DMSAS is the design architect for a planned 21-story, 330,000 SF, 240 unit apartment building St. Elmo Ave, located on a through-block site in the heart of downtown Bethesda’s Woodmont Triangle. DMSAS and the project’s developer sought the project’s approval through the Montgomery County planning approval process, which involved community meetings, reviews with County planning staff, and meetings with the Montgomery County Planning Board. In order to allow for increased density on the site, the County’s Optional Method Development was utilized, thus requiring the project include a number of public benefits which are measured using a scoring system for a series of criteria including proximity to transit, public open space, public art and exceptional building design. The first stage (Sketch Plan) and Site Plan submissions to the Montgomery County Planning Board where unanimously approved.

Concurrent with the Site Plan submission and approval process, the County adopted a new sector plan for Downtown Bethesda that included design guidelines allowing for additional height and density, while imposing additional massing setback requirements. DMSAS, at the developer’s request, revised the overall design to achieve compliance with the new guidelines.