Announcing College Park’s Inaugural Restaurant Week: August 11th to 17th

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mark your calendars for the tastiest week of the year, as College Park Restaurant Week kicks off on Sunday, August 11th and runs through Saturday, August 17th. Over 15 of the City’s restaurants are participating in the event with specials including a variety of multi-course meals and other discounts. The list of participating restaurants and their specials is posted on the City’s Shop College Park website at www.shopcollegepark.org/cprw.

For patrons choosing restaurants in Downtown, the City is offering free parking in the garage at the intersection of Knox Road and Yale Avenue after 5:00pm on Monday through Friday and all day on Saturday and Sunday.

Energy Efficiency Workshop July 24th

The Committee for a Better Environment is sponsoring a workshop on energy efficiency on July 24th at 7pm at the City Hall Council Chambers, 2nd floor, 4500 Knox Road, College Park

Does your home have rooms that are always hot in the summer and cold in the winter? Do you have high energy bills? Come to this presentation and find out how  Groundswell (www.groundswell.org), a local nonprofit, can help you get an energy audit for only $100 and complete weatherization work on your home for over 70 percent off!

Rachel Binstock will present information about Groundswell’s energy-efficiency program called Strong Homes. In this program, homeowners join groups to pool purchasing power and to negotiate discounts on weatherization work from contractors. All contractors are local businesses, certified by the Building Performance Institute (BPI),and chosen based on competitive prices for weatherization work as well as the social benefits they afford employees.

Groundswell simplifies the process by helping homeowners every step of the way and also helps homeowners take advantage of state and federal rebates towards home-energy improvements. It is also offering an additional $300 rebate for weatherization work performed by August 23.

Come learn about how you can make your home safer and more comfortable, save money on your energy bills each month, and support local businesses all while reducing the environmental footprint of your home!

Farmers Markets Proliferate in College Park

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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: December 2012 Edition

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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).

 

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

The City of College Park is…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The City of College Park needs your help!  As part of a citywide marketing campaign we are looking for the most truthful, surprising, interesting, or little-known things about the City. Click the link below to participate by finishing the sentence: “The City of College Park is…” Submissions may be voted on and the results will be used to guide a marketing campaign to attract new residents and businesses to the City. Thank you in advance and have fun! http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/8ZRTV2G

College Park Farmers Market – Survey

As part of the recently-formed Farmers Market Committee, the City is conducting a survey to gauge satisfaction with the current Downtown Farmers Market while garnering ideas for the Market’s future. Please take a few moments to answer the survey as the responses will enable the Committee to understand the interests of residents and develop recommendations for the future structure of the Downtown Farmers  Market.

The survey can be found here: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/GZBYC79.

 

 

News & Notes: August 2012 Edition

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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


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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

College Park Community Foundation Seeking Members

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Over the past year, a group of College Park residents from around the City have been meeting with the goal of establishing a College Park Community Foundation.  A community foundation is a non-profit organization that raises funds and then distributes them as grants for projects and other non-profit organizations that benefit the community.  It can support projects ranging from food kitchens to arts organizations, funds to revitalize blighted commercial areas to community events.
There are a number of examples of similar projects in the area.  Greenbelt’s Community Foundation was started just a few years ago and has funded or helped fund a food bank, various youth projects, and a museum celebrating the heritage of Greenbelt (see greenbeltfoundation.net).  The Columbia Foundation in Howard County is bigger and has funded hospice programs and supports, services and volunteer programs for people with disabilities, children’s choirs, arts festivals, and scholarships (www.columbiafoundation.org).  Community Foundations can give grants to organizations for their own projects or seek out organizations that are interested in pursuing the goals established by the Foundation itself.
The possibilities for College Park are virtually endless.  A Community Foundation could be used to support public art projects in commercial areas around the City.  It could be used to establish partnerships in adult education with the University, have community clean-ups, work with City kids on public art projects, help underserved populations, or show movies at local parks.  The only limit is the imagination and goals of the people running it.
We invite you to become part of the Steering Committee for the Foundation and help us make this vision a reality.  The Steering Committee will create a plan for the organization, allocate the funds, and ultimately be in charge of raising the funds necessary to support community projects.  Although some people don’t like fundraising, we want to make it easy – we’re looking for people who are willing to do things like help organize chili dinners and other events to raise funds, as well as make commitments to help out the Foundation personally.
The Steering Committee will be having a kick-off on Thursday, May 17, at 6:30 pm at the IHOP on Route 1, at 9680 Baltimore Avenue.  If you have any questions, please contact Patrick Wojahn at 240-988-7763.