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Groundbreaking for 12-story apartment building in Bethesda

By Aaron Kraut

Monday - 6/30/2014, 11:45am  ET

Solaire 
Bethesda, rendering via Washington Property CompanyWashington Property Company has broken ground on the 139-unit, 12-story apartment building coming to the former site of Eastham’s Exxon Servicenter on Wisconsin Avenue.

The Solaire Bethesda will be the Bethesda-based developer’s third Solaire-branded luxury apartment building. The company opened the Solaire Silver Spring in 2012 and the Solaire Wheaton earlier this year.

Demolition of the old gas station at 7100 Wisconsin Ave. will lead to construction of a building that will include 6,400-square-feet of ground-floor retail space, a two-level underground garage, lounge, fitness center and outdoor terraces. There will be 21 moderately priced dwelling units and the structure will step down to 45 feet toward the existing Crescent Plaza condos along Woodmont Avenue.

“The property’s numerous amenities and proximity to downtown Bethesda’s renowned restaurants and retailers will attract residents who desire convenience and quality of life in one of the most coveted residential communities in the region,” Washington Property Company Senior Vice President Daryl South said in a press release.

The developer is scheduled to go back to the Planning Board on July 10 with some minor changes to its site plan that would shift around a green roof, change some paving patterns and architecture and provide for outdoor cafe-like seating along Wisconsin Avenue.

In the changes, which have backing from county planners, the developer said it’s not yet able to identify which restaurant will require the outdoor seating.

Washington Property Company bought the site in July 2011 for the $60 million project. A $42 million construction loan from RBS Citizens Bank is helping the project get going.

The developer emphasized the site’s strategic location “just 800 feet from the planned southern entrance to the Bethesda Metro station and Purple Line light rail station.”

Eastham’s Auto Servicenter moved to 4990 Fairmont Ave. in April. It will be a temporary location, as that site — a former BP gas station — is set to be razed and redeveloped into a luxury condo building. Eastham’s called 7100 Wisconsin Ave. home since 1929.

Rendering via Washington Property Company