Send Your Cafritz Input!

email-lady.jpgWell, what did you think? Let the Cafritz team and Eric Olson know. Send your questions and concerns to and send a cc to Eric Olson (this is a request from Olson’s office). Just click the Email Lady! Live outside District 3? Check here for addresses.

  • Is the density right for this area?
  • Are there too many units?
  • What did you think of the scale of the project?
  • What about the buildings’ height? What is an acceptable number of stories?
  • Are the buildings’ locations tolerable for adjacent neighborhoods?
  • Square footage–is it too much? Cafritz’s 225K + East Campus’ 500K + Univ. Town Center’s 225K + EYA’s 30-50K. That’s a lot of space and there is more mixed use coming up and down Route 1.
  • How did you feel about the parking garages?
  • Access to this project–is it livable for surrounding communities?
  • Traffic–is it a deal breaker?
  • How many trips will be generated by various uses?
  • And schools?

Most importantly, is this a zoning change that should happen? Read about the zoning process here , but since this is a little out of date, take a look at current classes of zoning here. Let us know what you are thinking in the comments or email us at



Filed under Cafritz Property, Community, Developers, Public Input, Route 1 Corridor

3 responses to “Send Your Cafritz Input!

  1. Retta

    I support the Cafritz development in its current form. I take all the questions and concerns you raise seriously, and I believe there are always ways to improve any project, but I also think that our community will be left less well off if we forego the development–even in its current form–than if we do not. If you disagree, please consider counting the number of times you drive to Washington, D.C. and other parts of Maryland and Virginia every month because there remains such a dearth of good retail, restaurant and community offerings in our immediate area; think about how much time and money those trips cost you; think about all the traffic you have to put up with going and coming.

    As opposed to thinking that our area can scarcely support one, or maybe two more good developments, my view is that we need as many as we can get. That’s because, taken alone, not one of these proposed projects has the ability to transform our region very substantially, but as a group many of them could easily turn our decaying Route 1, PG Plaza and downtowns Hyattsville, Riverdale Park, and College Park into a REGION of modern, handsome high-density developments surrounded by good shopping, restaurants and other destinations that make me want to stay close to home when I go out at night.

    Such a transformation obviously will please students, faculty and staff at the University (let alone alumni). But it also will benefit the majority of homeowners in our diverse community, and it will be immensely attractive to PROPSPECTIVE residents and businesses, particularly those with greater assets to contribute.

    To the Cafritz family: I’ve watched a lot of developments over the years, and I applaud your efforts to listen to community members and address their concerns–please keep it up. The folks who run this website are obviously great individuals people with a lot of brains, and they are raising some important questions. I hope that you will address them aggressively; indeed, I firmly believe that doing so could make your project more profitable (and faster) for your family, as well as a greater asset for our community. Outstanding questions need to be addressed regarding traffic flow and parking, noise and sight impacts on surrounding neighborhoods, and I would add security, among other things. I heartily endorse the theme of another post on this blog that we should attract as many local businesses (as opposed to chains) as possible. I look forward to your responses.

  2. Joe Kelly

    Retta, I’ve got to disagree. What we’re seeing is the homogenization of America. There is no reason that every community must have equal retail, restaurants, and the like. For many years, this was not the case, and the country survived. Ralph Bennett stated that the Cafritz development would “complete the community”. Why not complete the community with single-family homes? And just what is so incomplete about 38 acres of woods?

    People have valid concerns about the present state of traffic congestion in the area. The amount of proposed residences up and down the avenue can only make this so, so, so much worse. This, in turn, will force the state to find ways to keep the cars moving, and when cars are given priority, all other forms of transportation suffer.

    I do not believe it is possible to engineer a local economy. For decades, Riverdale, Hyattsville, Mt. Rainier, North Brentwood, and other localities were home to postal workers, painters, carpenters, teachers, nurses, and other blue collar professionals. Now, our neighborhoods are “turning over”. The new residents are postal workers, painters, carpenters, etc. The native tongues may be changing, but we are still a decidedly blue collar area. All the new opportunities to shop and dine will not put a single extra dollar in the pockets of the people who are supposed to benefit from the developers’ visions.

    The lack of progress on the school issue–county, state, and country-wide–is going to prove to be the biggest stumbling block to fulfilling the development dream. Why would anybody choose to send their children to underperforming, overcrowded schools? Until it changes, the best thing about more retail and dining are the increased employment opportunities for our high school graduates.

    My biggest problem with the Cafritz project is the loss of trees. There are countless sites ripe for redevelopment that haven’t seen a sapling on them in years. The fact that the Cafritz family does not own them is indeed a very unfortunate situation–for them.

  3. Retta

    Joe. Thanks for your thoughtful response.

    I take many of your points, although I don’t agree with all of them entirely.

    For one thing, I disagree with the notion that our area is fundamentally blue collar. Certainly some neighborhoods are, but others, such as College Heights, University Park, Rosemary Terrace and parts of College Park, are not, and others such as parts of Hyattsville and Riverdale Park (just to take 2 examples) are decidedly mixed. Indeed, the mixture of economic classes around here gives our community strength, if you ask me. While San Francisco and New York struggle to attract firemen and teachers back to their cities, we find ourselves in the enviable position of having a nice mixture of higher tax paying professionals from UM, NASA and NIH living in close proximity to trades people, for instance. Needless to say, students form an important class of their own (no pun intended).

    I don’t agree that changing transportation needs accompanying proposed developments along Route 1 (particularly those targeting UM students and staff) necessarily can’t be managed in a way that doesn’t worsen existing traffic. Imagine, for instance, big free campus shuttles plowing the entire length of Baltimore Avenue every 5 minutes, not just between residences and campus, but all the way up to Shoppers and IKEA, etc. The University’s existing free shuttle service has been a huge success, but my suspicion is that if the frequency of stops increased even more, ridership would grow exponentially. And there are many possibilities for mitigating car traffic that one can imagine.

    Regarding the loss of trees on the Cafritzes’ property…I don’t disagree with you one bit. Our community gains A LOT from having that little patch of forest, in my opinion, and I say that as someone who has never even stepped onto the land. I don’t disagree with your point at all. The Cafritzes have a high bar to overcome in order to convince the majority of people in our community that whatever it is they ultimately propose is better for us than that beautiful space.


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