2/6 City Council Development Coverage

Wednesday night’s City Council Meeting was choc full of development issues. Briefly, here’s what you missed if you didn’t want to brave the cold (or turn on your TV).

–> The council indicated their initial satisfaction of the proposed 220 unit College Park West Development on the Lasik’s site. JPI, the developer, had the blessings of a community group who appreciated JPI’s improved community cooperation since their last project (Jefferson Square) across the street.

Hollywood Station–> The council approved, with some minor conditions, a 4-5 story office building at 9909 Baltimore Ave. The site tucked in an odd place, but we still think it’s a shame it turned out to be such a standard office park and won’t be prominent from Route 1. (kind of like the M-Square project which the city is so quick to criticize). Granted M-Square is adjacent to the metro and the 9909 site is on the beltway.
–> District 1 councilman Krouse (see his letter to the community) tussled with the developers of the massive (we covered it yesterday) Greenbelt Town Centre project at Greenbelt metro station. Many were outraged to hear the potential of a 18 story building and the developer now plans “balloon tests” in the coming weeks to demonstrate the scale of the project to nearby North CP neighborhoods. This new revelation comes after over 7 years of planning. The developers were challenged to find another example in the DC area where a single family home community was subjected to such high density by a WMATA redevelopment.
University View Original Proposal
–>Otis Warren of the University View came in for a chat over a number of things. He repeated his intention to complete the project as originally proposed (see image to the right) although he’s holding out the possibility that the building proposed for the grassy area in front of the University View may end up being more student housing or a hotel instead of the originally proposed office building. He guessed about 350 student beds could fit in the project should it go forward. Retail would still front Route 1 on the ground floor.
Warren expressed surprise that the council had reservations about his proposed 12-story condo at 8400 Baltimore Ave given their friendly reception to it in December. He also disclosed a failed deal with the university to build a garage and grad school housing on campus on lot 11 directly behind the View. While not binding, the campus master plan envisions that lot for a mega parking garage.
We’ll defer to the Diamonback’s article about a number of interesting quotes on this and other topics, which some at the meeting probably didn’t want reprinted.

City Council Covers Development Tonight at 8pm

Tonight, the city council will mull over 3 major projects (of the 20 or so that are coming) to College Park. We haven’t previously covered any of these, so here is a brief preview:

  • Presentation by developer on College Park West Detailed Site Plan
    • Proposed 220 multifamily housing units & 25,00 S.F. of retail (Map) on the former site of Lasik’s Restaurant and Hillcrest Hotel. The lot is a huge 4 acres. Lasik’s was a locally run restaurant and liquor store which fell victim to arson in December 2004. Hillcrest Hotel reportedly rented rooms by the hour before it was closed by the State Attorney in July 2003 and torn down in October 2005.
  • Review of Preliminary Plan of Subdivision for Branchville Road (PDC Campfire)
    • 300 Condominiums and 7800 S.F. of retail (here)

On a seperate note, we’d like to commend the city on vast improvements to their website. If information is public, but isn’t online, it basically doesn’t exist. If information is online but inaccessible, it basically doesn’t exist. This much more logical layout will hopefully help the city government be more responsive to its citizens. Also, it doesn’t hurt so much to look at it anymore.