Westbard community members erupted in outrage last year when developer Equity One debuted plans to knock down the aging Westwood Shopping Center and surrounding buildings in the Bethesda neighborhood and replace them with big-box stores, a residential high rise and townhome subdivisions.

Too much density, they said. Too much height. Not enough green space.

On Wednesday night, the new owner of the shopping center property answered these complaints with a dramatically different redevelopment plan that is about half the size of the original proposal and provides a larger, more centralized green.

“We want to do something that the community will like, that will be part of the community,” Sam Stiebel, vice president of investments for Regency Centers, said in a Wednesday interview before the evening presentation.

The response was mixed among the crowd of hundreds who gathered at Westland Middle School to hear Regency representatives detail their new plan.

(Bethesda Mag)