As representatives from the Cafritz team showed the Riverdale Park mayor and Town Council the preliminary plans they hope to present to the county planning board next month, they made one thing very clear: Whole Foods is still involved.
“We are here to tell you that they [Whole Foods] are still here, they are still committed and they are still very much interested,” Chris Hatcher, a representative for the Cafritz development team, told officials at Monday night's work session.
Currently, the Cafritz project is still in the Preliminary Site Plan (PSP) stage. The development’s impact on public transportation, roads, school capacity, and other elements of local infrastructure still need to be evaluated, said Hatcher.
For the most part, the developer's plan for the 37-acre parcel of land in the north part of Riverdale Park remains the same as the proposal shared with the Planning Board in February when a zoning change for the property was granted.
A two-deck parking structure is now set to replace the surface parking lot originally slated for the northeast part of the development. The upper deck will be at grade with Woodbury Street, and the two decks will be unconnected, according to Jim Volsky, one of the project’s architects.
The Cafritz team has also updated its plans to includea crossing over the CSX tracks at Woodbury Street. The crossing would allow for one lane of traffic in each direction in addition to a sidewalk and bike path in each direction.
This particular crossing proposal involves the use of property belonging to the American Center for Physics (ACP). Cafritz would need ACP’s permission to build the bridge across their property—clearance that they have yet to receive.
While ACP’s approval of the bridge is a potential roadblock, Hatcher said he remains optimistic.
“ACP allowed them to put crossing on plan, but we don’t have a definitive answer,” said Hatcher.
He also said the Cafritz team hopes to have an answer from ACP before the Prince George's County Planning Board hearing on Jan. 17, where the developers will be seeking approval of their proposal.