Cabin John Village - A Beloved Shopping Center Evolves into a Community Gathering Place
Maybe you’re planning to just cruise through your bank’s ATM on a busy Saturday morning, but Cabin John Village has other plans for you.
Here’s a French bakery with tantalizing quiches and tarts you can savor outside at a patio table. Hey, look, a farmer’s market brimming with fresh sustainably grown tomatoes and berries. Got kids in the back seat? There’s playtime happening in the mini mall, with songs, bubbles, and dancing.
You can spend a whole lot of Saturday here.
Cabin John Village, named for the adjacent creek and regional park, has been a pillar of the Potomac community since 1967, nestled at the Intersection of Tuckerman Lane and Seven Locks Road in Potomac, MD.
But the beloved shopping destination has seen impressive renovations since 2016 when it was purchased by DC developer Edens.
The updates were extensive, from a renovated parking lot to an updated roofline and crisp white color scheme to shaded new walkways, modernized lighting, outdoor seating areas, and fresh dining choices.
Stores, restaurants, gyms, banks and plenty of places to walk, sit and gather make it not just a shopping and dining destination, but a community gathering spot.
Any gathering spot needs appealing green space, bountiful plants and flowers, and attention to landscape health and safety. Level Green Landscaping has handled the popular property’s landscaping needs for the past two years.
“It’s a bit of everything,” says Jeff Bodine, the Level Green Landscaping account manager who handles the Cabin John Village account. “Cabin John Village is a really good example of all the landscaping services we offer.”
Here’s a look at how landscaping helps this renovated community hot spot shine.
Welcome to the Community Green
A highlight of the extensive renovations here is the epitome of green space — a green and welcoming community gathering spot tucked behind the property’s mini mall.
It used to be parking spaces. Now, with a fresh sod lawn, a stepped stage area, and planting beds packed with cheerful plants and flowers, the half-acre Community Green is home to all kinds of events, from a weekly farmer’s market to family movie nights to outdoor fitness classes and lawn games.
Lively outdoor spaces like this are part of a smart and popular trend, Bodine says.
“Management companies want to attract as many people as possible,” he says. “The more people, the easier it is to attract tenants. It makes a property more desirable, to shoppers and tenants.”
Level Green crews keep the lawn green and healthy, the flower beds free of weeds and dressed with fresh mulch.
The Cabin John Village property manager keeps Bodine posted on events, so Level Green crews can avoid working in the area when it’s bustling with people.
As shoppers wander the wide and welcoming sidewalks they pass more than 50 intriguing planters, packed with plants and flowers that change with the seasons.
Development company Edens supplies Bodine with an approved plant list he can choose from to create eye-catching displays.
Fall might feature stunning red twig dogwood, feathery ornamental grasses, cheerful violas and cascading ivy or creeping Jenny.
Summer planters often offer a tropical vibe, with exotic palms or yucca, impressive hibiscus or mandevilla, with petunias, impatiens or begonias offering wow-worthy bursts of color.
Level Green crews water the planters 3-4 times a week in peak heat and once a week when the weather cools down, using a mobile watering truck.
Snow and Ice Management
Tackling winter weather is crucial at Cabin John Village, Bodine says, with businesses that operate at all hours and tenants who count on opening promptly, even after a storm.
Level Green keeps clients like Cabin John Village updated on their snow plowing plan of attack before a storm hits — and throughout the bluster.
Property managers get email alerts about impending storms five days, 48 hours, and 24 hours ahead of time and are updated throughout the storm.
Plowing crews take photos of their progress with their cell phone cameras to keep property managers posted.
That means the Cabin John Village property manager has helpful information to pass along to tenants, customers, delivery people, employees and anyone else who needs communication updates.
There’s an extra level of snow removal attention needed here at Cabin John Village, where some specialized porous parking lots require a rubber plow blade, not metal, to avoid damaging the surface.
The innovative lots are part of Edens’ commitment to the environment, Bodine says
Unlike regular pavement, the porous lots filter pollutants from the water and carry it to a storm water drainage system, preventing the runoff of water tainted by contaminants from vehicles, excess salt and other chemicals.
Turf Care with a Twist
Green, lush grass with few weeds is the goal for the property’s popular Community Green, a centerpiece for the community vibe the developers want to foster here.
But Cabin John Village is in Montgomery County, where laws ban the use of certain pesticides on private lawns that control weeds, insects, and diseases.
The Community Green area is new, Bodine says, recently planted with fresh green sod. But the goal moving forward is to keep that turf as thick and healthy as possible, so weeds can’t compete. So regular aeration and overseeding will be a crucial part of turf care here.
Aeration uses a machine to pull out tiny cores of soil from the lawn, allowing water and oxygen to get to the roots, so they can grow nice and deep. Grass seed follows, as the holes created are perfect new homes for new seed.
When you can’t spray weed killer, you want grass filling in any empty spots, so new grass is growing all the time.
Keeping Thirsty Landscaping Happy
A property this big has a sprawling irrigation system. That means routine maintenance is key.
Irrigation maintenance includes proper start-up and shut-down procedures for backflow devices and irrigation lines and monthly service checks to make sure the Cabin John Village irrigation system is covering every inch of the landscaping and running just right — without wasting water.
Staying Out of the Way
One of the challenges of landscaping at a busy property like Cabin John Village is getting the job done without being in the way of visitors.
“There are breakfast places, lunch places, dinner places, grocery stores, gyms, three banks,” Bodine says. “It’s busy all the time.”
Some of the lawn and planting beds are at the perimeter of the property, and easy to tend without distracting Cabin John visitors, he said. Crews avoid busy event days.
“Luckily, one crew person with a trash bag can pull weeds and easily stay out of the way,” he says.
“When you work with a property manager for a while you get to know them, and get to know what their hot buttons are,” Bodine says. “My eyes are trained to notice certain things. Dead plant material, mulch out of place, weeds. Then you fine tune it to what the property manager really cares about.”
Important eyes are routinely on the landscaping here, Bodine says. Several Edens executives live nearby and are regular visitors to the bustling stores and restaurants.
He has to stay ahead of the game.
“The property manager doesn’t want to have to ask us to do something,” Bodine says. “We need to be proactive.”
That means regular eagle-eye inspections, keeping an eye out for weeds, faded flowers, dead tree branches or parking lot islands with overgrown grass.
Bodine reports other issues he sees, too, even if they’re not related to the property’s landscaping. If neighborhood kids sprayed graffiti or a car crunched into signage, that’s part of his communication to the property manager.
Great Landscaping Gets Noticed
Other potential customers have admired the Cabin John Village landscaping, noticed Level Green Landscaping trucks on site, and called to ask about hiring them for their HOAs and apartment communities, Bodine says.
Great landscaping gets noticed.
“We’ve all been to well- manicured shopping centers that look great, and also to some that you think, hmm — not so great,” Bodine says. “People are far more willing to shop at a place that has inviting landscaping than at one where the bushes have been dead for four years. It makes people feel more welcome, and safer.”
Looking to take your commercial property to the next level? Contact us today and see how Level Green Landscaping can help.
"It’s a bit of everything, Cabin John Village is a really good example of all the landscaping services we offer."Jeff Bodine
rLevel Green Landscaping