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EYA’s Little Falls Place

LittleFallsPlaceThis week Amy and I attended the Realtor grand opening of EYA’s new showroom for the soon to be built Little Falls Place townhouse community.  The project is nestled along the Little Falls Parkway between River Road and Massachusetts Avenue and will be accessed by a new bridge to be built over the existing Willet branch (creek) that meanders along the Little Falls watershed and park.  Thirty townhomes will be built at the project including 25 two-car garage townhomes starting at $1,385,000, and five one-car garage units priced below $200,000, as required by Montgomery County Workforce Housing regulations.  In Montgomery County, Workforce Housing is intended to be housing affordable to households whose incomes are too high to be eligible to participate in the Moderately Priced Dwelling Unit (MPDU) Program.  How high is too high but still qualifies?  Single people in the $75,000 range and a family of four near $100,000.   I suspect demand for these five Workforce units will be high!  The larger four level townhouses will have approximately 2,500 square feet of interior space and a roof-top terrace that will have a gas fireplace and options for a retractable awning, outdoor grill and kitchenette.  The expected delivery date of the project is February of 2014.

LittleFallsPlaceSiteThe new garage townhomes will be constructed with views overlooking the park and have access to the Capital Crescent Trail that runs along the north edge of the property.  EYA describes the project’s architectural style as Mid-Century modern, which is quite a real estate buzzword right now.  The origins of this architectural style in the U.S. go back to Frank Lloyd Wright’s “organic architecture” at the turn of the century and he in turn was influenced by the International and Bauhaus movements that included the designs of Mies Van Der Rohe (which inspired the modern Glass House in Connecticut by Philip Johnson).  I really like this Frank Lloyd Wright style of architecture and built a “prairie” style home that reflects this Mid-Century modern design a few years ago in Bethesda (8400 Westmont Court, Bethesda, MD 20817).  EYA’s interpretation of the Mid-Century modern style is reflected in the project’s integration into the park-like setting of the site.  The project features strong vertical lines of deep hued metal and lots of large glass windows that reflect and mirror the surrounding woods.  Quartzite stone and wood grained exterior (actually made from low maintenance fiber cement) accent the project and the artist’s illustrations depict attractive paneled wood garage doors as well.  The interiors will be luxuriously appointed with hardwood flooring, an abundance of electronic home management options, top of the line appliances and luxury amenities.  All this in an environmentally friendly home built to LEED for Homes standards.  EYA’s slogan is “life within walking distance” and this project personifies the hottest trend in real estate toward the development of communities that have easy access to restaurants, shops and urban conveniences.  I think this community could be a great option for aging baby boomers who are ready to downsize but not quite ready for condominium living!  Want to know more?  Call us!

Sundae at CPK, just $1. Good time….priceless!

SundaeLet’s face it a dollar bill just does not go very far these days.  But it does at the California Pizza Kitchen at Westfield Montgomery  (a.k.a. Montgomery Mall to the old timers in the area). Recently I took my boys out to dinner at this restaurant located near Nordstrom in the Mall and, after getting the usual kids fare (chicken tenders and pizza), we ordered the $1.00 sundae. It’s only a dollar if you order one of the kid’s entrees and it’s plenty big for my guys (ages 6 and 9). It was a hit. The hot fudge is old fashioned and really makes the dessert.  How do I know?  Much to the chagrin of the kids I have a routine when I want to sample of their food.  I grab the spoon and take a bite and then say in a deep voice, “safety check.”  After appearing to really analyze the bite taken I give the “o.k. it’s all clear and safe to eat.”  This is usually followed by groans and howls from the kids who complain bitterly about my food stealing on a false pretense.  Head over to CPK and don’t forget the “safety check!”

SOLD! 5803 Devonshire Dr., Bethesda, MD

5803Devonshire

 

 

 

 

 

 

We just helped a family sell this classic brick colonial in the highly sought after Wood Acres community.

  • Virtual Tour
  • List Price $799,000
  • 3 Bedrooms
  • 2 Full Bathrooms
  • 2 Half Bathrooms
  • Two dens on the first floor
  • Detached converted garage
  • Rear loaded one car attached garage

What can we help you sell?

“Intelligence” is coming to Bethesda

ICC-B2The Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) has begun breaking ground on a major overhaul of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (also formerly known as The Defense Mapping Agency) which was located on Sangamore Road, opposite the Sumner Place shopping center.  The new facility will be called the Intelligence Community Campus – Bethesda (ICC-B for short) and will accommodate 3,000 employees and feature a new six story parking garage as well a sleek glass facade that will wrap around the current buildings (two will be demolished) creating one unified modern structure. After months of wrangling with nearby community associations, the DIA has committed to addressing many of the civic group’s concerns regarding the size and scope of the “sabotage-secured” garage and impacts to the heavily forested area surrounding the 39 acre facility and the nearby Potomac River watershed.

ICC-B3

The project should be substantially completed by 2016 and has been redesigned to integrate more organically into the surrounding park setting.  The new plan calls for an integration of metal and glass that will mimic the vertical nature of the surrounding trees and emulate the deeper earth tones of the nearby landscape.

While the exact nature of the work to be performed at the site remains “sensitive” to national security interests, one of the interesting commitments made by the DIA was that the DIA does not “intend” to emit any electromagnetic (or other) signals that will interfere with neighborhood electronic devices.  We live nearby (and I could not survive without my cell phone) so that’s a relief!

Matthew Fontaine Maury "Pathfinder of the Seas"

Matthew Fontaine Maury
“Pathfinder of the Seas”

One small footnote to this post is that one of the buildings at the facility is called Maury Hall, named after the famed oceanographer and United States naval Commander Matthew Fontaine Maury.  Maury was known as the “Pathfinder of the Seas” having made many important contributions to charting winds and ocean currents, as well as publishing the first significant scientific book on Oceanography.  I am indeed related to the storied Commander but I’m not sure he would have approved of my conduct aboard my brother Scott’s sail boat this summer while on an excursion on the Chesapeake.  In rough seas I spent a great deal of the trip leaning over the side of the boat.  Amy of course was enjoying the ride!

Cheers to The Majestic Bar & Grill

Majestic

We ducked into The Majestic Bar & Grill recently on a very cold January afternoon in hopes of finding comfort, both in terms of food and temperature, and we found it all here.  Located at 7141 Wisconsin Avenue, adjacent to the Farm Women’s Cooperative Market at the intersection of Wisconsin and Bethesda Avenues, The Majestic occupies the former Gaffney’s restaurant location and there is free parking after 5:00 p.m. next door at the Farm Women’s Market.  The decor has been nicely transformed into a comfortable, Cheers like, bar atmosphere with a large deep wooden bar with a bank of large screen T.V.’s to catch all the sports action.  We arrived mid-afternoon so it was pretty quiet and the friendly staff seated us in a booth that was easy on our cold bones.  The Majestic Bar & Grill was inspired by the owner Stefan Lalos’s grandfather.  His grandfather came to America just after the turn of the century from Northern Greece and founded the original Majestic in 1925 in Ohio. Having made his mark in the IT field with a successful company, Stefan wanted to try his hand at a neighborhood bar and restaurant that he himself would really enjoy. When the opportunity for Stefan to continue his family’s restaurant tradition in Bethesda developed he jumped at the chance.

Bar

The Majestic offers a nice selection of soups, salads, appetizers/pub fare, sandwiches and dinner entrees with a few surprises you don’t expect to find at a neighborhood bar and grill, such as Maryland style crab cakes topped with bacon.  The bar has plenty of beers on tap and a nice selection of cocktails including a collection of scotches. Our server said we should try one of their “signature” burgers offered in sirloin, turkey, duck & bacon, or bison!  It was a generous burger with a great bun (always a must-have) and topped with sauteed and fresh onion, lettuce and tomato.  I was a happy camper and The Majestic offers “Burger Wednesday” with discounted burgers the whole day! Thursday Night is ladies night with discounted cocktails from 4 pm to 1 am.  They have an awesome outdoor patio as well that will be open when the warm weather returns!  That reminds me.  The bar and grill is open until 1:00 a.m. every night and 2:00 a.m. on Friday and Saturdays.  There are not too many places for great food and drink in Bethesda at that late hour so keep that The Majestic in mind when the late night munchies hit you.  The Majestic’s slogan is “eat well. drink happy.  repeat.”  That’s just what we intend to do. ~ Brian

POST SCRIPT: In mid-2013, The Majestic Bar & Grill closed. 

Real Estate Update: Sales Up and Prices Down

UpDown

Sales of detached homes in Bethesda increased by 8.5% in 2012 to 762 homes sold.  The average and median home prices however dipped lower, by 2.2% and 1.6% respectively.  The average price for a detached home in Bethesda in 2012 was $949,546, a decrease of $21,757 below the average price in 2011.

Normally when sales activity rises average and median prices follow along.  This year was different because the increase in sales volume was not distributed evenly across all price ranges.  Rather the range between $750,000 and $900,000 saw the lion’s share of the increase in activity and this lowered the overall average and median prices.  This is good news! Prices are not falling but rather more people are entering the market and buying homes.  Our market is actually poised to grow and it won’t be long before prices begin to reflect this increased demand.

Nearby this has already begun to happen.  The District of Columbia real estate market is on fire.  Demand for housing has reduced the supply of inventory of available homes by over 36%.  This past year the average price of all homes in DC is up nearly 11% and the median price has jumped nearly 18%!  In Montgomery County the supply of homes for sale has also contracted sharply by over 30% and the County’s median price has increased nearly 5%.

SOLD! 4970 Sentinel Drive, Bethesda, MD

4970Sentinel504

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We just helped the owner of this condominium secure multiple contracts on her Sumner Village Condominium and sell the condo over the asking price.

  • Asking price: $524,000
  • Unit #504
  • 2 Bedrooms
  • 2 Full Baths
  • 2 tandem covered parking spaces
  • Updated Brazilian cherry floors
  • Overlooking Little Falls Park

What can we help you sell?

SOLD! 7622 Winterberry La., Bethesda, MD

We helped a young family find this spacious, split-colonial style home in Bethesda that was not yet on the market.  We networked with one of the top agents in the Bethesda market and found our client a unique pre-market opportunity.

  • List Price: $795,000
  • Bedrooms: 5
  • Bathrooms: 3
  • One Car Garage
  • Large lot
  • Updated Pella windows throughout!

 What can we find for you?

SOLD! 5105 Duvall Dr., Bethesda, MD

5105 Duvall

This classic Westmoreland Hills colonial featured a slate roof, first floor family room (converted from former 2 car garage) and a newly finished attic.

SOLD! 6004 Cobalt Road, Bethesda, MD

Screen shot 2012-12-01 at 12.10.24 PM

We helped the buyers find this Woodacres Colonial nestled on a quiet street with large backyard with future expansion potential.

  • $810,000
  • 3 Bedrooms
  • 2.5 Baths
  • Finished Basement
  • Garage

What can we find for you?

Day 342: Voila! It's Vino Volo!

Vino Volo Bethesda Row

Vino Volo Bethesda Row

Voila!  There it is!  The perfect place in Bethesda to share some wine and good eating with friends.  Like Goldilocks seeking the perfect bed, I have sought the perfect place to tip a glass of red or white that doesn’t come with sports TV blaring in the background or in a cramped, standing-room-only wine shop.   Vino Volo is just right for any type of gathering.

Meeting a friend for happy hour and a small bite?  Perfect!  Try sampling their wine flights while seated at the bar.  Looking to create a wine tasting event for friends or special clients?  Vino Volo’s wine tasting room evokes the feeling of a rustic winery in the heart of Bethesda Row.  Meeting a small group of friends for lunch or a business meeting?  Look no further.  Vino Volo has plenty of room to seat your group comfortably in their restaurant and they offer a delectable menu to accompany their unique wine selections.

Tasting Room Bethesda

Tasting Room Bethesda

Vino Volo has won a place in the hearts of many a weary traveler who found solace in their airport retreats throughout the US.  In fact all of their other locations are situated on concourses.  Their airport wine bars offer an escape from the hustle and bustle of travel and a place to relax and refresh your spirits.

The new Bethesda location is their first departure from the gates of the airport halls.  Someone must have known that Bethesda was a safe bet for their first “baggage-free” location, as we are lovers of good food and drinks in this town.

The wine list at Vino Volo is quite unique -a refreshing change from the same ‘ole wine list I have noticed elsewhere.  The food choices are intriguing with menu options at this location that are more extensive than what their airport shops can offer.

Sample their creatively named wine flights during your visit or opt for wines by the glass or bottle.  The staff is helpful and friendly and the atmosphere is relaxed and warm.  Vino Volo is an exciting addition to our Bethesda restaurant and bar scene.  For more details about Vino Volo check out their website at www.vinovolobethesdarow.com.

Cheers,  Amy

Vino Volo Bethesda

Vino Volo Bethesda

Day 192: Free Summer Concerts at Glen Echo Park

Glen Echo Park

One of my favorite things to do in the Bethesda area is to visit Glen Echo Park.  A visit to the park is like taking a walk back in time to a simpler day and age.  The sights and sounds of the carousel and surrounding historic buildings such as the Bumper Car Pavilion and Spanish Ballroom are so unique.  Each one of them have so many stories to tell.  You can read all about the Park’s history which began in 1891, as well as current news and events, by visiting their website.  You can also check out our Day 162 blog of 2011 for a quick summary.

We recommend a visit to Glen Echo Park any time but this Thursday, July 12th, 2012 there will be something special going on – a FREE summer concert at 7:30 PM at the Bumper Car Pavilion.  “The UNITED STATES AIR FORCE BAND SINGING SERGEANTS will present the music of America to the people of the world, the chorus has appeared before millions of people in live performances and countless more on radio and television programs,” according to the Glen Echo Park’s recent Facebook post.  No matter the weather – rain or shine – the show will go on!  In addition to the concert, the carousel is scheduled to run from 7 to 9pm. Too fun!  It makes me feel like a kid again!    

Glen Echo Park is offering free summer concerts such as this one every other Thursday beginning June 14 through August 23.  They will also offer a Special Sunday Afternoon Concert on July 22: Family Jazz Day, starting at 3:00 pm.  All concerts are free and open to the public.  Come on down and make your family experience a part of the history of magical Glen Echo Park.  ~Amy

Day 137: Calling all Bethesda Fashionistas to The Front Row!

The Front Row May 17-19, 2012

I keep seeing signs all over the Bethesda Lane/Bethesda Avenue corridor about “The Front Row” coming May 17-19th.  Curiosity finally got the best of me and I looked it up.  Glad I did because you will either want to avoid the chaos downtown or seize the opportunity for what may be some great buys, good meal deals and a great time with friends over the next 3 days – your choice!

The Front Row will be held May 17-19, 2012 and offer 40+ fashion events plus special menus and happy hours at local restaurants, celebrity guests, family fun and other events.  Some of the highlights include the following:

THURSDAY –  Washingtonian Magazine fashion editor Kate Bennett hosts a special film screening at Landmark’s Bethesda Row Theater of the award-winning documentary God Save My Shoes.   There will be a Q&A session afterward with the film’s producer.  The event kicks off at 7:30pm at 7235 Woodmont Ave. and is first-come, first serve, although the  Bethesda Row web site lists an RSVP at: [email protected].  Jaleo, Mussel Bar, Assaggi and Mon Ami Gabi will have happy hour specials before the film.  PLUS there will be trunk shows and sales at Urban Chic, Urban Country and Ginger.  Top it all off with a shoe cupcake from Georgetown Cupcake. 

FRIDAY fashion fun continues with a runway show at 7:30pm.  The VIP guest, Andy Cohen (who is the host of Bravo’s Watch What Happens Live) will be there and has offered to sign his new book at Redwood Restaurant.  Cocktail specials are being offered at Redwood to make your time waiting in line a little less tedious. There will be extended hours on Bethesda Lane to shop the specials offered by local retailers until 9pm.

SATURDAY from 11 AM – 2 PM is a day all about your junior fashionistas with fashion trunk shows, sales and specials plus family fun including balloon animals, art projects, and cooking classes for the kids.  Equinox will also offer a free class EQ360 (no membership required) at 3 PM.  My advice is to get there early.

All the details for the three-day event can be found at the Bethesda Row website at: http://bethesdarow.com/events/specials 

Have fun either enjoying the events at The Front Row or avoiding downtown Bethesda and sticking around the back 40 for 3-days!

~Amy

Day 114: Monday Fun Day in Bethesda

Big Fat Hot Dogs at Bold Bite

OK so we know that Mondays can get you down, especially rainy, chilly Mondays like today.  So what better way to wash away the blues than to eat and drink yourself merry?!  Here are some great Monday deals you can check out in Bethesda:

BURGER MONDAY at PARKERS RESTAURANT – buy one and get one for 99 cents.  They have some good options on french fries too, including my personal favorite, sweet potato fries.

If burgers aren’t your thing, how about hot dogs? 

HAPPY HOUR from 2:30 – 5:30 PM at BOLD BITE DOGS & FRIES – buy one combo and get a naked dog for free!

Cafe Deluxe Bethesda - Elm St

If you want to skip the picnic fare and go right to the beverages, try 1/2 price wine on Mondays at CAFE DELUXE  or $4 GUINNESS plus 1/2 off oysters at RI-RA IRISH PUB.

No matter how you choose to cure the Monday blues, remember to share some food and fun with your friends – the best way to brighten any day.     ~Amy

Day 108: Spring Restaurant Week in Bethesda…Accessorize your Palate

It’s time again to enjoy the airy pleasures of an outdoor evening meal or an afternoon sandwich in the sun with friends.  Bethesda’s restaurant week is a great excuse to do so!  Restaurant Week is happening NOW, April 16th – 22nd, 2012 at participating restaurants including:

Bethesda's Restaurant Week, April 2012

Assaggi Mozzarella Bar

Cafe Deluxe

Jaleo

Le Pain Quotidien

 Lebanese Taverna

Redwood

Mon Ami Gabi

Vapiano

Raku

Tandoori Nights

Parker’s Classic American

Three course lunches are $15 and three-course dinners are $30.  Reservations are highly recommended, especially for dinner.

You can check out their menus for the week (makes my mouth water to read them!) and also sign up to win a $200 dining certificate at www.BethesdaRow.com.

Buen Provecho!     ~Amy