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.

Greenbelt Marriott sold for $18M; Rebranding underway

The familiar branding of the Greenbelt Marriott is gone from the towering structure that looms over old-town Greenbelt’s eastern gateway. The hotel is in the process of a major rebranding after an international hospitality chain acquired the property earlier this month, state records show. 
In an $18 million transaction recorded on August 8, 2018, SB&G Greenbelt Hotel LLC purchased the Greenbelt Marriott from Springhill Lake Hotel Partners LLC. SB&G Greenbelt Hotel is a subsidiary Intercontinental Hotel Group Plc., a United Kingdom-based hotel owner. It owns such other brands as Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn (and its Express, Resort, and Vacation sub-brands) Hotel Indigo, Staybridge Suites and Hualuxe imprints, among others. The property is operated by Atlanta-based Valor Hospitality Partners LLC, a hospitality company that manages hotels in the United Kingdom, South Africa and the United States.

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

Rethinking Greenbelt Road

Greenbelt Road could be redesigned to attract new development and improve bicycle, pedestrian and mass transit connections. But that will require a big political commitment from the municipalities that line the corridor. That’s the conclusion drawn from two days of meetings conducted by the Urban Land Instititute’s Washington, D.C., office and representatives from cities that border Greenbelt Road. Pictured above: Greenbelt Road seen from near 63rd Ave. On June 4 and 5, 2018, a group of developers, architects, urban planners and real estate professionals volunteered their time to meet with representatives from the cities of Greenbelt, Berwyn Heights and College Park.