Kaiser Permanente plans West Hyattsville medical building

Health care giant Kaiser Permanente wants to build a 44,360 square-foot medical office building on a two-acre site near West Hyattsville Metro Station on Ager Road. Hyattsville City Council will be briefed on the proposed development at its April 6, 2020, meeting. The three-story building, with an attached three-story, 238-space parking garage, would sit on what is currently a vacant lot near the Kirkwood Apartments on Ager Road. The property is also bordered by the Riverfront at West Hyattsville development. According to documents filed by Kaiser Permanente, the space will have 25,000 square feet of clinical space, 1,700 square feet of lab space, a 300 square-foot cafe and a 2,000 square foot pharmacy space.

Wawa planned for College Park Ikea

Developers hope to build a Wawa gas station and convenience store on what is now a parking lot near College Park’s Ikea store on Baltimore Avenue, according to documents recently filed with county planning officials. Last week, Washington D.C., based developer Roadside Development filed a detailed site plan application for review and approval by the Prince George’s County Planning Board. The plan calls for the construction of a 4,740 square-foot gas station retail facility on 1.4 acres near Baltimore Avenue. 

A map shows the relative location of the planned Wawa near Ikea Circle. According to the documents, the facility is planned for the southeast corner of the circle at the intersection of Ikea Way and Ikea Boulevard, to be more precise. 

The Wawa, if approved, would have some familiar company nearby. Almost exactly one kilometer to the north is the Wawa at 10515 Baltimore Avenue in Beltsville. 

Wawa’s application is tentatively set to be considered by the Planning Board at its April 30, 2020, meeting. 

Hyattsville Planning Committee member rips Council over Magruder Pointe

A city planning committee member criticized Hyattsville City Council for disregarding the committee’s recommendations for the controversial Magruder Pointe development. The comments, from longtime Hyattsville resident and Council-watcher David Marshall, came as city officials await a judge’s ruling on the city’s appeal of a rezoning granted for the project. Marshall’s comments also highlight a persistent tension in the city’s deliberations around Magruder Pointe: the city’s planning committee has generally been more favorable toward the project than City Council, which is taking legal action to block, delay or change the developer’s plans. 

“We are asked to look at that project to send opinions and advice to the Council and then the Council makes the decisions,” said Marshall. “But since the Council is litigating this property and seems to have a particular vision, maybe it’s not prudent to send that project to the planning committee anymore.”

“Because it seems that what we do is of no value,” continued Marshall, who emphasized he was speaking as an individual and not for the Planning Committee. “It’s of no use on this particular project.”

Marshall went on to accuse City Council of failing, as an institution, to be more decisive about the property – the former headquarters of WSSC near Magruder Park – when earlier proposals were floated for the site. 

“The WSSC property could have been purchased by the city many years ago when WSSC still owned it…for next to nothing,” said Marshall.

New details unveiled for Knox Road mixed-use project

The developers behind a plan to build a large mixed-use student housing complex on Knox Road in College Park have filed detailed site plans for approval by County officials. The filing provides many new details about the project, including the first renderings we’ve seen of the proposed building, and a host of information about building layout and design. The project comes from McClean, Virginia-based developers Greystar Real Estate Partners, which also manages apartment buildings under subsidiary Greystar Property Management Services. The project will have 14,800 square feet of retail commercial space, 334 student housing units, and 251 parking spaces, most of which are located in an underground garage. To make way for the project, developers plan to raze the existing one-story retail strip that already exists on the block.

Judge has tough questions for Hyattsville’s Magruder Pointe arguments

Does the Gateway Arts District float? That seems to be the central question before Prince George’s County Circuit Court Judge Beverly Woodard, who is now weighing an appeal filed by the city of Hyattsville challenging a rezoning granted to developers who want to build houses near Magruder Park. During a Wednesday court hearing, Woodard appeared skeptical of the city’s objections to the rezoning, peppering city attorney Skip Cornbrooks with questions he struggled to answer. For instance, Hyattsville’s main argument is that the Gateway Arts District overlay zone is not a floating zone, and that as a result, the county planning officials would have had to meet a more strict “change or mistake” rule for the rezoning to be legal. It’s a bold argument, and one that goes against how the Gateway Arts District has been used and defined over the past 20 years.

College Park City Hall demolished

College Park’s City Hall is no more, as construction workers demolished the building Feb. 26, 2020, to make way for a new facility that will see City Hall share space with University of Maryland offices. The new city hall will feature a large wood-paneled Council Chamber, as well as improved interior spaces and expanded offices for city staff. The entire building is expected to cost around $47 million to build, however the cost is being split with the University of Maryland. College Park’s share is about $20.6 million.

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.

Greenbelt blesses Beltway Plaza redux, with conditions

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.

Flier hints at College Park Southern Gateway’s future

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.