Saturday, September 16, 2017

Retail Update

Not much has changed since my post in July about the retail opening dates.   I reached out to all of the retailers again and they all told me the same thing.

District Taco and MOD both still saying they will open in "Fall" but it looks like both MOD and District Taco will be opening in October and Burton's opening in early November.  (as they told me and now they have a sign on their door that says the same)

They just opened the road to MOD/District Taco today for the first time and just added the MOD Pizza signage, but they still have a lot of work to do on the inside of these buildings before they will open, that is why I am thinking not till October.

Since I am seeing the progress every day I will keep the blog updated.

It is exciting that by November (less than 2 months) we will have Burton's. District Taco and MOD Pizza all open.  It will really make Riverdale Park Station come to life.

Estimated Opening Dates:

  1. District Taco - October 2017
  2. MOD Pizza - October 2017
  3. Burtons  -  Early November 2017
  4. Habit Burger – Mid-2018   
  5. Jersey Mikes – 4th quarter of 2018  (I think it may be even later, blog later this month about this)
  6. Hyatt House Hotel – Early 2020  

I have worked hard to try to find something out about the Gold's Gym but have not been able to get any info.  Since that is the only one I am missing I will keep trying when I have time.  I also have not heard anything about the other new retail commitments aside from the Fed Ex Office.  Will post any new info I can gather.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Tot lot is much bigger and better than expected + Construction.

They have finished installing most of the tot lot equipment now and it is much bigger and better than I expected.   It will be really nice to have this just a few steps away from my place.

Shot from the front:

Shot from the back:

Building four and five are still coming along at the same rate and it still looks like mid-October for building four and December for building five.   Something interesting is it appears they are getting ready to start both Building 6 and Building 7 at the same time which will complete the first section before Village Green.

(See map here)

You can see below how they are putting the foundations in for those two.

Also on my last post a reader pointed out that those updates that Cafritz was putting out in the past but were removed are still being created and posted out on:

I have added this link to the important links page here:

Even though those updates are out of date they do have good nuggets of info at times so I am glad the reader shared.

Monday, September 4, 2017

Sales and Price update:

Another 20k hike for the Cassidy starting price.  A $25,000 gap between the Parker and Cassidy
was way too low and now a $65,000 gap between the Parker and Cassidy may be nearing a bit too high.  I would not be surprised to see another hike for the Parker soon.

Half price on options on future units has been removed which will make a noticable difference for what these are actually selling for.  (Average options > $25,000)

There was one Parker in building #1 for sale for quite some time and 3 units (2 Dawsons and 1 Parker) for sale in building #3.

In just the past 2 weeks they sold three of those units and now only 1 Dawson remains in building #3 for sale.    (with pre-selected options for $470,515)

Good news for the community as once that one unit in building #3 sells there will be nothing for sale except for future buildings.

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
8/25/17:               $537,490

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Massive Whole Foods Price Cuts and Purple Line

Two pieces of good news for Riverdale Park Station:

1.  The Amazon acquisition of Whole Foods has led to massive price cuts there:

2.  The Purple Line was finally approved:

Although if you look at the map of where the Purple Line stops are I do not see it helping Riverdale Park Station very much.

The "Riverdale Park" stop is all the way down at Kenilworth and East West Highway which would be the same walk as the College Park metro is right now if not further.

The stop they plan to put at M Square will probably be the closest to Riverdale Park Station once the bridge to M square is done.   They are saying 2022 at the earliest for the Purple Line which means it won't be done till 2024 at the earliest...    Still it's good that they have begun.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Construction Update + Tot Lot:

I am still updating the timeline on the second tab of this blog and located here:

I am just noting when buildings go vertical, finish(when folks move in) and when businesses open.

Early last week (on 8/15) they went vertical on building 5.

This is what building 5 looks like as of today about 2 weeks in:

Building 4 is still coming along well and looks like it will be ready in October.... as you can see below they are already adding brick on some units.

Here are both building 4 and building 5 in the same shot... this is standing in front of what will eventually be the parking deck:

They just started on a tot lot/playground just past where building 4 is being built.... although only a few items have been installed you can see they have a bunch more playground equipment sitting in the road.   It is going to be nice to have this so close to where I live.  I will get another shot of this when it is done, I think it is going to be better than I expected.

The Golds Gym building is finally done from the outside and looks great:

Here is a shot of the same building from down the hill standing in front of building 5.

Looking like building 4 will open in October and building 5 in December and a few more of the businesses will start opening in the fall.   They still have those same 3 completed units for sale.  (2 Dawson's and 1 Parker).  More updates soon.

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 Update:

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.