Sunday, March 18, 2018

Construction Update

Lots of positive developments at Riverdale Park Station:

First off as I posted on Monday (3/12) and the week earlier the trail was reopened on Wednesday.

They installed some new solar powered lighting:

And installed some bollards:

They also closed off Van Buren Street, in my opinion this makes sense.  (see below)

And re-closed the area between building 3 and building 4 so that folks need to use the path they intended. 

They finally put fencing around the construction at the parking deck...   They are bringing back a bigger crane in order to make the parking deck go from the originally planned 4 stories to 6 stories. 

Even more parking for the community will be a good thing...

Other items of importance are the Route 1 sidewalk is opened and the playground is no longer locked.

Here are some pictures of the completed sidewalk:

(I love how they used the old pillars from my previous post

And the now opened playground... both doors were open and the closed sign was removed.

So a lot of items we have been awaiting for quite some time here in Riverdale are finally completed.

They just went vertical on Building 7 as well:
(see this post for building numbers:

They also just started on the Building 8 foundation work.

Looks like Building 7 will probably be completed around July with building 8 being done soon after.

Next post will be from inside Golds Gym at Riverdale which opens in in 3 days on Wednesday 3/21/18!

Monday, March 12, 2018

Hiker/Biker Trail to re-open on Wednesday

As I posted in my last update regarding the hiker/biker trail the fence is slated to be removed this week.

Since no real permits are needed and most of the work is already done the developer just confirmed the fence should come down around Wednesday.

I realize the fence is not actually down yet, but it's good that it appears this whole issue will only last a few days.

Special thanks to the Mayor of Riverdale, Alan Thompson for following up and keeping us updated.

Also the sidewalk on Route 1 has had an army of folks working on it the last few days.   Looks like they are now pushing hard to meet the date of March 23rd 2018.   (maybe because of this incident?)

Here is the entire update from the developer... I don't think this is online until now.

Hiker Biker Trail Update
The interim opening of the trail prior to completion of construction proximate to the areas it transverses is an enhancement well received by area residents and other users of the trail. Much of the trail remains on private property. Subsequent to the completion of the trail, it will become a Public Right of Way and be subject to the oversight, safety, security and maintenance the Town of Riverdale Park and the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission. To that end, the trail remained the responsibility of the Developer. As many are aware, the Developer of Riverdale Park Station was made aware of a concern about the safety of the temporary Hiker-Biker trail along the old DC/Baltimore trolley line.
In response to the concerns raised and other incidents that had occurred, the Developer determined that better safety and security could be accomplished by modifying the north-south route across the private property to points south of much of the current construction while a better interim alternative was studied. As a result of input from the Developer, Town of Riverdale Park, City of College Park, Residents of Riverdale Park Station and Calvert Hills, modifications are being added that will allow the prior interim route to be reestablished. Bollards that will prohibit vehicular traffic on the trail have been installed along the northern section of trail at the City of College Park Boundary. Light fixtures have been installed in the alley—the east/west section of the interim alignment that runs parallel to Woodberry Street. The last item to be added is some additional directional signage for the interim alignment which should be completed by March 14th at which time the fence that is currently at the southern boundary of the WMATA property will be removed.
We do emphasize that it remains the priority of all to allow the interim trail as much north-south alignment throughout Riverdale Park Station during the construction of development along the permanent alignment of Rhode Island Avenue consistent with the provision of safety. The traffic along the trail has and will continue to include users of all ages and safe use remains our collective priority and we believe this to be the same for trail users—hence the initial concern raised about safety. Construction notices will continue to highlight areas to where residents and users should maintain caution and follow any signage that has been installed. We appreciate the patience of all as we have endeavored to work through the safety issue brought to our attention and the constructive recommendations on how to address the issue.

It remains our priority to complete the permanent trail and with a takeover by Riverdale Park and the Commission by the end of 2018. During the interim, we will continue to work diligently to limit trail usage interruptions while concurrently always emphasizing options that provide safety and security to the users.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Construction Update

Non Fence-gate news!   Biggest problem with the fence now is when you have to wait for other people going around the fence so you can also go around the fence.  The fence needs a traffic light.   :)

First off the sound wall construction is making good progress.

Wall is pretty impressive and I hope they extend it all the way to the end of the property.  I will be curious to see how well it stops the train noise at night.

The parking deck has been coming along very quickly.

The crane was just moved away today...most of the structure is up.  See the next two pictures below of the parking deck.

They also have been working on the foundation for building 7.

For a reminder on which building is which, click here:

Given that they are almost done with the foundation for building #7 now we are probably looking at that building being done in July 2018.

Stanley Martin has always followed pretty much the same schedule for all buildings.

They have not started on the foundations for building 8, 9 or 10 as of yet.

As far as the playground and the bridge...  You can look back at any of the old pictures and it's the same thing so no need to post more pictures of these... Both are 100% completed, no one is working on them and they are NOT open.  Maybe the government is holding them up in some way.

I have to believe they both will open soon and I will post when the finally do.  If I had to guess I would say both will open by the end of March but lets see.

Sidewalk on route 1 is still coming along and according to the developer it will open on March 23rd 2018.  So in reality probably early April for the sidewalk.

More updates as things happen.  Less than two weeks before the Gold's Gym opens!

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Hiker/Biker Trail Update #2

Angry folks from the community, Riverdale town officials, College Park town officials, Prince Georges County town officials and Stanley Martin are all pressuring Cafritz to remove or at least move the fence to back where it was before.

We have confirmation from multiple individual city officials to the homeowners that this will happen in the coming days or next week. 

Someone already took an axe and cleared a large path next to the fence that hundreds of people are using so the fence has already been rendered completely and totally worthless.  I really hope this fence was not HOA money. 

For the few minutes I watched the path tonight on my way home it seemed like more folks were using it than before the fence was put up. 

So the only problem now is to the folks who live directly behind the fence and do not want to see it in their backyard (which is a valid concern)... And the bikers who do not want to "off-road it" on the path that was created around the fence.

I will post another construction update (unrelated to the Hiker/Biker debacle)  in the next few days.

UPDATE:   Mayor finally made his response public on Facebook one hour after I posted this blog:

Mayor Alan Thompson

I wanted to provide a very quick update on the status of the trolley trail north of Riverdale Park Station (which was closed by the developer a few days ago). This update is based on my impressions from a e-mail and phone calls I participated in today, and is not a commitment from the developer, the Town of Riverdale Park, the City of College Park, or anyone else - it's just what I personally see ahead based on what I heard and read.
There are three issues that, when resolved, will allow the temporary trail (the pathway that has been open for a few months) to reopen.
The first is vehicle (car and or truck) traffic on the trail between Riverdale Park Station and the Calvert Hills neighborhood of College Park. At least a few instances of cars/trucks driving here have been reported. Because almost all of that section of the trail is in College Park, and there are fewer restrictions of what can be changed on that section of the trail, the City will be installing bollards there to block vehicular traffic while allowing pedestrians and bikes. The contractor hired to install the bollards has been given the go-ahead to start and will probably be done sometime on Friday.
The second is to address security/safety concerns raised by a resident about traffic in the alley behind the townhouses at night. This will require installing temporary lighting along that section of the temporary trail (the resident has stated that it would address his concerns). I haven't heard any schedule for that, but could believe that it could be completed by sometime on Friday as well.
The third issue is restoring the trail to its previous state by reinstalling the barrier that was blocking the (future permanent) trail south of the alley. I believe that can probably happen tomorrow (Thursday), but that barrier needs to remain in place for the developer to be comfortable leaving the trail open. Please leave it alone, and please tell anyone who is NOT leaving it alone to leave it alone.
Seems this will all be a moot point in the coming days... but I am surprised there has not been any news from the normal outlets on this as I know multiple people have reached out to them with this story...  (Diamondback, Hyattsville Wire, etc)

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Hiker/Biker Trail Update

They have walled off the trail...  Unilateral decision by Cafritz.  None of the surrounding towns (Riverdale, University Park, College Park) knew about this and even Stanley Martin was completely in the dark.

Apparently they were angry about the barrier that was between the townhomes being removed multiple times by folks who were annoyed by it.  They stated some other reasons like that a car had used the path... but that would be resolved with a 20 dollar metal pole in the middle of the path so I am not seeing that as a legitimate concern.

The also stated safety as an issue on the current trail because it uses the alley behind Woodberry... but their proposed work around is routing folks to walk on a dark road that has active traffic on it (Albion Road) instead of down an ally with hardly any traffic whatsoever.  Odds of getting run over on Albion Road are a multitude of times higher than the Woodberry alley where I have been hard pressed to go faster than 5 MPH.

They put out a document saying you should use the sidewalk all the way out on Route 1 instead..   But the sidewalk is not supposed to open until "on or about March 23rd"...  From what we have seen based on other timelines provided "on or about March 23rd" probably means late April.  Remember the playground was slated to open in the Fall of 2017 and the bridge would be open by the end of 2017.   Both are still sitting 100% completed and have not been touched in at least 3 months but both are still not open, show no signs of opening and it's now March of 2018.

I predict this fence will last as long as all of the other barriers they have constructed.   I give it one week tops before there is a giant hole in it, it is removed altogether or a path of equal size is created directly beside where the fence ends.   I just hope my HOA dues are not paying for all of these barriers and I would love to talk to their lawyer about routing pedestrians down an active road with traffic for "their safety",

What I cannot understand is why they cannot just build a fence around the new construction that is going on.... which is currently only building 7 and the parking deck....

This is what is done in every other construction project in the entire world.

Monday, March 5, 2018

Hiker/Biker Trail BLOCKED!

Even though the temporary trail was approved, communicated and confirmed they are now building a giant fence to block off the hiker biker trail.

No notice was given to anyone.

Folks who live on Woodberry will not even be able to get back to their homes from the Metro.  The sidewalk on Route 1 is not completed.

No one will be able to get to the stores or the rest of the hiker biker trail.

The temporary trail was agreed on by all players involved including all of the surrounding towns and is being used by hundreds of people per day.   This is not going to work.

Monday night edit:

Due to some quick and bold action from a homeowner the construction was halted for the day.  The fence posts are still up and I believe the fence was only delayed at this point.   All surrounding towns, LF Jennings, Cafriz, Stanley Martin and the HOA have been contacted.   Even the Diamondback, Hyattsville Wire and others were contacted.   You probably will be seeing more information about this on other sites like these in the coming days.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Price and Sales Update

Stanley Martin has sold off a lot of units since my last update which is impressive considering the winter is usually pretty slow for real estate.

They have 4 units left in building 5 and 6  (two Dawson's, one Parker along with the first extended Cassidy)

They finally broke ground for the foundation for building 7 on 2/14/18 and they have already sold 5 units in that building, including the extended Cassidy.   (unit 65 in this picture below, which had not been updated)

To my surprise, all 55 of the 119 townhomes that still remain are all currently for sale.  Even though building 7 has not even went vertical and probably will not be finished till Summer they are already selling building 8, 9 and 10...

No change in the prices for a long time now (posted below)...  They are back to offering the $18,000 options incentive they were offering last year at this time but they are offering that on almost all of their communities right now.   I believe they may do this every year to encourage sales during the winter months.  Curious to see if they can sell the last few units from building 5 and 6 before spring is here.  I think if they are able to do that we may see prices go up again.

On a more macro econ level... if interest rates continue to rise like this I believe it could hurt real estate prices across the board...  Let's hope Riverdale is somewhat insulated from this...

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
11/5/17:               $440,000

 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
10/1/17:               $483,000
11/5/17:               $470,000

 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
8/25/17:               $537,490

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Thoughts one year in...

I started this blog exactly one year ago...

I have to say we are pretty pleased with our purchase. 

The positives are having the all this stuff in close walking distance...  I really love where this property is located.  Today I pushed a cart from our house to the Whole Foods and we got tacos at District Taco on the way back...  It's and easy walk to University Park, Hyatsville or even the University of Maryland...  The shuttle has been super convenient during this cold weather when I prefer not to walk to the metro...   I also love the large middle floor where we spend most of our time.

The negatives are that the retail build out and leasing is not going nearly as quickly as I hoped.   The same spots that were available when I started the blog in February 2017 are STILL not leased.  Also I find I rarely ever am using the loft or rooftop deck as I am just not getting all the way up there very much.   Going from only living in single family homes to a four story townhome has been an adjustment when it comes to the stairs.  You learn to plan to bring stuff up and down the stairs as needed in batches.  I have been adapting but that aspect has been a pain at times.  Also I wish we would have opted for the bathroom on the ground floor. (office)

Overall I am pretty happy and still curious to see what the next year of development for this community brings.   Seems we are going to get the bridge opening, the playground opening and Gold's Gym opening all in the next 45 days.  I will post another Sales and Price Update and Construction Update this month along with anything else that may come along...

Monday, January 29, 2018

Gold's Gym Layout:

The layout of the Golds Gym is not online for some reason... 

Here it is.. excuse the terrible quality:

Sunday, January 21, 2018

FedEx Office is now open, Burton's opens tomorrow.

FedEx Office is now open.

Amazing how fast they got that ready once it was turned over to them. 

They were only working on it for less than a month.

Burton's opens to the public tomorrow.  This is probably the best picture I have seen of it.

Here is a link to the menu:

I also snapped a picture of the outdoor seating area...  Looks like they still plan to add more seats out there.  There is also a very small, couple table area in the back not pictured.