Luxury condominiums and an art incubator are set to be built on Fairmont Avenue where a gas station once stood.
The Montgomery County Planning Board approved plans for a new luxury condo building, which will include an “art incubator,” at 4990 Fairmont Ave.
Chevy Chase-based developer, Starr Capital LLC, plans to build a 17-story, 72-unit building on the site where the former BP gas station once stood. The project, which consolidates three lots into one, is part of Woodmont Triangle. The building is only 1,500 feet to the Metro.
The 138,052-square-foot building will also feature 7,000 square feet of retail on the ground floor and 101 parking spaces. Eleven of the condos have been set aside as moderately priced dwelling units.
An additional 2,000 square feet of the ground floor will be dedicated as an “art incubator” -- new studio and exhibit space for artists in the visual arts, according to county documents. The art incubator will be managed by the Bethesda Urban Partnership.
Last year, there was talk of creating an art incubator on the vacant Trillium lot, at 8300 Wisconsin Ave., but those plans fell through. The site is now being developed by StonebridgeCarras as a mixed-use building, with 359 residential units above a 50,000-square-foot-Harris Teeter grocery store.
Due mainly to the art incubator, the project enjoys wide support from the community. The Woodmont Triangle Advisory Group, made up of residents, developers and business leaders, wrote a letter to the planning board that praised the project.
As part of the art incubator, an existing five-foot-wide alley that runs from Old Georgetown Road to the 4900 Fairmont Ave. project will be widened to 11 feet and be used as an “art alley.”
The garage across from the alley will also be used as a backdrop onto which art installations can be projected.
The owner of Positano, a longtime Italian restaurant at 4948 Fairmont Ave., told the planning board he would like to see the arts incubator and alley face his restaurant.
But when told of the obstacles created by moving the art alley to that side of the building, the owner, Luigi Traettino, said, “I surrender.”
Groundbreaking is scheduled for 2015, according to Starr Capital.