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 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.

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.

Biznotes: University View breaks records with sale; Tech firm picks College Park

The University View student apartments in College Park have sold for $235 million, a record-breaking transaction. The property was previously owned by Greystar Real Estate Partners LLC and Rockpoint Group, which acquired the property in 2016 for $114.7 million.Property records for the sale have not yet been processed and the buyer was not disclosed in the announcement. The sale is believed to be the highest-priced single-asset student housing transaction in U.S. history. University View is a 1,570-bed, 507-unit, two-building mixed-use student housing facility with nearly 9,220 feet of retail space. It is located across Paint Branch from the University of Maryland at 8204 Baltimore Ave. in College Park.

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.

Yellow Line service could return to Prince George’s County

After years trying to get “Back 2 Good,” Metro officials now want to bring Yellow Line trains back to Greenbelt.

The resumption of Yellow Line service to Greenbelt is one part of a multi-pronged approach Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority General Manager and CEO Paul J. Wiedefeld plans to recommend to the agency’s board this week as part of its proposed operating budget for the next fiscal year. The proposal still needs to be approved by Metro’s Board of Governors. “The past year has been about demonstrating to customers that we are getting Metro ‘back to good,’” said Wiedefeld in a press release. “Now, we have to get better than good as we work to attract and retain customers. While there are a number of improvements such as pass discounts and automatic train operations that we can do within the new cap on subsidy growth, the service improvements I am including in this budget will need the region’s support and the Board’s approval.”

Metrorail’s designers originally envisioned Yellow Line service terminating at Greenbelt. However, this scheme has been only been implemented once, between 2012 and 2017, as part of Metro’s “Rush+” service program.

The Route 1 corridor’s other trail gaps

News that Maryland highway officials are indeed closing the gap separating the southern end of the Trolley Trail from the Anacostia Tributary Trails in Hyattsville was warmly welcomed by cyclists. But that’s not the only gap in the Route 1 corridor hiker-biker trail network. Others exist that, if closed, could make it even easier to move through and across northern Prince George’s County in something other than a car. North Brentwood-Mount Rainier trail stub

In fact, our first gap we’ll be reviewing today is but a stone’s throw from the eventual intersection of the Trolley Trail and the Anacostia Tributary Trail System. Located on the southern shore of the Northwest Branch of the Anacostia in Brentwood, this trail runs east to west from approximately (but not quite exactly) Rhode Island Avenue along the levee as it skirts North Brentwood.

Hogan’s highway: Beltway widening looms over College Park neighborhood

As Gov. Larry Hogan’s proposal to add more lanes to the Beltway moves through review, residents and elected officials in College Park and Greenbelt are waiting to hear just how the project might affect their communities. Consider College Park’s Sunnyside and Hollywood neighborhoods. Both are suburban-form communities most heavily developed during the post-war auto boom that has come to define life in the outer rings of metros across the world. Together, they straddle the Beltway as it crosses over College Park’s Rhode Island Avenue Corridor. Sunnyside is outside the Beltway.