Awards of Excellence 2018
Washington Property Company
Solaire Bethesda

Solaire Bethesda
Award of Merit
Best Multi-Family Project - Montgomery County

Project Team

Washington Property Company - (Owner / Developer)
Design Collective - (Architect)
LendLease - (General Contractor)
Kettler - (Project Management)

Executive Summary

The Solaire Bethesda project is located in the heart of Bethesda at the corner of Woodmont Avenue and Wisconsin Avenue. The 12-story project includes 118 luxury apartments, 21 MPDU’s (moderately priced dwelling units), a cyber café, social lounge, clubroom, state-of-the-art fitness center, and outdoor grilling patio. The unit mix and amenities package was tailored to a variety of urban living demands of varying age groups ranging from millennials to baby boomers, while taking into consideration the need for affordable living amidst a rapidly growing community.

At street level, the Solaire Bethesda project provides 6,500 square feet of ground-level retail space which is completely occupied by True Food Kitchen. The restaurant space is surrounded on both Wisconsin and Woodmont Avenues with double-wide sidewalks, providing ample outdoor seating for patrons and enhancing the pedestrian experience through generous walkways and the addition of a pocket park with commissioned art sculpture. In addition, the two-levels of below-grade parking can accommodate 86-vehicles.

Challenges to overcome on this project were many. The relatively small but very meaningful project site is very tight and is bordered on three sides by busy streets and pedestrian traffic on the sidewalks. The forth side is adjacent to an occupied condominium project. In addition, the project was not allowed to close the Wisconsin Avenue sidewalk during construction. The project dealt with both the logistical and safety issues related to these site conditions during construction by coordinating just-in-time material deliveries and trash removal schedules with subcontractors, and implementing a Site Specific Safety Plan (SSSP) that included full height perimeter netting, out-board horizontal debris netting, overhead covered walkway along Wisconsin Avenue, and phased site-work to keep the Wisconsin Avenue sidewalk open.

In addition to tight site conditions, the project team had to remove over 25,000-tons of petroleum contaminated soils, since the site was previously used by a gas station. All excavation work was performed under a Correction Action Plan Addendum (CAPA) between the Owner and Maryland Environmental Services, monitored by a 3rd party engineer (APEX), and per the Site Specific Health & Safety Plan without any issues.

In addition to soil management, MDE required a vapor barrier be installed before waterproofing below SOG and all walls with a vapor capture system that vents above the top roof. The SOE, excavation, and concrete work to level-two was completed concurrently with relocation of Pepco overhead power lines to new underground conduits and vaults. The power lines bordered the project on three sides and carried two high voltage, Primary Circuits powering WMATA, Bethesda and Chevy Chase and several Secondary Circuits for adjacent properties. Thus, major coordination was required between the development and construction teams, as well as Pepco crews, WMATA and all adjacent property owners. The power line relocations took twelve months and were also completed without any incidents.

Solaire Bethesda welcomed its first residents in late 2016 and has reached full occupancy by the winter of 2017. True Food Kitchen opened its doors to the community in June of 2017 and is making headway towards becoming the company’s highest grossing restaurant. In overcoming the challenges of a difficult urban site, the project team has created a vibrant and convenient residential community, contributing to a modern, lively, and sustainable downtown Bethesda.

Solaire Bethesda has completed the certification process for LEED Silver rating and was recently awarded the National Apartment Association Excellence Award for Best Community 1-5 Years (up to 150-units) for 2017. The project was completed with zero lost time accidents and zero incidents with public around the project.

Solaire Bethesda


Signature Sponsor:
Clark Construction Company

Platinum Sponsors:
Brandywine Realty Trust  |   Glass Jacobson  |   The Tower Companies  |   Trammell Crow Company  |   Whiting-Turner

Gold Sponsors:
Akridge  |   Altus Group  |   The Bernstein Companies  |   Bohler Engineering  |   Brookfield  |   CBRE  |   The Chevy Chase Land Company  |   Chicago Title Insurance Company  |   Coakley Williams Construction  |   Cooper Carry  |   Danak  |   EDG2  |   Grosvenor  |   Grunley  |   JBG Smith  |   LCOR  |   Linowes & Blocher LLP  |   MetLife  |   National Building Museum  |   Penzance  |   Powers Brown Architecture  |   RCM&D  |   The RMR Group  |   Ruppert Properties  |   Transwestern  |   US Bank  |   Washington Gas  |   Washington Property Company