Incumbent Mount Rainier City Councilor Celina Benitez has decisively won a four-year term, holding on to her seat in the Gateway City’s Ward One she first won two years ago. Benitez defeated rival Charnette Robinson by a vote of 281 to 109, according to unofficial results. While the final numbers could change due to potentially-outstanding absentee ballots, there are too few such ballots outstanding to change the final result, according to Mount Rainier election officials. “I’m definitely happy the community came out. It was an election where there with only Council members, so sometimes you tendto feel people will not come out, especially when there’s not a Federal election,” said Benitez in an interview after the votes were counted.
Route 1 Reporter is tracking elections in Mount Rainier, Brentwood, North Brentwood and Riverdale Park today, as voters in municipalities across Maryland head to the polls in the culmination of the spring local election season. Many of Monday’s inner-Route 1 races are all-but decided. Incumbents are running unopposed for North Brentwood’s Mayor and Council seat II. Only one race is competitive in Riverdale Park. In Brentwood, incumbent Mayor Rocio Treminio-Lopez is unopposed.
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.
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.
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.
A long-planned but yet-to-be approved proposal to build hundreds of apartments at Riverdale Park Station – also known as the Cafritz Tract – is now in the earliest phase of Prince George’s County’s development review process. According to Henry Zhang, master planner in the Prince George’s County Planning Department, developers Calvin Cafritz Enterprises have submitted plans to build two apartment buildings for pre-application review. In this stage, county planning staff reviews prospective development applications before officially accepting them for public review in order to give developers feedback on issues that may arise and to avoid a time crunch. Once an application is formally submitted and accepted, the clock starts ticking on a mandatory maximum 70-day review period. During that period, County planners will solicit feedback from residents and nearby city councils before the application is considered by the Prince George’s County Planning Board.
Local officials will pay for five sculptures to grace Riverdale Park neighborhoods. It’s part of the Riverdale Park Public Art Initiative, a collaboration between the town of Riverdale Park and the Hyattsville Community Development Corp. The initiative has been active since 2015. This year, they’re seeking five sculptures of various styles and sizes to display at publicly-accessible sites within Riverdale Park. Organizers want “site-appropriate sculptural work fitting of each chosen location.”
Three commercial buildings in Riverdale Park’s Baltimore Avenue corridor have a new owner. According to property records filed with the state of Maryland, E and K Professional Services LLC bought three lots at 6205, 6207, and 6211 Baltimore Avenue in a $1.8 million transaction recorded July 31, 2018. Presently, those buildings house the Ivy Lounge Unisex Salon and Spa and a restaurant, Lesly’s Grill and Bar. E and K Professional Services is owned by Potomac resident Ethiopia Alfred, according to the company’s articles of organization on file with Maryland’s Departmment of Assessments and Taxation. Alfred, a native of Ethiopia, is active within the region’s Ethiopian diaspora community.
A taxicab company has bought John’s Auto Body shop in Riverdale Park, according to state property records. The property is located at 4609 Madison Street. It has a nearly 10,000 square-foot lot with a 4,000 square-foot service garage. The sale was recorded May 22, 2018. The property was sold for $875,000 by owners Giulia Rosanova, Erminia Nowottnik and Giovanni Rossanova, Jr. to United Ventures Consortium Inc., a Washington, D.C.,-based taxicab company.