Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Retail update:

A few retail updates for Riverdale Park Station.

Unfortunately H&R Retail has not updated their website for this community this entire year.

This leaves searching the web and asking the businesses about retail commitments.

The Comcast/Xfinity building opened to customers yesterday…  They still do not have permanent signage up but they are now open.

Space 4I which is on the lower level of the Golds Gym building was just leased to FedEX and is going to be a FedEX Office store.   Not super exciting stuff there but could be worse.

The MOD Pizza had a job fair on site last weekend so I am thinking they may be the next thing to open sometime this fall  They added some coming soon signs.  The Burton’s had said they planned to open in early November and I am thinking MOD pizza will be opening before that in October or so.

Now for the rumor mill section:   The space in 1A which is the retail space in the upper left hand corner of Riverdale Park Station…. I heard is going to be a “Farm to Table” restaurant.  Although they still have not announced who this is I can see that they are already building out the inside of this building.  I will try to find out which restaurant is coming here and let the blog know.

I have also heard from multiple sources that an Apple Store is coming to Riverdale Park Station.   Although I own a lot of Apple products I’m not super excited about this one as I would only go there once every 2 years. 

Even so getting an Apple Store would really add to the ‘cachet’ of Riverdale Park Station so I am pulling for it to happen.  There are only 6 Apple Stores in the entire greater Washington area and only one location in DC.  (Georgetown).   In Maryland there is a gap from Bethesda all the way up to Columbia Maryland…   It would make Riverdale Park Station much busier but also do a lot to put it on the map.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Riverdale Park Station has another resident...

Have not had much time for blogging this past week as our life has changed quite a bit:

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Our Selections: What we got right and what we missed.

Overall I am very happy with our selections and I think we got most everything we wanted. 

As a refresher this is what we went with in the design studio:

From the tab at the top of this site here:

$23,000 in total non-structural options
Major non-structural options we selected in order of cost: 
(Only items over $1000 listed) 
·                     -          Level 2 kitchen cabinets. (these are many times more expensive than anything else.)
·                     -          Level 2 Hardwood on entire flex space/entrance level.    
·                     -          Level 2 Hardwood in Kitchen/Living Room and stairs up to bedroom level.
·                     -          Level 1 carpet and Level 2 pads on upper two levels. 
·                     -          Granite upgrade for the loft wet bar.
·                     -          Backsplash for kitchen.
·                     -          Bathroom tile and bathroom cabinet upgrades.
·                     -          6 additional recessed lights.  (2 in flex space and 4 in living room)

·                     -          3 hanging lights above island, under kitchen counter lighting and wiring for 3 ceiling fans.

What we did right:

-       I think we did great with the flooring overall:

The lower level flex space (which I am using as my office) looks much better with hardwood.

      Also the hardwood itself at level 2 was of pretty good quality:

-        The Level 1 carpet with level 2 padding turned out great as well.  The extra padding makes it seem like a higher end carpet even at only level 1.

-       Granite countertops came standard (Level 0) but they had 4 levels of countertop upgrades and those got VERY expensive VERY quickly.   I think not upgrading the countertop here was a good choice as it was so expensive and the granite looks good.   I know some folks love marble but I like the way this came out.
      The lighting in the living room (+4 additional lights) and the 3 pendant lights above the kitchen island also seemed to be the right decision.    We got dimmers on all the lights in the middle floor after the purchase.  We considered less lights up here but the island is LARGE and needs 3 pendant lights and the great room also needs at least 4 lights.

We also really like how the bathroom tile selection turned out.

-       The wetbar upstairs comes with laminate and even though we are finding we are not using the loft very much we still thought it needed upgrade to granite and that turned out pretty nice.   We left the standard cabinets up there and went with the darker standard (Level 0) granite.  (there are only two level 0 options, the light and the dark)

-       We only got ceiling fan hookups installed in both bedrooms and the loft.   This saved us from having to install any overhead lights in all of these rooms.    This saved us a TON of money as the overhead lighting was expensive and we were able to get very nice fans after the closing for cheap.   There is even a guy working in the community who installs them.

I still think the cabinet upgrade was too much at $7000  (almost 1/3rd of our entire upgrade spending) but my wife LOVES them and they look good so I am putting this one in the positive category.

Things we would change:

-         Lighting in the lower level/laundry room

We added two additional lights in the lower level and the way they were configured was not optimal.

 There is already a light in front of the doorway to the garage, the stairs and the front doorway…   But then one of the additional lights we added is right next to those other three lights that come automatically, leaving only one light for the entire side of the room. 

This is the current cluster of lights down there:

Yet the entire other side of the room has one light...  This flex space in the Parker is bigger than you think so I should either added more lights or added the two lights on the far side room so they were not all clustered together.

The laundry room also desperately needs a light.   We installed one of those motion detecting lights in the closet after the close as without it you cannot see what you are washing.  Add a light here assuming they will allow it.


The backsplash was $1240 yet the entire backsplash is only 17 inches high and around 4.5 feet across.   There are only 39 total tiles.   That is $32 per tile.  I could have left this out and done it later myself for a small fraction of the cost.  At the design studio I thought this backsplash was going to be much bigger.

-       Ethernet ports:

You get 2 cable hookups and 2 Ethernet hookups without adding additional cost.

For the cable hookups we put one in the living room and one in the loft.  Those are fine as that is where the TV’s are…  We put one Ethernet cable in the office and one up in the loft.  The thinking was the office obviously needs one and maybe we will work up in the loft sometimes and would like a wired connection up there.   Since streaming is so big now I SHOULD  have put the second Ethernet next to the living room TV.   These townhouses are so big no matter where you have your wifi router you are going to have issues.   I bought a wifi extender but connecting to the extender and then trying to stream HD/4k content is not working out great.  These are cheap and just add one at each TV.
Overall those are the only things I can think of that I would have done differently.  

Since the hardwood is so important I think if I had to do it again I would have went up another level on the hardwood to level 3 to get an even thicker wood but the fact that we have it on the first and second level and both sets of stairs that would have been pretty costly.   I might have cut the granite upgrade in the loft and the backsplash in the kitchen and gone level 3 or even level 4 on the hardwood flooring.

That's everything I can think of right now, feel free to ask questions in the comments...

Friday, July 21, 2017

Construction Updates:

We finally have internet (and mail and trash service) here so the blog is finally back.

Since it's been a while here are some construction updates:

Building #3 is finished from the outside and it looks like they are still working on the interior of this building.  Still looks possible that most will close in August.

Building 4 went vertical in early July (I believe it was July 5th) and they already have the frame up...  But what's really strange here is they only are building 5 of the 9 units.   Four of the units are still just sitting at the foundation.

Here is another shot of the 4 units in building 4 that have not been started for some reason:

Next time I talk to someone from Stanley Martin I will ask about that.  This is the first building they have done this with so there must be some reason.

They are also already getting the front row of the next cluster of buildings foundations started.  (units 40-46)

This is right below building #4... for reference check this:

Aside from the townhouses the thing they have made the most progress in the 50 days we have been here is the bridge to M square.   This seems to have the most folks working on it and it is coming along fast.

Here are some shots of that:

I am hoping when this bridge is done it cuts down my walk to College Park Tennis Club. 

The retail construction seems to be moving on the slow side.   This is what the Gold's Gym looks like as of today and that appears to be the only building they are working on the exterior of right now.

Now that I finally have internet expect more updates soon!

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Lack of updates:

Still no internet or mail at Riverdale Park Station.

There are signs that both will be here soon so hopefully more updates coming this month.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Retail Opening Dates for Riverdale Park Station:

Here are the retailers opening dates I have been able to gather.

These are the estimates that the companies provided to me in their words. 
  1. Burtons  -  “Early November of 2017”
  2. Jersey Mikes – “4th quarter of 2017”*** (see comment below)
  3. District Taco – “Before the end of 2017”
  4. Habit Burger – “Mid-2018”
  5. Hyatt House Hotel – Early 2020   (listed on website) 
I asked the other retailers that are coming as well but did not get answers from Gold’s or MOD.

If I had to guess on those two based on the other information I have received I would say that MOD would be 4th quarter of 2017  (in the same building as District Taco) and mid-2018 for Gold’s Gym.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Observations 20 days in:

Found somewhere with internet outside Riverdale for this post.  :)  

Obviously it is a bit disappointing that some of the basic stuff you would expect like mail, internet and trash still are not there but these are some other things I have noticed.

First, although the hiker/biker trail is officially closed it seems everyone is using it.   There is a barrier there but directly to the side of it there is a PVC pipe a few inches off the ground which is the “barrier”… So many folks have went that way that there is a trail worn through the grass.  I think they are not officially opening the trail since the construction is going on in the area but maybe they don’t care if folks use it.

The walk to the metro is about 0.7 miles and since I walk fast I usually am making it to the metro in around 15 minutes.  It’s a great walk through a great neighborhood and there is tree cover/shade most of the way.

The metro ride to Capitol Hill does take a bit longer than I expected as the ride from College Park to L'enfant Plaza is around 30 minutes.  The train is usually a quarter full at the College Park stop though so I get a seat and even when it reaches L'enfant it is still not packed.   I was taking the Red Line in the past few years at the same time of day and a lot of days a train would show up so full that no one could even get on.  College Park IS losing the Yellow line next week due to metro cuts… so we will have to see what impact only having Green Line at College Park will have.

I’m very happy with the townhouse overall.  There are a few selections I wish I would have done differently but overall it’s great.  I will detail some things I think I did right and some things I missed with my selections in a later post so hopefully I can help folks down the road.  We are still working very hard to get settled in and get the right furniture in the right places.  Getting even furniture delivered when your address does not exist has been a challenge.

I will post more construction pictures later but most of the building three exterior is finished now.  It is looking like that one is on track for August closings.  Finally I am seeing they are putting in the foundations down at building four, if we follow the same timeline that would be late October/November for building four closings…  Late last week I saw they started prepping some of the land down for some of the later buildings, seems they may start getting ready for foundations down there at some point soon.  I did hear that they just stared selling past building four...

Speaking of selling, Unit 3 in building one (a Parker) is still for sale and one Dawson down in building three is also still for sale.

More updates to come....

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Mail for Riverdale Park Station

If you are currently living at Riverdale Park Station all of the mail is going to and staying at the sorting station that is right behind the Whole Foods.   I created a ticket with the post office about this back when I moved in but there still has not been any resolution.   Although that building is not open to the public if you go in there and ask real nice they will give you your mail.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Pricing Structure Change:

There was recently another $3000 price hike across the board but they FINALLY got smart about the Cassidy and made the price differential higher.  I am not sure what took them so long.

Read my post from 3/8/17 regarding this:

Only a $25,000 difference between the Parker and the Cassidy was the reason they had a waiting list for Cassidy’s that exceeded the number of Cassidy’s that will even be built way back in February 2017 before anything had even been built….   Now it is a $45,000 difference which makes a lot more sense.   For the 8 people who got locked in before this change this is great news.   If one of those 8 reads this blog I am very curious how early you had to get on that list to get a Cassidy since in February the waiting list was already so long.  I am thinking maybe back in Fall of 2016?  The first day they went on sale?

The pricing history on the smallest floor plan (Dawson) has been:

12/9/16:               $415,000
1/22/16:               $425,000
3/2/17:                 $430,000    
3/28/17:               $440,000
6/5/17:                 $443,000

 The pricing history on the middle floor plan (Parker) has been:

12/9/16:               $440,000
1/22/16:               $450,000
3/2/17:                 $455,000
3/28/17:               $470,000
6/5/17:                 $473,000

 The pricing history on the largest floor plan (Cassidy) has been:

12/9/16:               $465,000
1/22/16:               $475,000
3/2/17:                 $480,000
3/28/17:               $495,000
6/5/17:                 $518,000

Monday, June 12, 2017

No internet service, no mail service, no trash service.

Both Verizon and Comcast are saying no internet will be available at Riverdale Park Station for quite some time.  Comcast is saying at least 90 days and Verizon will not even give a date.  Stanley Martin is saying Comcast should have already been available as of last week and should be ready any day now but that is not what I am hearing from Comcast.  I am hoping Stanley Martin has better information than I do from a higher source.

The mail apparently does not get delivered here as well.   I got the issue raised to the postmaster and I should have something back from them this week according to the source at the post office I spoke with.

There is also no trash service…. At least there are dumpsters around from construction.

I am not sure how the two folks that closed a few months ago in building one have been making do but maybe next time I see one of them outside I can ask.

I figured being in building two would mean I would not have to deal with these types of issues but it appears the building #1 folks are extremely patient.  :)

Ahhh the joys of being early....