Hyattsville swaps emergency alert services

Hyattsville will phase out its Nixle emergency alert system over the next several months in favor of a new emergency alert messaging company named CodeRED. Hyattsville has been using Nixle to distribute emergency alerts for more than seven years, according to message records. However, it lacked the ability to reach landlines or residents without cell phones or email access, Hyattsville City Police Department Chief of Police Amal Awad said during a recent community meeting. The new service will allow police to distribute emergency notifications and public safety alerts by text message, robocall and email. It also has teletype option for deaf subscribers.

Hyattsville borrows for police, public works HQs

Hyattsville City Council approved a measure to issue $13.8 million in debt for the renovation of the city’s Public Works Facility and the construction of a new police headquarters on Hamilton Street. As a result, it may be hard to borrow for other infrastructure projects in the city in the future. The vote happened at a special session of Hyattsville City Council held Aug. 28, 2019. The measure was unanimously approved, though Mayor Candace Hollingsworth and City Councilors Joseph Solomon and Carianna Suiter were absent. 

$3.3 million will be allocated to the Public Works Facility.

Major property sale in North Brentwood

Is a multifamily developer eyeing North Brentwood for a major redevelopment project? A recent property sale in North Brentwood’s Rhode Island Corridor suggests so. According to state property records,, a corporate entity named NP 111 LLC purchased several parcels near the 4550 block of Rhode Island Avenue in North Brentwood in a two transactions recorded July 12, 2019. NP 111 LLC is a holding company of RSE Capital Partners LLC, a real estate investment trust focused on multifamily properties in the Washington, D.C., area. NP 111 LLC bought approximately one acre of land for $4.9 million in separate transaction with two other real estate ventures registered to real estate developer Langon Drew Hample: 4550 Rhode Island LLC and Congressional Commercial LLC. 

The properties are presently zoned for mixed-use-infill development. One is a presently home to a Beacon Roofing Supply warehouse, the other is an abandoned storefront that recently hosted an antique plumbing supply store.

After 4th murder of 2019, Hyattsville residents push for answers

In the wake of Hyattsville’s fourth firearm homicide since January, city officials attempted to assuage community concerns during a meeting held August, 23, 2019. The meeting came in the wake of the murder of 26-year-old Yuri Echavarria Jr., on Aug. 13, 2019 inside his apartment building on the 4200 block of Oglethorpe Street. During the meeting, led by Hyattsville Chief of Police Amal Awad at the First Baptist Church on 42nd Avenue, Awad provided an overview of details of the incident, much of which had already been disclosed. She noted her officers were not handling the case directly.

PSA: College Park Metro parking lots, bus loop to close for construction

Commuters who use College Park’s Metro station to get from A to B are in for major changes as construction on the Purple Line and a large mixed-use apartment complex ramps up in September. Further, lane closures on Campus Drive are set to take effect by Aug. 26, as students return to class at the University of Maryland. Starting Sept. 1, 2019, the bus loop on the eastern side of College Park’s Metro station and the large surface parking lot along River Road will be closed to accommodate construction for these projects.

Hotel planned near College Park Metro

A public parking lot near College Park’s Metro station could become a Marriott Hotel, if developer plans pan out. Details are limited at the moment. However, according to documents filed with Prince Georges’s County planning authorities, development firm Soltesz LLC has partnered with the hotel chain to develop a hotel with ground floor retail elements at the northwest corner of Campus Drive and Corporal Frank S. Scott Drive in College Park. The northwest corner of that intersection is currently occupied by a drab, lightly-used, public parking lot. The property is currently owned by Prince George’s County, according to state land records.

UPDATE: College Park Mystery Boom came from UMD

Dozens of ear-witnesses in College Park, Greenbelt and Berwyn Heights, including this journalist, reported hearing a loud, explosion-like boom in the early-morning hours of Sunday, Aug. 18, 2019. The noise rattled residents, who took to social media to report their experiences. As of Sunday evening, no definitive cause for the noise has been disclosed by local officials.