The Montgomery County Planning Board on Thursday approved modifications to a downtown Bethesda building project to include up to 80 short-term rental units.
In August 2018, Carr Properties began work on The Wilson and The Elm, which was expected to hold 480 apartments and office space. The two residential buildings sit at the future intersection of the Red Line Metro and a Purple Line light-rail station.
Updated development plans, approved Thursday, include 456 units, and designate 80 as possible “hotel units” to be rented for terms shorter than 30 days.
The short-term rentals will be “comparable to all of the units in the building” and will be fully furnished.
Property owners can sometimes use the units as rentals or regularly leased apartments, according to Planning Board documents.
The development application submitted by 7272 Wisconsin Ave. LLC, a subsidiary of Carr Properties, says having the National Institutes of Health and Walter Reed Medical Center nearby drives the demand for the rentals.
“These units are typically rented by residents who are being relocated, may have long-term consulting engagements with their employer, are present in the area for temporary medical or educational purposes, are renovating their own home, are in the process of separation or divorce, or otherwise want to move to or remain in Montgomery County but do not want a long term lease,” Planning Board documents say. “Applicant will be making a significant investment in furniture, other physical features and operational arrangements including management services to accommodate these residents.”
The project also includes up to 360,800 square feet of office space and 14,572 square feet of retail space.
News company Fox 5 is scheduled to move into some of the building’s office space in June 2021.