Thank you to the more than fifty people who attended last night's Community Meeting! We appreciate that you gave up part of your Wednesday evening to help transform the White Flint area into a walkable, transit-friendly, successful community.
While official detailed minutes will be distributed when they are done, I did want to quickly summarize some of the highlights of the 90-minute meeting for those of you who could not join us.
Executive Director Amy Ginsburg noted the many accomplishments and activities of Friends of White Flint over the past couple of months, including testifying against the City of Rockville's plan to widen Route 355, developing ways to educate the community about Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) and what they can do for a community, working to activate Wall Park, recruiting new members of Friends of White Flint, and renewing current members.
Several property owners provided updates on what's going up and on in the White Flint area. Federal Realty said that Phase One of Pike and Rose is nearing completion with the final retailers moving in. They are starting construction of a second parking garage as Phase Two work begins. BF Saul noted that things were moving forward on their property at the corner of Rockville Pike and Marinelli. JBG said that they are splitting their North Bethesda II project into two phases. ProMark's update revealed that they hope to break ground on their apartment/retail property on Nicholson Lane north of the Mall in early 2016. The Gables have an April 30th planning board date and their plans for an apartment complex at Old Georgetown Road and Executive Blvd. are also moving forward.
After an interesting and heartfelt discussion about what we should call ourselves now that the area has been named the Pike District, we decided to table this issue for awhile to see how the name Pike District "sticks" in the future. So for now, because we were formed to ensure the proper implementation of the White Flint Sector Plan, we will continue to use the name Friends of White Flint.
There was broad consensus that to have a sustainable live-work-play community we need to have a vital "work" sector in the Pike District, so it was decided that we should somehow showcase the Pike District as a perfect place for Marriott's re-location. We will form a task force to create an appropriate presentation/letter/other that we will use to engage the appropriate people from Marriott.
M-NCPPC made a presentation about history and future of Wall Park before we brainstormed and voted on ideas for activating the park this summer. Some of the more popular (and implementable) ideas were: weekly grill nights, completing the walking path, installing exercise equipment, and creating a pop-up dog park. (If you have thoughts on what we can do right now to create a wonderful public space in Wall Park, please email your ideas to email@example.com.)
Hearty congratulations to Federal Realty and
the Montgomery County Planning Department!
And congratulations to all of us because we were part of this award! Included in the submission was this lovely bit about Friends of White Flint."Since the White Flint Sector Plan was approved in 2010, community interest in White Flint redevelopment has only grown. The grassroots organization, Friends of White Flint, ensures that the planâ€™s implementation matches its vision through community involvement. This role was demonstrated recently when its members rose up in large numbers to oppose a proposed road, which did not match what was called for in the Sector Plan. The group led a successful campaign to defeat an auto-centric design for the road and replace it with the multi-modal design called for in the Sector Plan. This involvement is another reminder of the active role that citizens continue to play in the redevelopment of the White Flint area."