The mission of the Bethesda Urban Partnership is to create an environment in which downtown businesses and residents can thrive and prosper.
FROM 2020/2021 BOARD CHAIR GREG ROONEY
I am honored to have been selected as Chair of the Bethesda Urban Partnership’s Board of Directors for the July 2020 - June 2021 fiscal year. I have valued my time as a member of the Board tremendously, and I am thrilled to continue to work with the BUP team and my fellow Board members to ensure that Bethesda is a community filled with thriving businesses, downtown residents, community events and a lively arts scene.
Bethesda’s newest development projects will bring contemporary architecture and sustainable design to the central business district. We look forward to welcoming the new residential communities, commercial office tenants and the Marriott headquarters to what will become an even more vibrant and vital downtown center. Bethesda is a desirable destination that offers a beautiful backdrop and numerous amenities. Time and time again businesses, residents, visitors, artists, and more are drawn to Bethesda for the ideal Washington Metropolitan area location, superb restaurants, varied retailers, and exclusive entertainment venues along with a culturally diverse community.
This past year presented several challenges due to COVID-19, but through it all BUP remained committed to supporting the businesses, residents and programs that make downtown unique with initiatives like The Bethesda Streetery and the Bethesda Small Business Reopening Toolkit. And now more than ever, we must continue to rally around our neighbors, celebrate our community and cheer-on the business owners who call Bethesda home.
Our partners, BUP’s Board of Directors and the BUP staff is a dedicated team that is proud to serve our unrivaled, urban community which is both a commercial center as well as a livable, residential community. I am honored to have been selected as Chair of the Board and I look forward to BUP’s continued success as we all work together to move downtown Bethesda into the future as the region’s top downtown destination to live, work and play.
Bethesda Urban Partnership, Inc.
Operations & Funding
Established by Montgomery County in 1994, Bethesda Urban Partnership, Inc. (BUP) is a downtown management organization that maintains and markets downtown Bethesda. The organization was developed to promote downtown Bethesda as a desirable place to live, work and visit as well as foster a community that features restaurants, retailers, arts venues and more.
The BUP team includes more than 35 employees working in marketing, maintenance, transportation and administration who produce cultural events and community festivals and attend to landscaping and maintenance needs. BUP also manages Bethesda Transportation Solutions (BTS), the Bethesda Arts & Entertainment District, and the Bethesda Circulator as well as the non-profit art spaces, Gallery B and Studio B.
BUP is operated by an 11-member Board of Directors comprising residents, businesses and developers appointed by the County Executive. The organization is funded primarily by revenue generated from the Bethesda Parking Lot District fees, in addition to the commercial Urban District property tax. Private sponsors partner with BUP on events such as Taste of Bethesda and the Bethesda Fine Arts Festival.
Bethesda’s sidewalks, streets and flowerbeds are meticulously maintained by the 14-person BUP maintenance team. Throughout the week the team manages trash removal, cleans and repairs streets, trims trees, maintains 188,000 square feet of turf and more.
Throughout the year the team plants 32,000 flowers, landscaping the flowerbeds and large sidewalk pots with seasonal blooms. The dedicated team is also on site at the festivals and events throughout the year. They assist in setting up and unloading supplies as well as keeping the event site clean and safe. They provide on-site emergency assistance and help to breakdown the events, tidying the area and reopening streets. In addition to their help at events, the crew looks after maintenance needs at Gallery B and Studio B, BUP’s nonprofit art exhibit and studio space. The team is certified in First Aid, CPR and AED.
BUP’s marketing team creates year-round community events, produces free guides that detail Bethesda’s restaurant, retail, home fashion and arts organizations and operates downtown Bethesda’s Web site, www.bethesda.org. The efforts of BUP’s marketing team target downtown Bethesda’s residents, tourists, visitors and employees. The Bethesda Arts & Entertainment District is also managed by BUP’s marketing team. BUP's marketing team is the producer of Imagination Bethesda, Taste of Bethesda, a free Summer Concert Series, Yappy Hour, Winter Wonderland and Bethesda Outdoor Movies: Stars on the Avenue. To stay up to date on all of the Bethesda Urban Partnership's events and amenities, please join the BUP email list.
Bethesda Arts & Entertainment District
The state of Maryland designated downtown Bethesda as an Arts & Entertainment District effective July 1, 2002. The 501(c)(3) non-profit organization is comprised of a 12-member Board of Directors as well as an advisory committee of local artists and arts businesses representatives. The mission of the Bethesda Arts & Entertainment District is to create and implement arts and entertainment projects that contribute to the artistic, cultural and economic growth of downtown Bethesda. Special tax incentives are in place that will benefit artists, arts enterprises and developers that are located within the Bethesda Arts & Entertainment District. The Bethesda Arts & Entertainment District is the producer of the Bethesda Fine Arts Festival, The Trawick Prize: Bethesda Contemporary Art Awards, the Bethesda Painting Awards, the Bernard/Ebb Songwriting Awards, Play In A Day, "Paint the Town," and manages Gallery B, Studio B and Triangle Art Studios. Bethesda Transportation Solutions Bethesda Transportation Solutions helps manage the traffic in downtown Bethesda by marketing local, state and federal commuter benefits programs and tax incentives to employers. BTS promotes alternative transportation such as rail, bus, carpools and biking with the goal of reducing the number of Bethesda employees who drive alone to work.
Bethesda Transportation Solutions helps manage the traffic in downtown Bethesda by marketing local, state and federal commuter benefits programs and tax incentives to employers. BTS promotes alternative transportation such as rail, bus, carpools and biking with the goal of reducing the number of Bethesda employees who drive alone to work.