A proposal to redevelop the aging Beltway Plaza Mall into a mixed-use town center took a big step forward last week as the Prince George’s County Planning Board unanimously approved preliminary plans for the project. The vote took place after hours of testimony at the Planning Board’s Feb. 20, 2020 meeting. “This is a generational project. Every now and then you get one of those projects that will change Prince George’s County.
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.
Thanks to reader Stuart Adams for flagging this one: The developers behind the ambitious Southern Gateway Project in College Park are circulating leasing materials that provide new details about the planned development, and hint at how the project is being marketed to potential tenants. Among the newest details are renderings showing the amount of anchor and secondary retail space available with the project, which comes from Bozzuto development. Included in the plans are a potential 20,160 square foot space for a “health club” and 14,660 square feet available for a “specialty grocer,” though it must be emphasized those are merely conceptual suggestions. But – and this is the exciting part – according to project’s Loopnet listing, only nine of the smaller retail spaces are available for lease, indicating that the larger anchor spaces have been leased out already. Route 1 Reporter has reached out to the developers after hours for comment and will update this story if more is learned. The marketing materials lean heavily into the area’s demographic profile, noting that 20,620 residents with an average annual household income of $108,710 and an average daytime population of 18,640.
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.
Two Hyattsville City Councilors – Bart Lawrence and Danny Schaible – along with Mayor Candace Hollingsworth, had tough words for the developers behind a proposal to build a mix of townhomes and single-family homes near Magruder Park. During Hyattsville’s Feb. 3, 2020, City Council meeting, Hollingsworth accused Norma Rivera, the attorney representing developer Werrlein Properties, of being dismissive of city concerns and requests for more information.
“There have been requests for different pieces of information. The responses we have received have been as if we are crazy for asking for the information we’ve asked for,” said Hollingsworth. “I hope the next time you are before this body, you have a different approach.”
Prince George’s County Planning Board unanimously approved final plans for a nearly-300-unit student housing complex near the intersection of Berwyn Road and Baltimore Avenue in College Park. The site is currently home to an abandoned restaurant and a Burger King. The vote took place at its Jan. 30 meeting after being continued from the Jan. 23 meeting.
Prince George’s County Planning Board unanimously approved preliminary plans for a new hotel near the College Park Metro station. The action took place at its Jan. 23, 2020, meeting, with relatively little discussion.
The 126,000 square-foot hotel is planned for a triangular-shaped 2.1-acre parcel bound by Campus Drive, Corporal Frank Scott Drive and Lehigh Road practically across the street from the College Park-University of Maryland Metro Station. The hotelier, through Republic Properties Corp. and its holding company New Hotel LLC, plans to build a 165-unit hotel with 8,000 square feet of retail space.
The project is sited within the College Park-Riverdale Park Transit District Development Overlay Zone, a zoning district similar to the Prince Georges Plaza Transit District Development Overlay Zone designed to encourage developers to create mixed-use, walkable, urban neighborhoods. In addition to the Metro station, construction on the New Carrolton to Bethesda Purple Line light-rail is underway literally across the street from the site of the planned hotel.
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.
Without much discussion, Prince George’s County Planning Board unanimously approved plans for a 354-unit apartment complex near Greenbelt Metro on Cherrywood Road. The vote took place at its Jan. 9, 2019, meeting. Aptly-named the Greenbelt Metro apartments, the project is planned to build two five-story apartment buildings flanking a broad, median-lined avenue. The building will have 55 studios, 157 one-bedrooms, 123 two-bedrooms and 19 three-bedroom units.