Cafritz: Doing the Math

The next meeting is Tuesday, Sept. 18 from 7-9 pm and we urge you to attend. Questions you may wish to consider in forming an opinion are here. Here’s a summary of the Cafritz presentation, mostly by the numbers:

  • 40-50,000 sq. feet, medium-sized grocery near Route 1 (no brand commitment)
  • 150-225,000 sq. feet of retail
  • 15-20 stores
  • 3 parking garages (6 stories?)
  • 1500-2000 housing units to include a mix of multi-family styles and town homes, housing for international scholars and seniors
  • no single family detached homes per current zoning of R-55
  • 8-12 story buildings (located closer to the tracks, of course)
  • boutique hotel
  • 3 access points–off of Route 1 (Van Buren and Underwood) and somewhere from the south
  • LEED-ND guidelines development

Traffic: their solution is still top-secret due to negotiations with property owners (prior presentation here ). Grocery stores generate about 102 trip per 1000 sq. feet. (If it is an upscale store not found nearby, the number may be higher.) But that’s about 4,000-5,000 trips each day with 400-500 per hour during the afternoon rush.

Schools: use the same student yield formula as the school system, multiply .44 by the number of residential units. If you check the new CIP that is scheduled to be approved this week, you’ll notice that a Hyattsville area elementary school and high school have been delayed again. Both lack sites.

Retail: This amount is worth exploring in a larger Route 1 context. Where does the Cafritz project’s 200,000 sq. feet of retail + East Campus’ 500,000 sq. feet of retail leave our town centers that are struggling to revitalize or redevelop? Say I want to open a new independent business–where should I locate?

Do I choose space that is newly built out, up to code, ADA compliant with energy efficient HVAC and other systems, in a location offering critical retail mass and the valuable allure of the new…possibly with discounted rent (as mentioned Saturday)?

Or do I locate in the Riverdale Park struggling-to-revitalize town center with few healthy retail neighbors–but lots of historic character in older, perhaps dilapidated structures and space requiring expensive code updates and more before occupancy?

For a business person, this is a no-brainer. For Riverdale Park residents hoping to see the farmers market’s energy spread to those vacant buildings, this project should raise some serious concerns. What kind of retail do we want and need? Do we want these retail neighbors (from Cafritz retail consultant’s site)?

hoc-9-15-07.jpgJane Cafritz urged the audience to “stay with us” for the rest of the process, this was a “preliminary design plan,” not a final plan. Someone on the impressive development team did not get this memo, however. HO&C trumpets their work for a Major Private Developer:1400 units to break ground in summer 2008 and take 6 years to complete. Mmm…1400 units, perhaps that’s what they are willing to negotiate down to.

But breaking ground in summer 2008 is optimistic. The recent discovery of a primary document indicating the location of Indian burial grounds and slave dwellings on this property could slow things down substantially. A three part archaeological review will take time.

The presentation should be posted soon. Maybe they will fix the slides referring to Montgomery County’s Capital Crescent Trail. We have the College Park Trolley Trail and the Anacostia Tributary Trail System.

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2 Comments

Filed under Cafritz Property, Developers, Environment, Events, Public Input, Route 1 Corridor

2 responses to “Cafritz: Doing the Math

  1. CMB

    The retail figure did include the grocery store. Also, if I remember correctly, under this plan there will be single-family homes (townhomes), just not detatched ones…

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