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.

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.

Required Reading: School board leadership, Purple Line, Christmas tree blues

Required Reading is a simple, daily roundup of news coverage from other outlets relevant to Prince George’s County and its Route 1 communities. In our Dec. 6, 2018, edition: Prince George’s County School Board picks familiar leader; Update on the Purple Line; Don’t go, Wallace Loh; and the demise of a charity Christmas tree sale. 

Mike Franklin no longer owns Old Maryland Grill (Hyattsville Wire)

Thornton back at helm of Prince George’s School Board (The Washington Informer)

Purple Line partners talk Glenridge plans (Prince George’s Sentinel)

At State of the Campus, UMD President Loh criticizes Regents, touts campus improvements (The Diamondback)

TIF bonds issued for Westphalia redevelopment (Press release)

High prices fell Laurel Lions Club Christmas tree sale (Baltimore Sun)

College Park Council considers security camera subsidy for businesses (The Diamondback)

Legislators meet with UMD officials about football program (Diverse: Issues in Education)

Two senior lawmakers urge Loh to stay as UMD president (The Washington Post)

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.

Council rundown: College Park City Hall takes shape; Term committee created; UMD golf course update

College Park’s City Hall could be replaced by a multifaceted four-story building overlooking a corner plaza at Baltimore Avenue and Knox Road, according to conceptual design details unveiled Tuesday evening. The presentation was conducted by Scott Vieth, principal at Baltimore-based Design Collective, the architectural design contractor hired for the project. It occurred during College Park City Council’s regularly-scheduled Nov. 21, 2018, legislative meeting, and reviewed findings gathered in public feedback sessions. Vieth said residents wanted a city hall that was inviting and which provided multiple ways to approach it.