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Bakery Chain, Pottery Barn, Chop't Announced For Lot 31

By Aaron Kraut

Tuesday - 4/22/2014, 8:05am  ET

Lot 31 construction last weekA Paul Bakery, Pottery Barn, Pottery Barn Kids and Chop’t Creative Salad Company are coming to Lot 31, according to an announcement on Monday from developer StonebridgeCarras.

The developer said the retail space in the two residential buildings part of the project is more than 90 percent leased.

Combined with a luxury dining concept from Silver Diner and upscale seafood restaurant PassionFish, the retailers coming to Lot 31 mirror a few of the successful retailers across Bethesda Avenue in Federal Realty’s Bethesda Row.

That could set up an interesting test of the area’s retail market. Pottery Barn and Pottery Barn Kids will fit into a 17,900-square-foot space in the Lot 31 project, “dramatically impacting the range of shopping available on Bethesda Row,” according to the StonebridgeCarras press release.

Urban Country (7117 Arlington Rd.) might have something to say about that. The homegrown furniture and design shop moved to Bethesda Row in 2008.

Chop’t will obviously be competing in the fast casual salad chain market with Bethesda Row’s Sweetgreen (4831 Bethesda Ave.). Paul Bakery, a chain of French bakeries prevalent in D.C., and Le Pain Quotidien (7140 Bethesda Lane) share that characteristic and more than a few others.

It sounds as if StonebridgeCarras thinks there’s plenty of room for both developments to thrive.

“The vision for the project’s retail has been to provide a great mix of merchandise and restaurant retailers, enhancing the existing dynamic and vibrant Bethesda Row area of Bethesda,” StonebridgeCarras founding principal Doug Firstenberg said in a press release.

His company’s project consists of a 940-space underground garage to be operated by Montgomery County that will replace the surface Lot 31. Construction on that is expected to finish later this year, which will allow Woodmont Avenue to reopen south of Bethesda Avenue.

Crews will then finish the 64-unit luxury condominium building The Darcy on one side of Woodmont, with the 162-unit The Flats set for the other side.