Property Notes: Riverdale apartments sell for $8.4 million; Greenbelt Station gets new neighbor

Hundreds of renters in Riverdale Park have a new owner as multiple apartment complexes trade hands in a single transaction. A bit further north, a court auction results in the sale of industrial land near Greenbelt Station. For different reasons, they are two notable commercial real estate transactions to enter the record from the past quarter in Prince George’s County’s Route 1 communities. River Crossing Apartments go for $8.4 million

A number of apartment properties traded hands for a cool $8.4 million in a sale recorded late November in Riverdale Park. All of the properties in the transaction neighbor each other, located at 5610, 5609 and 5505 54th Avenue in Riverdale Park.

A small storefront is seen at night, it features a column of rainbow-colored bricks. The inside is brightly lit, seen through large windows next to a far door.

Reporter’s Notebook: Good news for Mt. Rainier library; College Park fee review; Berwyn Heights tweaks charter

I hope you all had a warm and wonderful snow-filled weekend. Here’s hoping it doesn’t put too much of a damper on your early-week plans. Word on the street is most Route 1 communities reported few issues with snow clearance. It always helps matters when the snowstorm is on a weekend. From Route 1 Reporter’s world headquarters in Berwyn, crews were seen at all hours working city and state roads alike.

A large suburban strip mall is seen from above, at an angle. A sidewalk of street-facing retail, including a Shoe Show store, can be seen across a small two-lane circulator roadway.

Beltway Plaza update: Hearing pushed back as Greenbelt Council weighs proposal

While there are concerns about density and other issues, Greenbelt’s City Council seems cautiously supportive of a proposed redevelopment for Beltway Plaza. The six-phase plan would add between 175 and 250 townhomes or quadplex units, between 875 and 2250 multi-family units, and replace the 800,000 square-foot central mall with between 435,000 and 700,000 square feet of commercial retail space to the Greenbelt Road property. 

On Jan. 11, 2019, representatives from the city of Greenbelt and the mall’s owners, Bethesda-based Quantum Cos., briefly met with the Prince George’s County Subdivision Design Review Committee to discuss the proposed redevelopment. Nothing major came of the meeting, aside from the rescheduling of a Planning Board hearing for the proposed redevelopment to March 14, 2019, to give city officials there time to consider whether or not to support the proposal. Greenbelt City Council is tentatively scheduled to consider and vote on such a resolution at its Feb.

Beltway Plaza owners add to Greenbelt Road holdings

The owners of Beltway Plaza have acquired more properties along Greenbelt Road. According to state property records, Greenbelt Retail Limited Partnership, a subsidiary of Beltway Plaza’s owners Quantum Companies, purchased three lots around 6107 Greenbelt Road in Berwyn Heights for $3.2 million from the Karl H. Flicker trust in a transaction recorded Nov. 15, 2018. The property currently houses a branch of Money One Credit Union. In an email, Quantum Companies attorney Marc Kapastin said there were no immediate plans for the properties.

Doc Drop: Berwyn Heights’ ex-mayor’s short resignation letter

If you were looking to glean more information about the reason why former Berwyn Heights Mayor Lynn White resigned, her resignation letter doesn’t offer much. The letter was provided to Route 1 Reporter by the Berwyn Heights Town Manager’s office. It is short. The entire letter is but 59 words long, including the salutation and the closing. 

It reads, in full: 

Dear Berwyn Heights Residents, Neighbors and Friends:It is with great sadness that I announce my resignation as Mayor of the Town of Berwyn Heights effective immediately.  I am so grateful for the opportunity to serve you as a Councilwoman and Mayor.  Wishing you a happy holiday season and many continued blessings for our wonderful town!Sincerely,Lynn WhiteFormer Berwyn Heights Mayor Lynn White’s letter of resignation, Dec. 6, 2018.

Berwyn Heights gets third mayor in less than six months.

Berwyn Heights has a new mayor in former Councilor Stephen Isler, who was sworn in at Berwyn Heights’ Dec. 12, 2018 meeting following the resignation of now former Mayor Lynn White. It is the second time since June that a Berwyn Heights mayor has resigned. 

“Last Thursday we received a message around 10 a.m. from now former Mayor White informing us she has resigned from her position as mayor and council member. We are really saddened to hear that. We were hoping to really work with her.

Cars drive along a moderately-congested Greenbelt Road, a six-lane suburban throughway overlooking a green horizon.

With Beltway Plaza redevelopment in play, a new vision for Greenbelt Road emerges

As long-term plans to redevelop Beltway Plaza gain inertia, economic development and planning officials are developing planning and policy strategies to reshape Greenbelt Road to be a more pedestrian, cyclist and transit-friendly corridor. Guiding those actions for now is a report compiled over the summer by the Urban Land Institute, released October 2018. 

“The Greenbelt Road corridor is at a crossroads. Like many suburban commercial areas, it has lost some business to newer, outlying shopping centers and grapples with some disinvestment and traffic congestion,” reads the report. “Many community members express a desire for a greater variety of retail, but there is no singular vision for how the area can attract that.” The full report can be read here.

Beltway Plaza mall mixed-use redevelopment in the works

UPDATE – Dec. 11, 2018, 5 p.m. – The conceptual site plan for the proposed redevelopment of Beltway Plaza was accepted for review by county planning officials Dec. 10, 2018, kicking off a 70-day review timeline. Proposals to redevelop Beltway Plaza Mall into a mixed-use, open-air neighborhood with homes, offices and retail are moving forward. Renderings of the conceptual redevelopment proposal are embedded below this article. Officials with Quantum Companies, the Bethesda-based company that owns the mall, have submitted paperwork with the Prince George’s County Planning Department seeking approval of redevelopment plans that would allow residences to be built behind the mall along Breezewood Drive.

After veto spat with Mayor, Berwyn Heights Council sets new rules

Berwyn Heights Town Council has the votes to approve new rules clarifying the town’s “weak mayor-strong council” system of government. The changes most-prominently include a new amendment to Berwyn Heights’ Town Charter that gives the Mayor Pro Tem the power to enact Council-approved legislation if the Mayor refuses their “ministerial signatory” duties. This is all a reaction to a small-town equivalent of a constitutional crisis into which Berwyn Heights was thrust earlier this summer when Mayor Lynn White refused to sign documents necessary to borrow $1 million to fund repairs to town streets. White’s refusal to sign these documents has been described by other members of Town Council as an unlawful attempt to veto the bond measure, and have demanded her resignation. White has not resigned. At its Nov.