College Park considers financing options for new City Hall

At its Feb. 19, 2019, worksession, College Park City Council will discuss financing options for its planned $12.5 million City Hall. 

Most of College Park’s recent capital projects, except for the Knox Road parking garage, have been fully funded the year of the project, a pay-go system. But a large, multi-million-dollar project such as its new city hall is not suited for such financing. For one, it would cost nearly $14 million in one year for this project. Such an outlay would eat up most of the city’s budget in a given year.

College Park adds campus polling place, early voting for city elections

In College Park’s political discourse, the move was somewhat controversial. As in any small town with a college, there is a vocal segment of the city’s civic sphere that disdains or fears student involvement in city politics; who argue the civic priorities of land-owning residents should take precedence over those of a more-transient student population.

A middle-aged African American man, wearing a brown jacket with a grey sweater and blue shirt, sits at a wood-paneled dais, gesturing as he speaks. Above and behind him, a sign reads "Greenbelt." Infront of him, a placard reads “Emmet V. Jordan, Mayor” To the left of him sits a younger African-American man wearing a dark shirt, infront of a placard reading “Colin A. Byrd, Councilmember”. To the right, an older white woman sits, wearing a matching red blazer and necklace, her nameplate reads “Judith F. Davis, Mayor Pro-Tem.”

Beltway Plaza redevelopment gets ‘conditional’ support of Greenbelt Council

Greenbelt City Council voted to conditionally support a conceptual redevelopment proposal for Beltway Plaza Mall. The action took place at its Feb. 11, 2019, meeting. While the mall’s owners, Bethesda-based Quantum Cos. hailed the move, there’s still a chance Greenbelt could end up opposing the conceptual site plan if city officials and the mall’s owners fail to agree on conditions set down during the meeting.

A medium-sized two-story brick apartment building sits on a large yard infront of a wet two-lane residential roadway. The sky is grey, trees in the background are leafy and green.

Troubled College Park apartment building flipped for big profit

Mere months after being sold at auction, a dilapidated apartment building once owned by a recent College Park mayoral candidate has been sold at a big markup to a new owner, state property records show. 

The property in question is 4619 College Ave. in College Park’s old-town neighborhood. It houses a small-ish, two-storey brick apartment building with several rental units. As recently as August 2018, the property was owned by Tom Chen, who unsuccessfully ran for mayor of College Park in 2017. Chen’s ownership of the property became a campaign issue during his 2017 mayoral candidacy after an article by The Diamondback newspaper highlighted complaints and code violations lodged against his properties in the city.

Metro reveals new details of controversial College Park land sale

The controversial – and not-yet realized – sale of a Metro-owned plot of land on Route 1 is part of a larger effort by the regional transit agency to capitalize on its property assets. This week, officials with the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Administration revealed they hope to sell several property holdings spread across the region. The new information provides additional context for a College Park neighborhood association’s opposition to potential development of a WMATA-owned wooded tract of land immediately north of Riverdale Park Station under which Metro’s Green Line travels between Prince George’s Plaza and College Park Metro stations. WMATA announced this week it hopes to sell eight properties spread across the greater D.C. region. They are as follows, taken right from WMATA’s press release:

Baltimore Avenue, College Park, Maryland

Parcel is located at the intersection of Baltimore Avenue and Albion Road and adjoins the Riverdale Park Station residential and retail complex anchored by Whole Foods

Southern Avenue Metro Station Parcels, Temple Hills, Maryland

Two parcels adjoining the Southern Avenue Metro Station on the Green Line

Glenmont Metro Station Parcel, Silver Spring, Maryland

Parcel adjoins the Glenmont Metro Station west entrance on the Red Line

9400 Lottsford Road, Largo, Maryland

Parcel is ¼ mile from the University of Maryland Capital Region Medical Center, in construction, and the Largo Town Center Metro Station on the Blue and Silver Lines

Branch Avenue Metro Station, Suitland, Maryland

Parcel is across the street from the Branch Avenue Metro Station on the Green Line

5708 Vine Street, Alexandria, Virginia

Pad site just off the intersection of Eisenhower Avenue and South Van Dorn Street

7100 Chestnut Street, Washington, DC

Single family lot

1100 Park Road NW, Washington, DC

Corner lot at the intersection of Park Road, NW and 11th Street, NW

12415 Georgia Avenue, Silver Spring, Maryland

Pad available for ground lease only next to the Glenmont Metro Station east entrance.

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.

To block development, group wants College Park to buy Route 1 Metro property

Just north of Riverdale Park Station, a wooded tract of land sits for sale. On state property records, its listed at 4535 Albion Road. If you’ve ever driven between College Park and Hyattsville on Baltimore Avenue, you’ll recognize it by the grove of bamboo that fronts the eastern edge of the roadway. It is owned by the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, which purchased the land for just under $432,000 in 1989 as it prepared to construct Metrorail’s Green Line out to Greenbelt. Underneath, tunnels carry trains between College Park and Prince George’s Plaza Metro stations. WMATA has recently listed the 12-acre property for sale.