Sunday, June 25, 2017

Theft from vehicle on Marengo Rd., overdose on Whiterim Dr. + more - Bethesda crime update

Another vehicle owner in Springfield reports valuables taken from their vehicle Friday, plus another Pike & Rose milestone -  the first crime ever reported on new street, Rose Avenue.

Here's a roundup of crimes reported across Bethesda on June 23, according to crime data:

Theft from vehicle. 5700 block Marengo Road (Springfield).

Theft from vehicle. 8500 block Hazelwood Drive.

Theft. 3100 block Black Chestnut Lane.

Suicide attempt/overdose. 10800 block Whiterim Drive.

Theft. 11400 block Skipwith Lane.

Theft over $200. Rose Avenue (Pike & Rose).

Juvenile runaway. 11300 block Schuylkill Road (Randolph Hills).

Bethesda construction update: 2nd District police station (Photos)

Construction continues at a slow pace at the future Montgomery County 2nd District police station on Rugby Avenue. It also structurally looks different from the high-rises - and even some of the stick-built mid-rises - you see going up around the county. I'll have to defer to one of our resident architecture experts to explain why that is.

Carluccio's closes at Pike & Rose (Photos)

I was shocked to find that Carluccio's has closed at Pike & Rose. The UK-based Italian chain was one of the best - and most affordable - sit-down restaurants at the development. Their other D.C.-area location closed as well, so it's unclear if their difficulties were actually related to this particular restaurant, or corporate in nature.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Springfield, Sumner hit by thieves, bike stolen on Bethesda Ave. + more - Bethesda crime update

Bethesda experienced its first minor theft spree this summer, as one or more thieves went wilding in the Springfield and Sumner neighborhoods and downtown Bethesda Thursday. At least 7 vehicles were hit, and a bicycle was stolen on Bethesda Avenue.

Here's a roundup of crimes reported across Bethesda on June 22, according to crime data:

Stolen bike worth over $200. 4700 block Bethesda Avenue.

Theft from vehicle. 7100 block Arlington Road.

Theft from vehicle. 5600 block Springfield Drive (Springfield).

Theft from vehicle. 5500 block Cromwell Drive (Springfield).

Theft from vehicle. 5600 block Knollwood Road (Springfield).

Theft from vehicle. 5600 block Ontario Circle (Sumner).

Theft from vehicle. 5100 block Marlyn Drive (Sumner).

Theft from vehicle. 1 Vassar Circle (Glen Echo).

Threatening phone call. 8700 block Preston Place.

Embezzlement/"confidence game." 6300 block Lone Oak Drive.

Child neglect. XX block Bells Mill Road.

Identity theft. 11100 block Cripplegate Road.

Stolen bike worth over $200. 13600 block Hayworth Drive.

Greedy Montgomery County Council to gouge you again for parking in Bethesda

The Monopoly Guy, like free parking, is nowhere to be found in downtown Bethesda. Starting on "or around" July 5, the Montgomery County Council will celebrate American independence turncoat style with further taxation of your vehicle in Bethesda.

The new ransom, er, rates will be:

On-street parking: $2.25/hour
Surface lot parking: $1.50/hour
Garages 40, 49, and 57: $1.25/hour
Garages 11, 31, 35, 36, 42, and 47: $1.00/hour

Just what every downtown Bethesda business owner wants to hear, right?

Well, the Council has to pay for their $137,000(!!) a year salaries somehow. The City Council in Bell, California did the same thing, raising "enormous property taxes" and fees while giving themselves massive salary increases, and ended up in jail. Our Council? Mysteriously, still on the loose - and their salaries are higher than the Bell Council got!

Implementation of the "rate adjustment" will be staggered. Rates on-street will increase on July 5, rates in Garages 11, 31 and 49 will increase on July 10, and rates in the balance of the off-street facilities will be phased in after July 10 over the following weeks and months.

Voters will likely implement their own "adjustment" to the Council in November 2018.

Art events today and Sunday in Bethesda

"New York Nights" by Elena Bond
Neo-Impressionist Elena Bond will appear today, June 24, 2017, from 1:00-4:00 PM at Wentworth Gallery inside Westfield Montgomery Mall in Bethesda. Bond, who uses a palette knife to create her distinctive paintings, grew up in the Soviet Union and Germany before emigrating to America after the Cold War. Wentworth is located on Level 2, just outside of Nordstrom. The event is free to attend, and Bond's latest artworks will be available for purchase. Call to RSVP: (301) 365-3270

Tomorrow, Sunday, June 25, 2017, artists and some downtown Bethesda businesses will converge on Waverly Street Gallery at 4600 East-West Highway from 2:00-4:00 PM for ARTFUL Afternoons. Guido Adelfio of Bethesda Travel Center and Molly Lapa of Sugarfina will be on hand for an afternoon of art, travel and samples from candy store Sugarfina.

The gallery's current featured exhibit offers the encaustic paintings of Sandra Sedmak Engel.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Vandals hit Chevy Chase Blvd., Westlake Terrace; burglary at Montgomery Mall + more - Bethesda crime update

Here's a roundup of crimes reported across Bethesda on June 21, according to crime data:

Vandalism. 4600 block Chevy Chase Boulevard.

Car vandalized. 7400 block Westlake Terrace.

Shoplifting over $200. Westfield Montgomery Mall.

Burglary. Westfield Montgomery Mall.

Mental transport. 4100 block Wexford Drive.

Identity theft. 5500 block Randolph Road (Pike District).

Shoplifting. 5700 block Bou Avenue.

Bold Bite licensing up for beer, wine as national chain competitor looms in Bethesda

Downtown Bethesda's homegrown upscale hot dog spot, Bold Bite, is preparing to take on national hot dog chain Dog Haus Biergarten. Like Bold Bite, Dog Haus also serves gourmet burgers and sausages alongside the hot dogs on its menu. But unlike Bold Bite, which is located at 4903 Cordell Avenue, Dog Haus serves craft beer and wine.

Bold Bite is aiming to remedy that this summer, before their competitor opens a few blocks away at 7904 Woodmont Avenue. The restaurant has applied for a liquor license to serve beer and wine, and will have a hearing on July 6 at 10:00 AM. While they had already planned to add beer and wine before Dog Haus announced its plans, the addition of adult beverages will be all the more advantageous to Bold Bite with a booze-purveying competitor looming.

Honeygrow, Pieology & more tenants announced for new retail building at Montrose Crossing

Pieology, which just opened at Bethesda Row, is already planning another nearby location at Montrose Crossing on Rockville Pike. The pizzeria will be neighbors with the already-announced Five Guys and Allure in a new retail building at the shopping center, now under construction where Timpano Italian Chophouse once stood in the parking lot.

Just since my report on Five Guys yesterday morning, Pieology and two other tenants were made official by property owner Federal Realty: Cava Grill, and Honeygrow.

Cava Grill is the increasingly-ubiquitous, locally-owned Mediterranean alternative to Chipotle. Honeygrow is a Philadelphia-based fast casual chain serving stir-fry, salads, "honeybars," and cold-pressed juice.

In total, the new retail structure sounds like it will join parking lot neighbor Chick-fil-A as a lunch hub for nearby residents and office workers.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Car vandalized in Friendship Heights, domestic violence on Strathmore Hall St. + more - Bethesda crime update

Here's a roundup of crimes reported across Bethesda on June 19-20, according to crime data:

June 20

Theft over $200. 1 Bethesda Metro Center.

Shoplifting - clothing. 5300 block Western Avenue.

Car vandalized. Friendship Boulevard (Friendship Heights).

Burglary - forced entry. 6700 block Barr Road.

Mental transport. 5700 block Grosvenor Lane.

Sudden death. 10400 block Grosvenor Place.

Theft over $200. 9800 block Bristol Square Lane.

June 19

Domestic violence assault. 10300 block Strathmore Hall Street..

Theft. 7600 block Arlington Road.

Mental transport. 7700 block Marbury Road.

Theft - supermarket. 10300 block Old Georgetown Road.

Renovations, new sushi bar planned for Woodmont Grill in Bethesda

One of Bethesda's top restaurants will be getting an interior makeover soon. Woodmont Grill, located at 7715 Woodmont Avenue, plans to renovate its dining room. Among the updates will be a new sushi bar area and wait station.

New Montrose Crossing retail building scores first tenant

Federal Realty has its first tenant for the new, 18000 SF retail structure it is building in the front parking lot of the Montrose Crossing shopping center at 12055 Rockville Pike. And it's a familiar one.

Five Guys has leased one of the units; the burgeoning burgers-and-fries chain already has a location across the street from Montrose Crossing, suggesting that could change in the future. Federal Realty has Five Guys in their Rockville Town Square and Bethesda Row developments, as well.
Rendering of the new retail building
under construction on the former site
of Timpano Italian Chophouse

First residents to move into Stonehall Bethesda condos in July (Photos)

The new Stonehall Bethesda ultra-luxury condominium building at 8302 Woodmont Avenue will welcome its first residents in July. Developed by Duball, LLC, the building's 46 units will range from the $600,000s to penthouses that start at $2.3 million. If you've been following my updates, you'll note that the original starting price was $800,000 for 2-bedrooms. Stonehall's 3-bedroom units ($1.7 million) and penthouses retain their original prices.

Currently, the interiors of units on the first floor are being built-out, with cabinets going in this week. By early July, the building's lobby and common areas are expected to be completed. The facade will follow in mid-July. Residents who have purchased units on the first floor will move in by late July. The remaining units will be completed by the end of August. Stonehall is directly across the street from a 24-hour Harris Teeter grocery store, with a pharmacy and Starbucks.

A first floor retail tenant - currently rumored to be either a bank or a restaurant - will follow, as well. The building's sales office is located at 7706 Woodmont Avenue. Stonehall has a rare pull-off driveway for residents and deliveries, and that circular driveway porte-cochère is one of several architectural features that really set this building apart from its competitors.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

DUI on Cabin John Pkwy., burglary on Riverwood Dr. + more - Bethesda crime update

Here's a roundup of crimes reported across Bethesda on June 18, according to crime data:

DUI. 700 block Cabin John Parkway.

Burglary/forced entry. 10300 block Riverwood Drive.

Shoplifting. 11800 block Old Georgetown Road.

Downtown Bethesda garage gets freshening (Photos)

Painters shut down the Woodmont-Rugby Public Parking Garage 35 overnight, to apply fresh paint. It was kind of a strange situation, as the garage was supposed to be closed, but there were still many cars inside. And some random cars had protective tarps thrown over them, while others sat exposed, presumably, to dripping paint. On the other hand, I assume they know what they are doing, and where the paint would be dripping.

"Prosecuted to the full extent
of the law" - as the County Council
should be!

Utility work blocks lane on Fairmont Avenue in Bethesda (Photos)

Utility work is blocking a parking lane on Fairmont Avenue, on the block between Norfolk Avenue and Old Georgetown Road. It's unclear if this is related to the construction of the Cheval Bethesda condo tower, or just regular/emergency utility work. So it's more of a parking issue than a traffic issue at the moment.

Bethesda Tesla store now selling solar panels (Photos)

There are so many Teslas on the road in Bethesda, it's getting hard to stand out driving one anymore. Now you may just have to be the first on your block to buy a Tesla roof. The Tesla store at Westfield Montgomery Mall in Bethesda has just begun marketing rooftop Tesla Solar panels, which can generate power to charge your Tesla (and your home). Next up for the booming company will be the Tesla Solar Roof, which will first be available for installation in California this month, and then roll out across the country.

You probably have deep pockets if you drive a Tesla, and you'll need them again for the Tesla roof. The company doesn't say upfront how much their solar panels cost, asking you instead to request a price quote. They are more transparent about the Tesla roof, however: Tesla says one of their roofs will cost the typical Maryland resident $52,000, for which they will offer financing by late 2017.

A Tesla roof makes little sense for retirees, however, as it could take two or three decades to pay for itself and earn you money. But for a wealthy young couple buying their first home in Bethesda, Tesla estimates they could earn $8000 in power generated by the roof over 30 years. And with the Powerwall battery, you can store power for use during Pepco power outages.

Tesla will install the roof, which is quite an advance from a standard solar roof. Instead of putting panels on your roof, invisible solar panels are inside the "shingles." So you are literally buying a replacement roof, just as you would with an asphalt or slate shingles. A 30% federal tax credit will apply only to the solar portion of your Tesla roof, the company says. The Tesla shingles are more than 3 times stronger than the typical roof shingle, as an animation on the Tesla website shows.

The Tesla roof probably will be a status symbol in Bethesda as much as a way to save the planet. With solar in decline as a fad, and power companies having second thoughts about paying customers for electricity they generate with their solar hardware, you'll probably see more Model 3s on your street than Tesla roofs in the next 10 years.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Pet resort opening in Pike District of N. Bethesda (Photos)

Dr. Boyd's Veterinary Resort is opening its first location outside of California here in the Pike District of North Bethesda, at 11503 Rockville Pike. This was formerly a Staples store. Dr. Boyd's offers veterinary hospital services, dog and cat boarding, doggie daycare and training, and a pet spa with grooming services.