Rumors sometime become reality – or so it seems given the potential redevelopment of the “Cafritz Property” (Developer Website) which we first talked about last month. Public workshop meetings are planned for early June. County councilman Eric Olson and College Park city councilwoman Stephanie Stullich are encouraging meaningful/rigorous public participation at these events. Such preliminary community input, Olson notes, is rare for development projects.
All workshops are to be held at:
RIVERDALE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL,
5006 RIVERDALE ROAD
– SATURDAY, JUNE 2ND
(10am-2pm, come any time)
– THURSDAY, JUNE 7TH
(7-9pm) [identical to the first meeting]
– THURSDAY, JUNE 14TH
(7-9pm) [wrap-up meeting]
The first two initial workshops on the 2nd and 7th are intended to give all attendees a forum to share ideas and concerns about the project. The third meeting on the 14th will synthesize the public opinion shared at the first two meetings into principles to guide potential development on the Cafritz Property. The development team will then come up with a more complete proposal for more community meetings in the fall.
The 40-acre Cafritz Property is located in northern Riverdale, just south of College Park’s Albion Road (Great interactive map – snapshot to the right). Route 1 runs lengthwise along the property and train tracks running adjacent to the Metro pass along the back length of the property. The proposed Rhode Island Trolley Trail extension (now a hobo path) runs through the middle of the property, parallel to the tracks.
What is now dense forest on the Cafritz property was once the site of a post-WWII military housing project. The property has since flirted with development possibilities numerous times while under the ownership of the Cafritz Family, and has also been considered as a site for public schools in the past.
Contemporary development possibilities that the public will discuss in said meetings will likely include mixed use residential and retail development. Possibilities include senior housing, a community arts center, and a Whole Foods grocery store. County Councilman Eric Olson has stressed the importance of a buffer of trees between neighborhoods and the development, green building techniques, high-quality commercial establishments, and a pedestrian/bike-friendly inter-connective transit orientation. Olson also encourages any housing be designed to minimize added pressure to local school enrollment, and accommodate active retirees and senior citizens. According to Olson, there is no interest in developing university student housing.
>> Read Eric Olson’s letter sent to the local community.