Multiple Pedestrian Fatalities Finally Spur Action on Rt. 1

Walk Smart College Park (via UMD Police)

It’s been a deadly year for pedestrians crossing Route 1 in College Park.  The tally from the first half of 2014 was grim: five persons struck and three deaths.  As the casualties mount, there is growing concern about the dangers that Route 1 poses to pedestrians, particularly the stretch by the University of Maryland campus, between Guilford Rd & Berwyn Rd.  The situation finally became grave enough to produce action, with a number of measures already implemented along Route 1 since July to improve pedestrian safety, and additional enhancements planned shortly after the start of the UMD Fall semester.

One of the most common misunderstandings around town is figuring out who is actually responsible for pedestrian safety on Route 1.  UMD students, who are most familiar with the dangers along this stretch of road, have demanded safety improvements from College Park officials.  But the mayor of College Park is not responsible for Route 1 safety, nor is the City Council, UMD administrators, or even Prince George’s county.  Because it is a state highway, the Maryland State Highway Administration (SHA) is ultimately responsible for the situation on Route 1.  In fact, pleas for Route 1 pedestrian safety improvements from the from the City Council have gotten little response over the years, until the situation grew dire enough this year to spur the SHA into action.

To be sure, the ingredients for multiple pedestrian fatalities on Route 1 have been in place for a long time.  In the last eight years, over 3400 beds have been added to the west side of Route 1 in College Park in the form of four large apartment complexes.  Meanwhile, more rental houses in the Old Town and Calvert Hills neighborhoods have attracted growing numbers of UMD students, increasing their footprint in these areas.  Though a number of enhancements have made streets on the UMD campus friendlier to pedestrians and cyclists, Route 1 has retained the same dangerous features of a state highway over the years: wide lanes, fast cars, heavy traffic and few visual warnings to drivers that they are entering a campus zone with a high number of pedestrians.

The situation can become chaotic at night, as hundreds of UMD students are crossing from campus to the East side of Route 1 to get to bars and other attractions.  At times, crowds of students gathering in front of local establishments can grow too large for sidewalks, forcing people into Route 1 traffic.  Along with poor visibility, the risks of intoxication from both pedestrians and drivers goes up during nighttime hours, which is also when speed cameras have been turned off in the past.  In short, the potential for risky behavior and bad decisions and skyrockets at night, which is when all of the Route 1 pedestrian fatalities so far in 2014 have occurred.  As UMD President Loh noted: “There are actually people standing not on the sidewalk but on the road, and cars are zipping by. My major conclusion was: I am surprised more people have not been hit.”

Most of the measures outlined by the SHA, UMD and City Council to address pedestrian safety issues were implemented in the July-August time frame, with the remaining enhancements to be completed during the Fall semester.  Lowering the Route 1 speed limit from 30 to 25 mph near the UMD campus and changing the speed cameras in this zone to operate 24/7 are two small steps that could help calm traffic and improve pedestrian safety.  A new pedestrian safety campaign (Walk Smart College Park) and an increased presence by the UMD Police on Route 1 during nighttime hours on weekends could also make a difference.   The planned overhead pedestrian signal at Route 1 & Hartwick Rd intersection, similar to signals on Route 1 near Fraternity Row and on Paint Branch Parkway, could eventually give pedestrians another important option for crossing Route 1 along its most dangerous stretch.

The most controversial enhancement is definitely the fence along the Route 1 median between Knox Rd & Hartwick Rd to help deter jaywalking.  The median fence is intended to be temporary and hopefully that will be the case.  Critics of the fence rightly point out its unsightliness and the risk that it may actually be counterproductive to pedestrian safety if drivers perceive Route 1 as being a divided highway, though it will only be in place for one block.  Unfortunately, the situation had deteriorated to the point where status quo on Route 1 was unacceptable, and questionable measures like the median fence could no longer be avoided.

There is a long term solution that would likely go much further than the steps taken this summer towards improving pedestrian safety in our city.  Unfortunately, it’s easy to lose sight of that solution, because the reconstruction of Route 1 in College Park has been in the works by SHA since 1998.  At least sufficient funding was in place to start the design of the first phase of the reconstruction near the UMD campus back in Feb. 2012 and hopefully the design work will be complete by next year, as planned earlier.  Basic features of the reconstruction include transforming Route 1 from a five-lane to a four-lane highway, with wider medians,  improved sidewalks, and even bike lanes.  Though all of these improvements sound exciting, at this point, it’s impossible to even predict a start date for Route 1 reconstruction.  Now would be a good time to get an update from to SHA and find out: (a) when the design work will be complete, and (b) a projected timeline for the first phase of Route 1 reconstruction.

 In any event, the number of pedestrians will only be increasing on Route 1.  A quick read through the latest College Park Development Update shows that in the not too distant future, a 4-star UMD Conference Hotel, as well as two more large apartment complexes (Landmark College Park, Terrapin Row) are scheduled to open near the most dangerous stretch of our “main street”.  College Park can’t realize its vision of becoming a Top 20 college town with a poor reputation for pedestrian safety.  The first steps have been taken, but this will likely be an ongoing challenge. Officials from the SHA, UMD, College Park and Pr. George’s County must continue monitoring the situation and work together to improve pedestrian safety on Route 1.

Farmers Markets Proliferate in College Park

CP-DowntownFarmersMarket

 

 

For over three decades, when someone mentioned the “College Park Farmers Market”, it could only mean one thing: the one held on Saturday mornings by Wells Ice Rink on Paint Branch Parkway.  This market was one of the first of its kind in Maryland when it was established back in 1979, and eventually saw its customer traffic increase more than tenfold over the years.  The situation started changing in 2010, when the University of Maryland started hosting its own farmers market on a trial basis.  The UMD Farmers Market officially opened in May 2012 and is now held on Wed. afternoons in front of the Cole Fieldhouse.  In the meantime, the Downtown College Park Farmers Market opened in June 2011 and is now hosted on Sunday mornings by City Hall.  Things haven’t slowed down this year, as the Hollywood Farmers Market made its debut last month and is held at the Hollywood Shopping Center in North College Park on Saturday mornings.

Considering our diverse neighborhoods and population groups, it should come as no surprise that College Park would finally outgrow a “one size fits all” approach to farmers markets.  Though the venerable market on Paint Branch has thrived for over 30 years, it’s far enough from the UMD campus that few students or staff were aware it existed.  The fact that markets by Cole Fieldhouse and City Hall emerged roughly a year apart indicates a growing demand for local foods from the UMD community and surrounding neighborhoods.  Access to fresh foods serves an important need for UMD students, given the notorious lack of a grocery store within walking distance of campus.

But the launch of the Hollywood Farmers Market last month demonstrates a commitment to the local foods movement that goes beyond the UMD community.  With the highest concentration of single family homes in the city, and a remote location relative to the other three markets, North College Park moved rapidly to realize its vision of a new farmers market.  In response to a survey last year, residents showed strong support for a market located within the neighborhood.  Working with councilmembers Kabir & Wojahn, a group of residents created a market committee, formed a 501c3 non-profit organization, contacted vendors and organized the new market in less than a year.  The new market offers North College Park residents a walkable location and an important opportunity to revitalize the Hollywood Commercial District.

As farmers markets multiply in our neighborhoods, it’s natural to wonder if we’ve reached a saturation point, or if brand new markets will be launched in the coming years.  Few would’ve predicted we’d have four independent farmers markets in operation just five years ago, but College Park has done that and established itself as a leader in sustainable living.  Though these markets offer valuable opportunities to purchase fresh food and support local farmers, their benefits go beyond culinary delights.  As others have pointed out, our farmers markets provide an ongoing event in a shared space, where residents can meet each other and gather to discuss local issues.  Indeed, farmers markets can offer our neighborhoods that elusive third place, where strangers can become neighbors and come together to build their communities.  If College Park is to realize its potential, we need more third places.  Our farmers markets can deliver that experience year after year, which is something we can all celebrate.  

News & Notes: April 2013 Edition

GarbanzoCP

Here’s the latest roundup from the Business Beat newsletter, published every two months by the City of College Park.

General Announcements:

Downtown College Park Farmers Market

The 2013 season opened on April 14th with a new market master and an expanded roster of vendors. The market now features producer-only fruits and vegetables, including organic options. New vendors include a bakery, a meat purveyor, and an orchard. For more information on the market please visit its page on Shop College Park. Free parking available on Sundays!

Commercial Tenant Improvement Program

The City is offering up to $25,000 in grant funds for leasehold improvements of commercial retail spaces for new or expanding businesses. The reimbursement grant will cover up to 50% of the total improvement costs for qualifying businesses. The program targets locally-owned and independent operators. Use the following links to get information and an application for this program.

Business Sign Assistance Fund

College Park operates a signage grant program which assists businesses with the costs needed to install storefront signs. The program offers up to $2,500 in matching funds for design, production, and installation. While FY 2013 funds are nearly gone, a new set of funding will be available beginning July 1st.  Program guidelines and an application are available.

 

April 2013 Business Activity

Now Open:

The Maryland Smokehouse

Opened this month at the former location of Austin Grill Express on the ground floor of The Varsity apartments.  Offers upscale casual dining that reaches south to offer delicious Memphis-style barbeque. Menu items include ribs, beef brisket, southern sides, unique cocktails and desserts. All served with warm hospitality in a vibrant, bluesy atomosphere.

The opening was covered in this Diamondback article.

Garbanzo Mediterranean Grill

Opened in March, at the former location of Boston Market in the College Park Shopping Center.  Chain restaurant, started in the Denver area in 2007. Offers patrons the opportunity to build their own entrees. Pitas are made from scratch and baked on site throughout the day. Salads and sauces are made from fresh, whole vegetables and prepared each morning

Covered in this Diamondback article.

– One Stop Shop

Convenience store on College Ave, just east of Rt. 1.

Business Closings:

– YoLove Frozen Yogurt

Located on the ground floor of the Varsity apartments.  The closing was covered in this Diamondback article.

– Sears Optical

Located at the Village at College Park Shopping Center by Route 1 & I-495, next to IKEA.

Coming Attractions:

Downtown:

7-11

Expected to open in Fall 2013, by Route 1 & Guilford Rd.

– Jumbo Slice Pizza

Expected opening in summer 2013 on Route 1 & Lehigh, next to the Barking Dog. A DC late night classic, Jumbo Slice Pizza offers oversized pizza and a few other menu items at their Adams Morgan location. Photos and information can be found at their Foursquare page.

Slices Pizza Co.

Expected to open in Spring 2013, going into Terrapin Station.

Offers gourmet pizza by the slice. College Park is their 2nd location; original is in Greensboro, NC. Built around a simple combination: create a friendly and comfortable atmosphere, maintain the highest operating standards, and serve great pizza. Their dough is hand-rolled daily and they offer over a dozen types of pizza at any one time.

– Terrapin Turf

Going into the former Santa Fe Café space on Knox Road, expected to open Summer 2013. The latest update is in this Diamondback article.

Verizon Wireless

Phone service retailer already has one location by IKEA in North College Park, scheduled to open another in Fall 2013, at the corner of Route 1 & Guilford Ave.

Lower Midtown:

Denny’s

Expected to open late in 2013, located on Rt. 1 in former Varsity Grille building. Covered by Patch.

– Newaabsaab Kabobs

Mediterranean restaurant, expected to open in summer 2013. Sharing the same location as Rita’s Italian Ice (8900 Baltimore Ave)

State Employee Credit Union (SECU)

MD Credit Union branch location scheduled to open in summer 2013, on the ground floor of the View II apartments.

West Campus:

At least four businesses on the ground floor of the Domain at College Park are scheduled to open in the summer of 2013, around the time the new apartment complex (near Campus Drive & Mowatt Lane) opens. More information about the Domain property can be found here.

Casey’s Coffee

Casey’s Coffee is opening a new location providing customers with coffee, specialty drinks, breakfast sandwiches, waffles, lunch, and other menu items. The College Park location will join their other coffee shops located in downtown DC, Baltimore, Ellicott City, and Columbia.

– Gateway Newstand (Convenience store)

Subway

Tutti Frutti Frozen Yogurt

Berwyn:

– Independent Coffee Shop (to be named later):

Expected to open late in 2013.  Located on Berwyn Rd, next door to Fishnet. To be operated by Fishnet owner; covered by Patch.

Upper Midtown:

IYoggie:

New frozen yogurt shop, located near the Shopper’s Food in the College Park Marketplace Shopping Center on Cherry Hill Road by Rt. 1.  Expected to open in summer 2013.

– Jamaican Gee’s:

Quick service restaurant, expected to open in summer 2013.  Located by Proteus Bikes, on Rt. 1 between Delaware & Erie.

Uptown:

Two well known businesses have signed leases in the Village at College Park Shopping Center, located at Route 1 & I-495 (next to IKEA) and are expected to open in Summer 2013.

Dunkin Donuts

Mr. Smoothie

News & Notes: March 2013 Edition

slicesPizzaCP


 

Here’s the latest roundup from the Business Beat newsletter, published every two months by the City of College Park

General Announcements:

Real Estate Roundtable – March 19, 2013

The City is hosting their 2013 Real Estate Roundtable on Tuesday, March 19th from 8:30am to 10:30am at the Hampton Inn College Park, which is located at 9670 Baltimore Avenue. The event, which is free of charge, provides an opportunity for local stakeholders to receive updates on major developments and to discuss future plans that will shape College Park for years to come.  This year’s featured discussion will center around three recently completed market studies concerning College Park: College Park Metro Station TOD Market Analysis, Route One Communities Retail Market Study, and the University of Maryland Faculty/Staff Housing Market Analysis. A panel discussion will be held with representatives from each firm: Christine Graziano of AECOM, Eric Smart of Bolan Smart Associates Inc., and Linda Anderson of Anderson Strickler LLC.

To RSVP, please contact Michael Stiefvater at 240-487-3543 or mstiefvater at collegeparkmd.gov by March 8th.

City Launches Commercial Tenant Improvement Program

The City is offering up to $25,000 in grant funds for leasehold improvements of commercial retail spaces for new or expanding businesses. The reimbursement grant will cover up to 50% of the total improvement costs for qualifying businesses. The program will target locally-owned and independent businesses that fill a void in the College Park’s retail environment such as an apparel store, coffee shop, full service restaurant, and health club. Use the following links to get information and an application for this program.

Relaunch of Shop College Park Website

Launched in July 2008, the Shop College Park website provides an online presence for all of the City’s retail businesses. To improve the site’s functionality, the City authorized a redesign that launched in January 2013. Improvements include a new visual design, a mobile version, an improved search function, and a blog.

 College Park Neighborhood Business Discount Cards

Formed in an effort to bring local independent businesses together, CPNBA aims to promote College Park businesses and maintain a strong, local economy. To encourage patronage of these local independent businesses, CPNBA has recently released a free discount card.  The cards allow patrons to access deals at a variety of businesses, which are viewable online.  Currently there are 19 participating businesses and the cards are available at participating businesses or City Hall.

February 2013 Business Activity

Now Open:

Ovo Simply Veggie (Rt. 1 & Hartwick Rd, Terrapin Station)
Ovo Simply Veggie is a quick service restaurant focusing on innovative vegetarian dishes with an Asian influence. Ovo Simply Veggie hopes to showcase the varying possibilities for healthy food beyond salad including unique desserts.  Featured in this Diamondback article.

Eddie’s Cafe  (Rhode Island & Edgewood, Hollywood Shopping Center)
Eddie’s Cafe is now open in the Hollywood Shopping Center and offers a wide variety of Chinese and American dishes. The dishes, ranging from Szechuan beef to cheeseburgers, are all priced under $10 at this locally-owned restaurant.


Business Closings:

A2Z Wireless (Rt. 1 & Knox Rd)

Capital One Bank (Rt. 1 & Cherry Hill, close to Shoppers Warehouse)

Continue reading News & Notes: March 2013 Edition

CSX Crossing Issues Threaten Cafritz Project

CSX-Crossing

 

 

 

 

 

If anyone thought the Cafritz Project was a done deal, events over the course of less than one week have been enough to shake that belief.  Headlines taken from the Riverdale Patch show how quickly the narrative can change:

Jan 11: Cafritz Not a Done Deal, Riverdale Park Council Says

Jan 15: Planning Staff Recommends Disapproval of Cafritz Preliminary Plan

Jan 15: Cafritz Team Withdraws Preliminary Plan

All the controversy and hearings over Cafritz last year were to approve a rezoning plan that would allow the 37 acre property to be changed from single family detached residential to mixed use town center.  After the Prince George’s District Council approved the Cafritz rezoning plan last July, there were two other major steps requiring county approval before construction could begin on a Whole Foods, luxury hotel and nearly 1000 housing units: (1) Preliminary Plan of Subdivision, and (2) Detailed Site Plan.

The Preliminary Plan of Subdivision (PPS) was originally scheduled for review by the County Planning Board on Jan. 17th.  However, the Riverdale Park Town Council found issues with the proposed path of the hiker-biker trail and the crossing over CSX rail lines.  County Planning Board staff also found the proposal failed to meet several conditions required for passage and recommended disapproval of the PPS.  Shortly afterwards, the Cafritz development team decided to temporarily withdraw its proposal.

Of all the concerns raised with the Cafritz PPS, issues with the proposed CSX crossing are the most problematic.  Opponents have long argued that a project of this scale would only exacerbate traffic woes on Route 1.  Smart growth measures such as a hiker/biker trail extension and shuttles to College Park & Prince George’s Plaza Metro stations helped alleviate some concerns, but the CSX crossing was a key component to address Route 1 issues head on and win over many Cafritz skeptics, since it provided another path for future traffic.  The funding and timing of a CSX crossing was one of the final issues resolved last year before the rezoning plan was approved by University Park and Riverdale Park.  The CSX crossing is also featured prominently in the long list of conditions that were agreed upon before final approval of the Cafritz rezoning.

Last month, the mood was more optimistic, as the Cafritz development team shared an early version of the PPS with the Riverdale Town Council. The PPS specified that the CSX crossing would be an elevated bridge placed at a location involving the use of property belonging to the American Center for Physics (ACP).  At the time, the Cafritz team mentioned that ACP approval could be a potential stumbling block, but remained confident.  However, it turned out ACP wasn’t on board with this vision and eventually opted to launch its own investigation of the potential impacts of the CSX crossing.  No decision from ACP is forthcoming until its independent analysis is complete, which is predicted to take at least several months.  Further, ACP sent out a strongly worded letter about the CSX crossing to officials in Riverdale Park, University Park and College Park that included the following passage:

“The ACP Board is angry that a letter was provided at the Monday, January 14th, meeting of the University Park Town Council, which erroneously appeared to present ACP’s support for having a roadway across our property. That letter was never reviewed or authorized by the ACP Board.”

Shortly afterwards, the Cafritz development team decided to withdraw the PPS from consideration.  

This turn of events leaves Cafritz developers scrambling to satisfy the conditions of the rezoning approval while also meeting its own development goals, which called for construction to start by January 2014 and the opening of a Whole Foods Market a year later.  Though the Cafritz team has until the end of January to submit the PPS to the county, it may take months before they reapply.  If Cafritz developers can eventually reach an agreement with ACP or find a viable alternative location for the CSX crossing, their path towards groundbreaking becomes much clearer.  If not, the lack of a CSX crossing threatens to send the massive project back to square one.

News & Notes: December 2012 Edition

ivyNoodlesCP

Here’s the latest roundup from the Business Beat newsletter, published every two months by the City of College Park

General Announcements:

City Receives $75,000 for Launch of Commercial Tenant Improvement Program

In November, the City of College Park was awarded $75,000 by the State of Maryland’s Department of Housing and Community Development for the formation of a Commercial Tenant Improvement Program. The program will provide new small businesses with a matching grant for the costs associated with leasehold improvements (HVAC, mechanical, electrical, windows, etc.). A maximum of $25,000 per grant is available to qualifying businesses, which will undergo a review of their business plan and financial capabilities. Any interested businesses, property owners, or brokers should contact the College Park Economic Development office for more information.  More details about the improvement program were provided in this article by the North College Park Informant.

Relaunch of Shop College Park Website

Launched in July 2008, the Shop College Park website provides an online presence for all of the City’s retail businesses. To improve the site’s functionality, the City authorized a redesign that is expected to launch in January 2013. Improvements include a new visual design, a mobile version, an improved search function, and a blog.

 

December 2012 Business Activity

Now Open:

Ivy Noodles (Rt. 1 & Hartwick Rd, Terrapin Station)
Locally-owned restaurant now open in the Terrapin Station shopping center in Downtown College Park. The authentic noodle house serves a variety of dishes, including seven different types of noodles, with all dishes priced under $9.

Business Closings:

Boston Market (Rt. 1 & Knox Rd, College Park Shopping Center)

Robeks (Rt. 1, north of 495 interchange, close to IKEA)

Coming Attractions:

Downtown:

– Ovo Asian
Expected to open late 2012 in Terrapin Station.

Garbanzo Mediterranean Grill
Expected to open early 2013, former location of Boston Market in the College Park Shopping Center.  Chain restaurant, started in the Denver area in 2007. From their inception, the company’s goal has been to focus on fresh, healthy, quality foods using original, unique recipes.

– Unnamed Italian Restaurant (to be named later)
Going into Terrapin Station, expected to open spring 2013.

– Terrapin Turf
Going into the former Santa Fe Café space on Knox Road, now expected to open Spring 2013.  The oft-delayed opening was discussed in this Diamondback editorial.

Lower Midtown:

Memphis Barbecue:
Going into the former location of Austin Grill Express.  With its original location in Crystal City, Memphis Barbeque plans to open a second location on the ground floor of The Varsity apartments in spring 2013.  Meats will be smoked over a live hickory wood-burning fire and menu items include ribs, brisket, chicken, and seafood.

– Newaabsaab Kabobs:
Mediterranean restaurant, now expected to open spring 2013. Sharing the same location as Rita’s Italian Ice (8900 Baltimore Ave)

Denny’s
Expected to open summer 2013, located on Rt. 1 in former Varsity Grille building.  Covered by Patch.

Berwyn:

– Independent Coffee Shop (to be named later):
Expected to open summer 2013.  Located on Berwyn Rd, next door to Fishnet. To be operated by Fishnet owner.  Covered by Patch.

Hollywood:

– Johnny’s:
Chinese restaurant is now expected to open early 2013, in the Hollywood Shopping Center (by MOM’s & REI).

– Pollo a La Brasa:
Peruvian restaurant is now expected to open spring 2013, going into Hollywood Square (9925 Rhode Island Ave).

 

November 2012 Development Update

DomainAtCollegePark

The City of College Park has released its bi-monthly newsletter covering local development news.  Highlights from the latest edition include:

Domain at College Park

Mowatt Lane & Campus Drive

Status: Under Construction

Mixed-use residential development will have 256 multi-family units and 9,061 square feet of retail space. The first units are expected to be ready for move-in by summer 2013 with all units completed by summer 2014.  Four tenants are close to signing leases to occupy 5,181 SF of the ground floor retail space: Subway, Tutti Frutti Frozen Yogurt, Gateway Newstands, and Casey’s Coffee.

More details about the proposed retail businesses at the Domain can be found in this document.

Best Western

8419 Baltimore Avenue

Status: Under Construction

The Best Western project consists of a 50-room hotel with extended-stay suite facilities on the former site of the College Park Motel. Construction began late in 2011 and the estimated completion date is early 2013.

The Best Western hotel project was covered in this recent Diamondback article.

Maryland Book Exchange

7501 Baltimore Avenue

Status: Approved Detailed Site Plan

The property is 2.71 acres and is currently home to the Maryland Book Exchange. A new student housing development will add 287 units, with a maximum of 855 beds (originally proposed as 341 units and 1,010 beds). The ground floor will have 14,300 square feet of retail, including the relocated Maryland Book Exchange as the anchor.

The redevelopment of the Maryland Book Exchange received final approval from the Prince George’s County District Council earlier this month. The approval is a result of recent compromises with the City of College Park to reduce the height along Yale Avenue, among other items. The project now consists of a six-story building on Route 1 that steps down along College Avenue.

The next step will be the submission of construction drawings to obtain a building permit. Construction could begin in the first half of 2013.

This development will join The Enclave, Mazza Grandmarc, and The Varsity as the fourth privately built student housing project to open since 2010. Along with the University View I & II buildings, those three completed projects have brought 3,458 beds to the Route 1 Corridor since 2005. As of September 2012, the occupancy rate for these units was reported at 94% by the management teams.

Details about the final approval of the Maryland Book Exchange project can be found in this Gazette article from earlier this month.

Cafritz Property at Riverdale Park

Along the East Side of US Route 1 at College Park’s southern boundary

Status : Preliminary Subdivision Review

Envisioned as a multi-phase project on 37.55 acres of land in Riverdale Park, the development team requested rezoning the property from R-55 to Mixed-Use Town Center in 2011. A vote on the rezoning request was not taken until February 2012, where the County Planning Board approved by a 5-0 vote. After numerous public hearings in April and May, the County District Council voted 7-2 in favor of the rezoning application on July 9, 2012.

The developer’s next move was to submit a Preliminary Plan of Subdivision on July 27, which is scheduled to be heard by the County Planning Board on January 10, 2013.

The first phase proposes a Whole Foods Grocery store, over 100,000 square feet of retail and restaurants, and 22,000 square feet of office space. The second phase proposes 995 residential units and a 120-room hotel.

A recap of the District Council’s approval of the Cafritz Project back in July can be found in this Gazette article.

University of Maryland – East Campus

SE Corner of Baltimore Avenue and Paint Branch Parkway

Status : Planned Project

The University of Maryland plans to redevelop 38 acres of land at the intersection of Baltimore Avenue and Paint Branch Parkway. Phase 1 of the project will occupy approximately 8 acres and is slated to include a 266-key conference hotel with 18,000 square feet of retail and a 700-space garage, two graduate student housing towers, and an additional 70,000 square feet of retail. There are also plans for a light rail station as part of the proposed Purple Line development. The University of Maryland is looking to begin construction in 2013.

This recent Diamondback article has the latest update about East Campus.

News & Notes: October 2012 Edition

 

2012 College Park Day

Here’s the latest roundup from the Business Beat newsletter, published every two months by the City of College Park.

Upcoming Events:

College Park Day

The 3rd Annual College Park Day will be held next Saturday, October 27th at the College Park Community Center (5051 Pierce Avenue) from 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM. Join your friends and neighbors at this free event featuring delicious food and entertainment.

General Announcements:

College Park Farmers Markets

Fall has arrived, but you still have a few more weeks to enjoy our local farmers markets. The Downtown Farmers Market at City Hall is enjoying a successful second year in operation and is open every Sunday from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. through November 18th. The market features Miller Farms as the primary vendor, as they offer a wide variety of fruits and vegetables. Bill’s Backyard Barbeque serves delicious eats, including pulled pork, brisket and salmon. Additional vendors include Heavenly Created Desserts, and Bear’s Honeypot.

The College Park Farmers Market at Wells Ice Rink/Linson Swimming Pool is open every Saturday from 7:00 AM to noon through November. The market’s offerings include local produce, baked goods, flowers, and pottery.

For those needing fresh produce during the week, The Farmers Market at Maryland is open on Wednesdays from 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM outside Cole Fieldhouse through November 14th. Offerings include local produce, baked goods, meat products, and eggs among other items.

 College Park Neighborhood Business Alliance News

Formed in an effort to bring local independent businesses together, CPNBA aims to promote College Park businesses and maintain a strong, local economy. CPNBA formally incorporated as a non-profit organization in the state of Maryland and joined the American Independent Business Alliance, which helps communities successfully operate local alliances and “buy local” campaigns. The group now includes the following members: Pongo Interactive, Cromwell & Company LLC, Wood’s Flowers and Gifts, Rising Sun Auto, Jerk Pit, Fishnet, College Park Car Wash, Everyday Quilts, Honey Glow, and The Bamboo Eater.

Like Shop College Park on Facebook

The College Park Economic Development staff regularly provides updates on business openings and closings, shop deals, news, and events on the Shop College Park Facebook page. To follow these updates please visit this link and “like” Shop College Park.

Continue reading News & Notes: October 2012 Edition

News & Notes: August 2012 Edition

CP phoDelite
Here’s the latest roundup from the Business Beat newsletter, published every two months by the City of College Park

Upcoming Events:

College Park Day
College Park Day 2012 will be on Saturday, October 27. If you’re interested in joining the planning committee, email cpdayevents at gmail.com for more information.


General Announcements:

Buy Local and Independent Week:

The Mayor and City Council have proclaimed the week of August 12th to 18th as “Buy Local and Independent Week,” which coincides with the State of Maryland’s “Tax Free Week” for clothing and footwear. For this week, the City is encouraging residents to spend their dollars in College Park and particularly with independent businesses. City staff has compiled a list of deals for the week, which can be presented to a participating business by showing a printed certificate or smart phone version. The certificate is available here.

College Park Farmers’ Markets:

Returning for a second year, the Downtown Farmers Market at City Hall is open every Sunday from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. through November and features Miller Farms as the primary vendor. Miller Farms offers a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, while Bill’s Backyard Barbeque serves delicious eats including pulled pork, brisket and salmon. Additional part-time vendors include Heavenly Created Desserts, Honey Glow, and Shearer’s Mountain Veiw Farm.

The College Park Farmers Market at Wells Ice Rink/Linson Swimming Pool is open every Saturday from 7:00 a.m. to Noon through October. The market’s offerings include local produce, baked goods, flowers, and pottery.

A new option this year is The Farmers Market at Maryland, which is open on Wednesdays from Noon to 4:00 p.m. outside Cole Fieldhouse. Offerings include local produce, baked goods, meat products, and eggs among other items.

Shop College Park Website:

The City-run website, Shop College Park, is hosted through a cooperative effort between the City of College Park Department of Planning, Community and Economic Development and local merchants in an effort to market all that College Park has to offer. The website will undergo a redesign and upgrade in the next few months, so if you’d like to offer input on the current site please fill out this brief survey.

Continue reading News & Notes: August 2012 Edition

News & Notes: June 2012 Edition


CP Farmers Market Banner

 

Here’s the latest roundup from the Business Beat newsletter, published every two months by the City of College Park


General Announcements:

College Park Farmers’ Markets:

Summer is here and all of the City’s farmers markets are now open.  Returning for a second year, the Downtown Farmers Market at City Hall is steadily expanding with new vendors and increased patronage.  The market is open every Sunday from 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM through November and features Miller Farms as the primary vendor.  Miller Farms offers a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, while Bill’s Backyard Barbeque serves delicious eats including pulled pork, brisket and salmon. Additional part-time vendors include Heavenly Created Desserts, Honey Glow, and Shearer’s Mountain Veiw Farm.  Live music is now a staple of the market and usually takes place from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM.   In the next few weeks look out for new farmers market banners on Route 1 in Downtown that include a unique design we hope everyone will enjoy.

The College Park Farmers Market at Wells Ice Rink/Linson Swimming Pool is open every Saturday from 7:00 AM to Noon through October.  The market’s offerings include local produce, baked goods, flowers, and pottery.

A new option this year is The Farmers Market at Maryland, which is open on Wednesdays from Noon to 4:00 PM outside the UMD Cole Fieldhouse.  Offerings include local produce, baked goods, meat products, and eggs among other items.

College Park Marketing Campaign:

The City is embarking on a marketing campaign that will produce a City logo, slogan, and marketing plan.  The City received proposals from several impressive companies, and eventually selected idfive LLC out of Baltimore to manage the campaign.  As part of their work, idfive will hold several focus groups over the next month or two to conduct research that will help identify the City’s attributes and marketing position.  We anticipate the focus groups will include residents, University of Maryland faculty and staff, residential realtors, business owners, developers, commercial brokers, and University of Maryland students.  If you are in any of these categories and would like to take part in the focus groups please contact Michael Stiefvater in the Economic Development Department for more information.

Shop College Park Website:

The City-run website, Shop College Park, is hosted through a cooperative effort between the City of College Park Department of Planning, Community and Economic Development and local merchants in an effort to market all that College Park has to offer. The website will undergo a redesign and upgrade in the next few months, so if you’d like to offer input on the current site please fill out this brief survey.

Downtown Chess Set:

The City recently purchased an oversized outdoor chess set that is available for check out from the Planning Department, which is located on the lower level of City Hall. There is no charge to borrow the set and it is currently available Monday through Friday from 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM.

Channel 7 News (WJLA) did a feature on the chess set last month.

Upcoming Events:

College Park Day
College Park Day 2012 will be on Saturday, October 27. If you’re interested in joining the planning committee, email cpdayevents@gmail.com for more information.

Continue reading News & Notes: June 2012 Edition