Carr Properties has secured a $53 million loan for the acquisition, planned demolition and redevelopment of an office building site in downtown Bethesda, Maryland.
The first mortgage loan, financed by the seller, Vanguard Realty, carries a 4.5 percent fixed rate. It allows Carr Properties and joint venture partner Alony Hetz Properties to acquire the 7272 Wisconsin Avenue site, where plans call for the demolition of the 163,000 sq ft Apex Building to make way for a new, 935,000 sq ft mixed-use — office, residential retail and/or hotel — development.
Carr Properties and Vanguard did not respond to requests for comment.
The redevelopment would make way for the construction of a larger Metro Purple Line station that would travel below it. Current tenants like the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists and the Regal Bethesda 10 cinemas would be displaced.
The loan carries significant risk, not only because of the transitional nature of the asset, but also the fact that the future of the development remains up in the air until the full proposal is presented to the city’s Planning Board, set for late this month.
“The removal of the Apex Building would allow for a better Purple Line station and elevator setup,” said Bethesda resident Robert Dyer on his local blog, arguing that the demolition would be justifiable only if the replacement building hits the maximum height allowed, includes more than the required number of affordable units and a replacement multi-screen cineplex.
“Otherwise, demolishing a 25-year-old building is absurd, with a reckless disregard for the damage this would do to the downtown Bethesda economy.”