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.

Greenbelt blesses Beltway Plaza redux, with conditions

Editor’s note: See correction below story. After two hours of deliberations, Greenbelt City Council voted to support preliminary plans for the first-phase of a proposed redevelopment of Beltway Plaza, but with a hefty list of conditions. The five-to-two vote, with Mayor Colin Byrd and Councilor Rodney Roberts against, came at Greenbelt’s Feb. 10, 2020, City Council meeting. Noteable among the 20 conditions are items requiring the developers to set aside 25,000 square feet for recreation space, and a requirement that at least 15 percent of the total residential units be available for ownership, rather than just rentals.

Update: Beltway Plaza Planning Board decision delayed

The Prince George’s County Planning Board delayed until Feb. 20, 2020, consideration of preliminary plans for Beltway Plaza’s proposed redevelopment. The vote to delay occurred at the Planning Board’s Feb. 6, 2020, meeting. The delay was sought by the mall’s owners to give time for the city of Greenbelt to weigh in on the matter, which it is expected to do at its Feb.

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.

Redeveloping Beltway Plaza axes townhomes from plans

Several members of Greenbelt’s City Council appear uneasy with major changes to plans for a proposed redevelopment of Beltway Plaza into a mixed-use town center. Conceptual plans already approved by the County originally called for the construction of between 850 and 2,500 apartment units and up to 250 townhomes. Now, those townhomes are gone. As recently as October, when developers submitted preliminary design plans for approval, those townhomes were still in the plans. But in late December 2019, the mall’s owners, Bethesda-based Quantum Cos., submitted revised plans to county officials that removed the townhomes and went all in on the 2,500 multi-family residential units.

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.

Mixed-use Beltway Plaza redevelopment takes next step

The planned redevelopment of Beltway Plaza has taken another step down the road, as the mall’s owners have submitted paperwork to redraw property lines to build 211 townhomes and condominiums, the first of a planned five-phase project that would reshape the old mall into an mixed-use town center with retail, office and residential uses. 

Earlier this month, mall owners Quantum Cos. filed an application seeking approval of its preliminary plan of subdivision for the first phase of the redevelopment. According to the documents, Quantum is asking for approval to divide the land into 139 townhome lots, six lots to house 72 condominium units, and 53 lots set aside for commercial use. But it also goes into great detail showing just how the mall’s owners plan to break up what is today an enclosed retail center and run a grid of roads through the property. See below:

Most obviously, the area where you today enter the Giant Grocery store from within the mall would be replaced by a large parking lot. 

Another chart submitted as part of the application, seen below, shows how the developers plan to assemble their townhomes, which would be built along the parking lot in the mall’s rear, to the north.

Development notes: Three major Route 1 projects moving through pipeline

A trio of major real-estate development projects – two in Hyattsville and one in Greenbelt – are making their way through Prince George’s County’s development review process. For starters, developers have submitted detailed site plans for approval by Prince George’s County planning authorities for a 350-unit multifamily building near the Greenbelt Metro and the intersection of Cherrywood Lane and Edmonston Road. Route 1 Reporter first wrote about this project back in July, when the developers were seeking approval of their preliminary plan of subdivision, a procedural step where property lines are redrawn or consolidated to accommodate new development. The preliminary plan was approved by planning officials last week. For developer NRP Group LLC, a new face in the D.C. development scene, the project is only its second in region. NRP Group LLC is a large Cleveland-based developer, property management and real estate investment company with a large portfolio.

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.