Grand Opening for New Parking Garage

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New City Parking Garage (KNOX RD VIEW)

Finally those circling in front of Chipotle’s looking for a parking space will have a new option. The Grand opening for the new Parking Garage will be on Wednesday, August 5, 2009, at 4:00 p.m. The garage provides 288 parking spaces plus 5,800 square feet of ground floor retail space. No word on if there will be free burritos.

Prince George’s County Councilmember Eric Olson…. “The parking garage with retail space was envisioned many years ago and has been in the works for nearly a decade,” says Olson. “It will contribute greatly to strengthening College Park’s downtown and redevelopment efforts.”

Mayor Brayman and the College Park City Council will host a dedication ceremony and reception on the fourth floor of the parking garage. The City’s new public parking garage is located in the heart of downtown at the corner of Knox Road and Yale Avenue, across from City Hall.

Campus Expansion Efforts Cautiously Moving Ahead

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On Friday July 17th the City hosted a Real Estate roundtable.  Ann Wylie, the Vice President of Administrative Affairs, was the primary presenter. There were many Campus and Local officials present and based on the lack of  empty seats interest was high.  The second speaker was Chris Warren providing details of local economic activity. Here are a few random highlights that I jotted down mainly from Mrs. Wylie’s talk. If you were there and have more to add please do jump in the comment section.

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Could $20-Per-Gallon Gas be Good for College Park?

Remember the $4 per gallon price of last summer? What if it were $20? A new book by Chris Steiner ponders that very question. There is a interesting podcast on NPR with the author.

The price of Gas affects almost everything in our lives. How many of you changed your habits somewhat when gas was $4 per gallon? What would be the demand for the Purple line be if gas was say $6 per gallon?

The changes to our society will begin at $6 per gallon and continue on from there, affecting things far beyond the kinds of cars we drive and how often we drive them. America’s obesity rate will fall. Mass transit will spread across the country. Plane graveyards will overflow. We’ll lose the option to cheaply travel by plane, but high-speed train networks will slowly snake state to state.

Most of the development on CP right now has the focus of moving students closer to campus. When gas prices do eventually creep back up those living and working close to campus could stand to reap the benefits. There is no doubt that spikes in price at the pump can really hurt, however there is a very large upside when people actually begin to change habits.

Green with Envy over a new Green Street

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As our plans for a new Route 1 seem to be stalling other communities are moving ahead. The Washington Post reports on Edmonston’s efforts at revitalizing the area by  installing a “green street” that should make folks who travel Route 1 green with envy.

In a few weeks, workers will start ripping up Edmonston’s main road and replacing it with an environmentally friendly street of rain gardens, porous brick and a drought-resistant tree canopy designed to shade the concrete, filter rainwater before it flows into the river and put people to work.

The local mayor Adam C. Ortiz has worked tirelessly to move this project ahead. If that small area just to our south can get things moving in this economy what is stopping College Park?

Real Estate Roundtable

The City of College Park will be holding a Real Estate Roundtable on Friday July 17, 2009 from 9:00 AM to 10:30 AM. The event will be held at the Clarion Inn, which is located at the intersection of Baltimore Avenue (Route 1) and Berwyn Road in College Park, MD. The keynote speaker, Ann Wylie, the new Vice President of Administrative Affairs, will discuss the status of the East Campus and M Square Enterprise Campus projects. A full breakfast will be provided. There is no cost for this event. You must RSVP for this event by emailing Christopher Warren at cwarren@collegeparkmd.gov. The last day to RSVP is July 14, 2009.

College Park Economic Development Update–July 2009

* INDICATES UPDATED PROJECT INFORMATION

NEW INFORMATION ITALICIZED

PLANS FILED (5)

CAFRITZ PROPERTY

On December 13, 2008, the developers of the Cafritz Property held a community meeting to discuss changes made to their proposed project. The new plan will include over 900 multi- family units, 200,000 square feet of retail, 36,000 square feet of office, and a 120-room hotel on 36 acres. The project would provide a wooded buffer to neighborhoods to the west and north and set aside a third of the site for green and open space. A hiker biker trail would provide limited access to the Calvert Hills neighborhood and the College Park Metro Station. However, at this time, the project is not deigned to provide vehicular or non- vehicular access to River Road and Kenilworth Avenue to the east. Revision details can be accessed at: http://www.cafritzpop.com/pdf/December_13_2008-Proposed_Plan.pdf. Recently, the developers of the Cafritz property filed a Zoning Map Amendment.

Continue reading College Park Economic Development Update–July 2009