Developer Promotes 'Bethesda Central Park' Plan With Mass Mailing


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The property owner hoping to put a new building in Bethesda's Metro Center has sent a mass mailing looking for support of its "Bethesda Central Park" concept. Brookfield Properties is in the middle of a public relations battle with neighboring property owner Clark Enterprises over the future of the space. The company sent the mailings out last week. The mail says Brookfield is "creating Bethesda's own central park," and invites community members to an open house it will hold on Saturday, Feb. 7 at one of its existing Bethesda Metro Center buildings. Brookfield would like to develop the building next to the existing escalators to the Metro bus bay below. Clark Enterprises, which in 2008 fought off a proposal for a 16-story office building from a previous property owner, has proposed its own park concept that would be closer to the intersection of Old Georgetown Road and Wisconsin Avenue. Clark officials and architect David Kitchens have said putting the new park behind a new building and away from the intersection would hurt visibility. In the mailing, Brookfield claims "Bethesda Central Park will be a safe distance from passing cars." Brookfield officials have also said any new park for the Metro Center space wouldn't be financially feasible without the new building and that the new development will include ground-floor retail to attract people to the park.

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