Friday, May 18, 2018

Big weekend for area surrounding Riverdale Park Station

Not too much news in Riverdale Park Station itself but lots of news this weekend in walking distance.

In Riverdale Park Station News:

  • The bridge to the Discovery District that was supposed to open by Mother's Day (May 13th) has been delayed to Fathers Day (June 17th).  Given that we were first told this would open in late 2017 I am just glad the delays are getting shorter now.   Seems it may actually open in the June/July timeframe.
  • They are bringing back the Friday 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM live music series at Bear Square starting on June 1st!   I went to a lot of these last year and they had some good local bands and it was not very crowded.  Glad they are bringing this back.

In close walking distance news:

  • The new large playground at University Park Elementary school across the street from Riverdale Park Station opens tomorrow morning (5/19/18) at 10:00 AM.  We walked over here last weekend and it is a pretty impressive playground and only a 5 minute walk from our house.

  • Captial Bikeshare is finally opening and Riverdale Park Station gets a stop right in front of Whole Foods.

You can see from that map all of the "Future Stations" listed and how much more useful it will be once those are opened.   I have learned the reason they are not opening at College Park Metro now is College Park has a contract with Zagster that runs until Spring of 2019.  At least we can use it to ride down to Hyattsville.   Apparently 3 years ago when College Park signed the deal with Zagster it was looking like Captial Bikeshare would not succeed   You can read about that here:

I'm betting College Park realizes they have made a mistake and Zagster goes away in favor of Capital Bikeshare.   As I posted earlier I am a big fan of Captial Bikeshare...

  • Red Door Spa Opens this weekend at the Hotel at University of Maryland.
Less than a mile north the four star Hotel at the University of Maryland is getting a 5 star spa.  The Elizabeth Arden Red Door Spa opens it's doors tomorrow.

  • Cava Grill opening in this Summer at College Park Shopping Center
I am a huge fan of Cava and have been going to the Union Station location since it opened.  The Diamondback first broke the story here:

I've been using College Park Shopping Center quite a bit since living here as it is only a 0.7 mile walk.  This is a great addition.

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Construction Update

Building #8 finally has went vertical as of 4/25/18

Given the normal time for them to finish these units we are probably looking at September for closings in this building.

Building #7 just started adding exterior brickwork...

This building should have closings in the early August timeframe.

Although the units from buildings 7 and 8 are selling well there are still 6 units remaining for sale in building 5 and 6  (4 Dawson's and 2 Parker's).   Seems folks really like to choose their upgrades and are willing to wait in order to do so.

One piece of disappointing news is the soundwall is completed.   It will only be for building 9 and 10 and the rest of the community will not benefit from it.  At least at some point they are planning apartment buildings down there that should muffle the sound a bit.

They opened a surface parking lot near where the Hyatt hotel eventually will be, although it has been open a week and I have yet to see a single person parking there, at least this gives more parking options.

Cafritz is saying the bridge to the Discovery District should finally open around May 13th.. so only 15 more days to go.   Getting this bridge open would really help me personally and I also think it would be a great help to the community, so lets hope they are correct about the date.

As mentioned earlier they decided to raise the parking deck from 4 stories to 6 stories... as of yesterday they finished placing all of the large precast pieces and the parking deck is now 6 stories.  It is still a long way from being completed and the apartment building and retail that will connect and wrap around this building has not begun as of yet.

In more important news, two more retail locations have moved from "for rent" to "under negotiation" just recently. 

Those spaces are location 2B.2 (1,471 square feet) and location 4E.1 (2,100 square feet)

See the updated map below:

And even better.. a link to the PDF where you can zoom in here:

I was told one of those two locations would be announced to the public within the next month.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Azalea Classic and Weekly Riverdale Park Farmers Market

Two items that readers have contacted me about posting to this blog:

1.  Azalea Classic:

This weekend there is a run through University Park.
It is called the Azalea Classic and they have a 1k, 1 mile and 5k run.
This run is raising money for University Park Elementary School.

Sign up to run on Saturday, April 21st here:

It's going to be perfect running weather on Saturday morning, sunny and in the mid-50's and its for a good cause.

2.   Riverdale Park Weekly Farmers Market:

Every Thursday from 3:00 PM - 7:00 PM there is a Farmers Market next to the Riverdale MARC station.   (6204 Rhode Island Avenue)

Every week they have different vendors and music acts.

Here is an example of what they have to offer from today's Riverdale Park Farmers Market:

Get your great Ever Crisp, Crimson Crisp, Fuji, Gala, Golden Delicious, Cameo, Ginger Gold,  Granny Smith, Nittany, York apples & Asian Pear; free range hen eggs; radishes, spinach, onions, yellow onions; potatoes, arugula & salad mix; sweet potatoes, swiss chard, microgreens and other crops while they last.  Apples, fresh and hard cider, apple sauce, pastured meats, raw milk cheeses, fresh goat cheese, exotic mushrooms, free range hen & duck eggs, and more while we enjoy the changing seasons. Don't miss it!  Evening hours are fun at the market! We look forward to seeing you every Thursday from 3 to 7 PM @ Riverdale Park’s Town Center (across from the Riverdale MARC train station).

Today's lineup includes the following vendors:
·  McCleaf’s Orchard
·  Barajas Produce
·  King Mushrooms
·  Cat’s Paw Farm
·  Simple Pleasures Ice Cafe
·  Old Smokey’s BBQ
·  Tenth Ward Distillery - out of Frederick
·  Dimitri’s Olive Oil
·  Stone Hearth Bakery
·  Nan & Neek’s Seasonings
·  I Confect - New Seafood Gumbo & Crab Mac & Cheese
·  Flour Uprising - Delicious Asian style pastries!
·  Roy & RT’s Kitchen
·  El Piquin  (Mexican food)

Music Acts: (UpHill River).
Kid Fun: Sidewalk chalk.

Barajas Produce starts next week..

Groff’s Content Farm offers great quality sustainably raised beef, pork, chicken and lamb and is featuring their amazing Chicken Pot Pie on their ready to warm up menu.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Denizens Brewing Company to Riverdale Park Station

In the first new retail announcement since I started this blog in February of 2017...

Denizens Brewing Company is coming to Riverdale Park Station!

It will be a production facility with adjoining 150 seat tap room.

See the article here:

Denizens has said this will open late this year!

Update:  I have confirmation that they will be located in space 4C... see the map here:

PS:  Why do folks keep calling Riverdale Hyattsville?

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Inside Gold's Gym at Riverdale

Gold's Gym Riverdale is open!

Sidewalk is open and Playground is also open. 
(see post from Sunday, 3/18/18 here:

Riverdale Park Station is finally starting to come together!

Here are some pictures from inside the gym.  Thanks to my neighbor Josh who sent me some of these pictures.

View from up the stairs:

Gym Floor Pictures:

Cardio Area:

Cycle Room:

Fitness floor:

Kids Club:

Locker Room:


And as a reminder the layout of the gym:

My overall impression is the gym is MUCH bigger than I was expecting just from looking at the building.   It is very spacious inside.   There are some areas that seem like wasted space to me... but overall I am pretty happy with the gym.  Especially since I can see my house from half of the cardio machines.  :)

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Construction Update (Sidewalk and Playground Open Edition)

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.