College Park backs booze for Taqueria Habanero

City officials are favorably disposed to Taqueria Habanero’s plans to serve alcohol at its College Park location. If all goes according to plan, the restaurant could be approved to serve boozy drinks on Baltimore Avenue by late December 2019. 

The restaurant’s application for a Class B Beer Wine and Liquor License was discussed by College Park City Council at its Oct. 22, 2019 worksession. Following a brief discussion, College Park City Council unanimously approved a measure expressing support for the restaurant’s liquor license application, which must be approved by the Prince George’s County Board of License Commissioners, more commonly known as the Liquor Board. The application goes before the Liquor Board Dec.

860-bed, 300-unit student housing planned for Berwyn

We now know a little bit more about developer plans to build a roughly 300-unit mixed-use student-housing apartment building near Baltimore Avenue and Berwyn Road in College Park. The new details are courtesy of an application for a preliminary plan of subdivision, a procedural step where developers ask for county approval to redraw property lines to accommodate their plans. 

The documents reveal new details such as a breakdown of unit-types and the project retail square footage planned for the site. According to the documents, the developers plan to build 296 residential units and 1,080 square feet of retail space into the project. Plans call for 41 studio units, 24 one-bedroom units, 65 two-bedroom units, and 166 four-bed units. If you’re counting beds, that’s roughly 860 student-housing beds planned for Baltimore Avenue in midtown College Park. 

Route 1 Reporter first wrote about this development in March.

Analysis: ‘Water Wall’ debate shows power & powerlessness of College Park’s fiscal conservatives

College Park is not like other Route 1 municipalities. Despite nominally being the “largest” city in the corridor, by virtue of the part-time presence of college students, it’s civic character and discourse is more influenced by the approximately 10,000 year-round households whose residents call the city home. In other words, and at least from a local politics perspective, College Park is a small town. And like many small suburban blue-state towns, a vocal contingent of small-government, fiscal conservative suburbanists occupy a place in the local discourse disproportionate to their ability meaningfully affect local policy decisions. Of late, their voices are most-often amplified on City Council by Fazlul Kabir, one of two representatives from northern College Park’s District One, a mostly-suburban character neighborhood roughly bound by the Beltway, Route 1 and the CSX railway.

First Look: College Park City Hall interior designs

Again without much discussion, College Park City Council took one last procedural vote clearing the way for the city to borrow $19 million to build a new City Hall (approximately $14 million of the cost) and to renovate and redesign Duvall Field (approximately $5 million). The measure was approved with councilors Fazlul Kabir (District One) and Denise Mitchell (District Four) voting against. The vote occurred at College Park’s Sept. 10, 2019, meeting. During discussion Kabir said he was concerned about how the borrowing would affect the city’s ability to execute other projects down the road. 

“We have a limited ability to spend, and if we spend too much it limits our abillity to do more in the near future,” said Kabir. “The residents do have wishes about other projects.”

City Hall renderings available

College Park city officials have released the presentation of proposed interior designs for the new city hall.

Bird scooters take roost in College Park

VeoRide isn’t the only scooter game in College Park, it seems. Dockless escooter titan Bird has recently been seen in College Park hawking its “micro mobility” devices to newly-arrived students here for the fall semester. 

Last week, an eagle-eyed reader spotted Bird representatives showcasing their scooters at an event in the parking lot of Vigilante Coffee on Baltimore Avenue. According to city officials, Bird scooters is not planning to launch a dockless scooter system in College Park. Rather, they are marketing their monthly scooter rental plans. Unlike a dockless system, subscribers are issued their own personal Bird-branded escooter for about $25 per month. Bird did not respond to media inquiries for this story. In August, College Park launched a new semi-dockless bike and scooter-share program with Chicago-based VeoRide.

College Park Council notes: ‘Nuisance law’ eyed to combat college parties; City Hall updates

College Park, anticipating the construction of a new city hall, met for the first time in Davis Hall in northern College Park. The meeting was a worksession for City Council, which saw the body discuss such issues as design elements for College Park’s new City Council chambers, and a proposed “unruly social gathering” nuisance law under consideration. It’s not only Council that has left for new digs: the entire operations of College Park have been disbursed throughout the city in anticipation of the City Hall’s construction. Davis Hall is named for the second Mayor of College Park, Dr. Charles R. Davis. During the meeting, City Manager Scott Somers praised city staff for their work to relocate the city’s offices and infrastructure from City Hall to Davis Hall and other facilities. 

“They’ve done a lot of work trying to bring all of the logistics to this room.

New filings reveal College Park Marriott details

A new filing with county planners has revealed more details about a planned Marriott Hotel near College Park’s Metro station. 

Earlier in August, developers filed a preliminary plan of subdivision to redevelop a site at the northwest corner of Campus Drive and Corporal Frank S. Scott Drive in College Park. 

According to those documents, developer Soltesz has filed an application seeking approval of a preliminary plan of subdivision for the project. The has been received by planning staff, after emerging from a pre-acceptance phase of review. Further, a natural resource inventory – a kind of catalogue of the site’s natural elements to be preserved, accommodated or compensated for its removal during development – was filed and later approved by Prince George’s County Planning Department staff in December. New filings now reveal the scale of the proposed development. According to the documents, Soltesz plans to build a 123,400 square-foot hotel and commercial development at the site. 

Additional design details are not known at this time.