Downtown Bethesda Townhomes - An Endangered Species??

So, after the last post dealing with downtown Bethesda Condos Markets, I got some inquiries about downtown Bethesda townhomes. In the interest of full disclosure, now is the time I should also tell you that I live in a downtown Bethesda Townhome and do a lot of business in my neighborhood…so now you know! Basically, people want to know why there aren’t more of them…darn good question.

In the immediate downtown Bethesda core, there are the units on Montgomery Lane (City Homes of Edegmoor) and the units at  Edgemoor and Arlington (Villages of Bethesda)…all fairly good sized, fairly recent (the oldest being 9 years old) 3 to 4 level townhomes that currently sell from about $1.3 million to over $2 million.

In addition, there are a few smaller 2 level units at  Hampden and Woodmont (One Bethesda Center), which don’t go on the market very often (because there are so few), but would probably sell today from $500K to about $700K, depending on size. On the "outskirts", you have Kenwood Forest, an older complex with townhome-type living and condo ownership (price range of approximately $500K - 800K) and the 6 year old townhomes at the corner of Wisconsin and Jones Bridge (Glenbrook Village) (around $1M - $1.3M).

Compared to the choice of condos, this is truly slim pickin’s.  But it’s what we have…and it’s probably as good as it’s going to get. As land has become more expensive and as the county has encouraged more density near the metro stations, developers have chosen to maximize profits by going up. There are currently no downtown townhome developments under consideration in Bethesda that I’m aware of.

It’s too bad, because not everyone wants to travel by elevator to get to their front door...and having a range of housing options is always good for a community. What would be really cool would be some patio-type cluster homes that allow for a 1st floor master bedroom. There are tons of empty nesters who want to give up their big homes and move into "wonderful, walkable Bethesda", but aren’t keen on condo living and would like some type of outdoor area. Now all we need is the land!!

Note: Ammended to highlight some key points but not change in wording to highlight.  At the time of this blog post, a notable builder was a hold-out away from building I believe 8 more units on the Arlington Lane corridor, and Sandy Spring Builders, innitial plan for the West Lane Boutique Condos were 4 Townhomes.  - October 1, 2014 

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