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County hammered for Montrose Pkwy decision

  • Published in Local

MoCo LogoWith two votes against and one in favor, the Montgomery County Council Transportation and Energy Committee voted down a proposal meant to alleviate traffic congestion in North Bethesda near White Flint.

The 2-1 vote at last Thursday’s hearing means the committee will defer approval of Montrose Parkway East, a proposed four-lane highway that would connect the Rockville Pike and the Montrose Road interchange to Veirs Mill Road. The debate over the project proved contentious, as some committee members see the project as a potential infrastructure upgrade that could help lure Amazon to build their new headquarters in the County.

“Now it may happen, it may not happen, we don’t know,” said Council member Nancy Floreen (D-At Large), the lone vote for the project on the committee. “I don’t fault my colleagues for trying to solve other community-based problems, but until we know the results of what’s going on the economic development front, I would suggest we and move we table this conversation until we know the answer.”

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Council hopes to spur growth south of Rockville

  • Published in Local

ROCKVILLE — The Montgomery County Council passed the White Flint II Sector Plan 8-1 during their Council meeting Tuesday in an effort to encourage development in southern, unincorporated Rockville.

The plan, which deals with land east of the CSX Railroad and west of Old Georgetown Road near the White Flint section of southern Rockville, is meant to fill a gap in County zoning and encourage more mixed-use development around the White Flint Metro Station.

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White Flint, White Oak possible Amazon sites

Amazon.com logo1Sites in the White Flint area of Rockville and the White Oak area of Silver Spring may be included in Montgomery County’s proposal to Amazon to host the latter’s second headquarters.

As previously reported, as many as 100 states and localities in the United States and Canada are submitting proposals, which are due to Amazon on Oct. 19. Amazon will sift through these first-round bids, and from them choose semi-finalists and finalists in second and third rounds of bidding, before choosing a single location sometime next year. Amazon expects the second headquarters to bring 50,000 mostly high-skilled, high-paying jobs to the winning jurisdiction.

There is no clear public information on what sites, financial incentives, and other features are in the County’s proposal. Amazon is demanding that jurisdictions applying for “HQ2” keep their proposals out of the public eye. David Petr, CEO of the Montgomery County Economic Development Corporation, told the Sentinel that he is under a nondisclosure agreement with Amazon on this matter. MCEDC is the entity submitting the County’s proposal to Amazon.

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MoCo makes bid for Amazon

  • Published in Local

Amazon.com logo1Just two weeks since Amazon asked states and counties to bid for its second headquarters—a project that could mean 50,000 jobs and $5 billion in investment to the winning locality—Montgomery County and competitors all around the country were busy putting their proposals together.

Seattle-based Amazon asked for bids on Sept. 7, and gave just six weeks for initial proposals due Oct. 19. From those, Amazon will select finalists to compete for the prize with fully-specified bids.

According to the Seattle Times, more than 100 cities/counties and states/provinces in the U.S. and Canada are putting together proposals. Amazon spokesperson Drew Herdener said at this early stage in the process, “Every city is on an equal playing field.” He indicated the company will choose finalists from the initial applicants, and will select a winner next year.

Even within the state of Maryland and the D.C. area, Montgomery County faces substantial competition. On Sept. 13, Gov. Larry Hogan threw his support to a bid to bring the Amazon project to Port Covington in Baltimore, a site owned by Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank and investment firm Goldman Sachs. Hogan said he would personally lobby Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos on behalf of the Baltimore bid.

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Shutdown of four Red Line Metro stations Labor Day weekend

  • Published in Local

Trains to follow Sunday schedule on Labor Day

metro logoMetro riders must board shuttles on part of the Red Line through Monday to allow for the continuation of a waterproofing pilot program to reduce leaks in tunnels and for maintenance work, spokesperson Ron Holzer said.

Holzer said the shutdown is scheduled for Sept. 2 through 4 and Sept. 9 and Sept. 10.

Buses replace trains between Twinbrook and Friendship Heights stations through closing Monday, officials said in a news release. White Flint, Grosvenor-Strathmore, Medical Center and Bethesda stations will be closed through Monday.

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State officials agree to reduce number of lanes at future White Flint intersection

  • Published in Local

highway linesNORTH BETHESDA – The Maryland State Highway Administration (SHA) agreed to reduce the number of lanes at a future White Flint sector intersection last week as the county strives for a more walkable community.

The county originally planned reconstruction of the intersection at Old Georgetown Road and Hoya Street – part of the White Flint area development plans – with Old Georgetown Road as an eight-lane street to accommodate traffic.

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