To block development, group wants College Park to buy Route 1 Metro property

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 partly-cloudy winter sky hovers over Riverdale Park Station at dusk, seen looking west from the Van Buren Street overpass. In the foreground, the concrete bridge platform curves away from the viewer, leading the eye to an unadorned concrete structure in the center of the photograph. This is the parking garage. It is flanked by rows of townhomes. A white sports utility vehicle is seen on the bridge, driving eastbound.

Reporter’s Notebook: Big development news last week

It may be repetitive, but once again, I start another Reporter’s Notebook with a big hearty thank you to all of Route 1 Reporter’s subscribers! Last week was a busy one on the news front, especially if you are into development. For starters, Route 1 Reporter was the first news outlet to report on new development activity at Riverdale Park Station, where hundreds of new apartments are either about to start construction or enter the development review pipeline. In all, more than 850 apartment units are planned for the development on parcels closest to the CSX tracks. More on this story below.

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.

A two-story greyish brick building stands on a corner lot in an older suburban streetscape. It adjoins a red single-story building that houses a retail storefront with a sign reading Hyattsville Vacuum Service. The sidewalk is cracked narrow, receding left to right into the distance. It is and stained from years of brick erosion. Infront of the buildings, at the corner crosswalk, is a crosswalk sign.

Developer buys prime Hyattsville properties, but plans uncertain

A developer has assembled a contiguous block of properties in downtown Hyattsville with the intention to redevelop it. The properties are just south of the EYA Arts District development and across the street from the proposed Hyattsville Armory development. But according to a senior Hyattsville economic development official, plans for the property have yet to be fleshed out. Further complicating matters are the city’s own long-term – but still fuzzy – plans for the area, such as a potential need for a new municipal building or parking garage. According to state property records, a series of holding companies registered to College Park resident Phillip Attia now owns the buildings fronting the eastern side of Baltimore Avenue’s 5200 and 5300 blocks.