Developers Endorsing a Whole Foods South of College Park will Present
Cafritz Property developers will share its plan for a Whole Foods Market, retail and office space and nearly 1,000 housing units in Riverdale Park at a public information meeting in College Park.
A development group will endorse its plan to build a Whole Foods Market, retail and office space and nearly 1,000 housing units in Riverdale Park, south of the Calvert Hills border, at tonight’s Mayor and Council work session.
The Cafritz team presented its plan in Riverdale Park this summer to a crowd of 300 area residents, most of whom came out against the proposal, but so far College Park council members who have spoken to Patch about the development haven’t taken a definitive stance.
“We still need more information on the traffic impacts and the kinds of impacts this proposed project will have on our communities," College Park Mayor Andrew Fellows told Patch after the July meeting.
Cafritz is making efforts to offset traffic impacts caused by the development, according to a public letter from the team. The group has deliberately avoided road access from the north so that traffic doesn’t cut through Calvert Hills, and Cafritz is also instructing a study to avoid negatively impacting U.S. Route 1 traffic. The development team emphasized the advantage of public transportation in the vicinity, including the College Park-University of Maryland Metro station.
Fellows said in the July interview it’s important that the property is close enough to the Metro Station so that foot access to the development is feasible. According to Google Maps, the Metro stop is about three-fifths of a mile walk on the hiker/biker trail from the outside perimeter of the property.
The development team is also working with CSX Transportation, Inc. to incorporate a vehicular crossing over the railway tracks, according to the Cafritz letter.
Council decided three weeks ago to participate in a region-wide market study that will include a special focus on the Cafritz Property plan. Data from the study is expected to reveal how much and what kind of development the area can absorb.
Three days later, the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission accepted Cafritz’s conceptual site plan, but the planning board and District Council but grant a zoning change before the project can move forward. The land is currently zoned for single-family homes, but developers are seeking to get this changed to Mixed-Use Town Center (M-UTC) zoning, allowing for retail space and more residential units to be built there.
The city’s planning department will share its opinion on the development at the Nov. 15 work session, and the council will hear public comment and vote on the city’s official stance at its Nov. 22 meeting, according to a letter to residents from County Councilman Eric Olson (Dist. 3).
Tonight’s public information meeting starts at 7:30 p.m. in the Council Chambers on the second floor of City Hall, 4500 Knox Road.
Note: This story has been corrected. The original story incorrectly described the new zoning plan for the property. We regret the error.