neighborhood into one of the most beautiful and livable urban-edge residential neighborhoods in Bethesda.

Battery Lane’s history is firmly rooted as a unique, strategically situated housing resource built in the 50s, 60s and 70s. Its foundation decades ago was to provide convenient and economically accessible housing in close proximity to the employment campuses of NIH, Walter Reed National Military Medical Center and downtown Bethesda. Those highly valued premises remain as essential today.

Under Brown’s overall 20% MPDU Housing Strategy, full build-out of 1530 new units provides 306 MPDUs.  This means that, after redevelopment, up to 64% of the existing 477 unregulated market-rate units would return as modern MPDUs reserved for tenants meeting the MPDU income limits. Redevelopment creates the opportunity to introduce MPDUs to Battery Lane, broaden the affordability of the neighborhood and ensure affordable units are available to the population the MPDU regulations were created to serve.

The “Battery District” is reimagined to reflect a more responsible and current interpretation of mobility, land use, energy efficiency, life style and housing market preference.  The Project proposes to build on the existing assets of Battery Lane and seamlessly knit modern apartment buildings with easy-living open spaces into the existing building-scape of Battery Lane and connect old and new with a beautiful, walkable/cyclable public realm and new community hubs. 

Shulman Rogers has represented the Brown Family and their real estate assets in Downtown Bethesda for many years.  Nancy Regelin is proud of the creative work that will transform the Battery District into a distinctive “place,” create new open spaces, pedestrian and bicycle connections, and enhance a neighborhood where multi-income, multi-generational residents can set down roots and strengthen the Bethesda community.