Senator Francis G. Newlands of Nevada founded The Chevy Chase Land Company of Montgomery County, Maryland in 1890. Senator Newlands came to Washington, DC with the dream of building a planned settlement outside of the nation’s capital. Over several years, he purchased more than 1,700 acres of land from Dupont Circle to Jones Bridge Road, along what is now Connecticut Avenue. He named the area Chevy Chase after the Cheviot Hills, his ancestral Scottish homeland. Senator Newlands established Rock Creek Railway to serve the new village, graded Connecticut Avenue and built the first local schoolhouse.
Because Senator Newlands was considered one of the fathers of modern irrigation, in the 1930s a fountain was built in Chevy Chase Circle, (which was considered the gateway to the Federal City) to memorialize his contributions to this area. To recognize the 100th anniversary of its founding, The Chevy Chase Land Company refurbished and repaired the Chevy Chase Circle Memorial Fountain in 1990, and held a rededication ceremony attended by members of the community.
Today, The Land Company owns and manages office buildings, retail and warehouse complexes in Washington, DC, suburban Maryland and Northern Virginia, residential properties in Montgomery County and four office buildings in Richmond, Virginia. The Land Company built one of suburban Maryland's first strip shopping centers in the 1950s, Chevy Chase Center Stores and Offices, located on the Montgomery County/District of Columbia border.
Between 2003 and 2005 the strip center and adjoining office building were redeveloped. The Collection at Chevy Chase, 112,000 square feet of luxury retail opened in the fall of 2005. The Chevy Chase Center's 200,000 square foot office building and 100,000 square feet of neighborhood retail opened in spring 2006.
Immediately north of Chevy Chase Center is Saks Fifth Avenue, the land under which is owned by The Land Company and is under a long-term lease to Saks. South of Chevy Chase Center and atop the Friendship Heights Metro Station sits the Chevy Chase Metro Building, which The Land Company built in 1985 and owns in partnership with Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company. The Land Company has other holdings in the District and Montgomery County: strip shopping centers, small office buildings, rental apartments and townhouses. There are substantial holdings in Virginia as well: a warehouse in Manassas, a three-story office building in Reston and four office buildings in suburban Richmond.
The 20-acre parcel on the east side of Jones Bridge Road and Connecticut Avenue which was sold in 1997 to M/I Homes was the last large, undeveloped parcel in The Land Company's portfolio remaining from the original Newlands purchase in the 1890s. With the proceeds from that sale, the Company acquired the building site at the corner of Woodmont Avenue and Montgomery Lane in Bethesda, and opened the Senator Francis G. Newlands Building, a 15-story Class-A mixed-use office project, in September 1999. This building is the final component of the Bethesda Metro Center and consists of 277,633 square feet of rentable space, 22,500 square feet of which is retail.
The Land Company to this day remains family owned and is proud of its long tradition of family leadership and its deep connections to the Chevy Chase community.