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White Flint ‘Naming’ Will Have To Wait Another Month

By Aaron Kraut

Friday - 6/6/2014, 12:00pm  ET

White Flint Metro StationIt seemed a meeting on Tuesday would be an opportunity to make some major progress on the naming and branding of White Flint/North Bethesda.

It appears that discussion will be pushed back at least a month, as developers in the area iron out a Pike District-like concept that would reach beyond the White Flint Sector Plan boundaries and include smaller neighborhoods such as White Flint, Pike & Rose, Montrose and possibly even Twinbrook.

The White Flint Downtown Advisory Committee, a group of developers, business representatives, county officials and residents, was set to discuss the idea after a flurry of activity over the last two months about the branding of the area.

At the heart of the issue is Federal Realty and JBG’s belief that the area should shift away from the White Flint label and put the focus on a larger swath of the Rockville Pike corridor. Lerner Enterprises, which plans a massive mixed-use project on the site of its White Flint Mall, doesn’t want to lose the White Flint name.

That makes the Downtown Advisory Committee — appointed by the county executive to help build an urban district in White Flint — a prime candidate to help settle the age-old debate of what to call the place.

Ken Hartman, who runs the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Regional Services Center for county government, said the committee’s discussion Tuesday will focus instead on the operational implications of a larger White Flint/North Bethesda/Pike District.

Hartman and the Downtown Advisory Committee are putting together a Bethesda Urban Partnership-like website meant to serve as an official portal for visitors, potential residents and potential businesses. Hartman also expects to share a letter from the White Flint Partnership, a group of the developers in the area that reportedly came to an impasse on the naming issue a few times before.

The meeting is set for 8 a.m. Tuesday at the Bethesda North Marriott & Conference Center.