College Park Patch

We have a new online news website in the City of College Park called the College Park Patch. It launched yesterday and is part of the national Patch network run by AOL. The national Patch site says that they look for communities of 15-100k people that they believe are drastically under served by media and would benefit by having access to local news and information about government, schools and business. The College Park version is run by Lauren Evans and is currently looking for contributors, so if you’ve always had an itch to write and have strong insight on a local issue contact Lauren to see if you can get on board.

The Patch seems interesting as it looks like it is trying to be a combination news website and local social networking medium. Unlike traditional online news sites (like the Gazette online for example) the Patch allows you to make a profile for yourself, add local events to their online calendar, and comment on stories (The Diamondback already has that last feature). They Patch is also unique in how they are trying to build themselves into the community by having 5% of their ad space donated to local charity organizations and making all Patch employees spend 5 working days each year volunteering in the communities they serve.

What are your thoughts on this new online news website coming to College Park?

Michelle Humanick

Back in 2006 this site was launched by David Daddio and Rob Goodspeed to focus on development issues taking place in College Park so that “students and city residents can be educated, debate the merits of projects and voice opinions.”   Both have since moved out of the city and for over a year now the person who has kept this site going and posted most of the articles you have read is a city activist by the name of Clay Gump.  Clay’s optimism about the future of College Park and the potential he believes our city has is refreshing and inspiring for those of us who believe College Park can one day be a truly great college town.

During last weekends storm tragedy struck as Clay’s wife Michelle was killed by a falling tree while running errands with her mother-in-law.  Michelle like Clay was dedicated to serving her community and making College Park a better place to live.  The Washington Post article on Michelle states:

“Michelle Humanick was ever-present in her College Park neighborhood. Stopping to chat while walking her golden retriever, Rocky BalBubba. Playing with her daughter in the snow. Hosting political events, countless play dates, family-friendly movie nights and a regular poker party with her husband.”

Clay and Michelle have done so much for our community from serving on city committees, to neighborhood watch, to keeping this site going (which I know many of us view us an amazing resource).  If you are as thankful as I am for everything Clay and Michelle have done for our community including this site and want to support Clay and his two  children please make a  contribution to the Sophie and Amelia Gump Education Fund in memory of Michelle, c/o Juliet Johnson at Suntrust Bank, 2825 Smith Avenue, Baltimore, Maryland 21209 (410-602-9109).

Best Buy & The Original Ledo’s Opening Soon

A local establishment and a powerhouse national chain are both moving into College Park over the next month with the long anticipated opening of the original Ledo’s Pizza in about two weeks and Best Buy slated to open in the College Park Market Place in early September.  I think both will help College Park in different ways.  The Original Ledo’s will give downtown College Park a destination location at last and will hopefully help increase the use of the downtown parking garage.  Best Buy will be taking the place of the closed down “Linens and Things” and hopefully will add a nice little boost to our city tax revenue.

These two new store openings remind me of the soon to be voted on College Park City Council Strategic Plan. One of the action items in this plan is to “Create a list of 10 most desired retail/restaurant businesses and actively pursue encouraging them to locate in College Park.”  So what retail/restaurant businesses locations do you think College Park should be pursuing?  What type of retail/restaurant businesses would help turn College Park into the vibrant college town we all know we can and should be?  Feel free to list one location or ten and feel free to say something general (a coffee house) or specific (Trader Joe’s).  You can list one retail/restaurant business or ten – but also think about WHERE you think you’d like to see such a business open.

National Night Out

TUESDAY, AUGUST 3, 2010

National Night Out is a community-police partnership event that provides a unique opportunity for residents to increase awareness about crime prevention and safety, get to know their neighbors, meet local law enforcement officers with the goal of preventing crime and drug activities in their neighborhoods.

Many College Park neighborhood associations will  participate in this year’s event on Tuesday evening, August 3.  Specific information about the activities is being distributed by the associations and Neighborhood Watch groups in the community. The following neighborhood events have been scheduled to date:

Berwyn: 7:00 p.m. meet in the Park Pavilion for a Neighborhood Walk followed by an ice cream social.

College Park Woods: 6:00-8:00 p.m. meet in the CPW Park.

Cherry Hill: 6:00-8:00 p.m. meet in the park

Lakeland: 6:30 p.m. meet at the Community Center.  March to Berwyn on bike trail with the Tropical Breeze Steel Orchestra
North College Park: 6:00-8:00 p.m. meet at Duvall Field

All residents are requested to turn on your porch lights, meet your neighbors and community leaders, and learn what you need to know about crime prevention and public safety in College Park.

University Chooses the Cordish Company to Develop East Campus

On Friday July 23, 2010, the University of Maryland announced it had begun exclusive negotiations with The Cordish Company to develop the East Campus site.   The negotiations are expected to lead to a formal partnership with the Cordish Company becoming the project’s master developer.

Read more about this story at: http://www.newsdesk.umd.edu/uniini/release.cfm?ArticleID=2204.

For more information about the Baltimore- based Cordish Company, use the following link: http://www.cordish.com.

Economic Development Update

* INDICATES UPDATED PROJECT INFORMATION

PLANS FILED (3)

BAYWOOD HOTEL REDEVELOPMENT

DSP-10005

Status:               Pre-application notice sent January 28, 2010.

Location:          9137 Baltimore Avenue

Developer:      Baywood Hotels

Description:    Replacement of the existing Howard Johnsons and Days Inn hotels with a Springhill Suites and a Homewood Suites.  Applicant is also proposing to construct approximately 8,835 square feet of commercial office and retail space on the property.

Continue reading Economic Development Update