Council gives its support to planned West Hyattsville development

The Riverfront at West Hyattsville Metro site plan. Courtesy of Gilbane Development Company

BY KRISSI HUMBARD — The City of Hyattsville has seen a lot of development in recent years. Most of that development has centered in areas near the Arts District or The Mall at Prince Georges, but West Hyattsville will soon get in on the action.   

At the Feb. 6 council meeting, councilmembers unanimously approved a letter of support for the planned Riverfront at West Hyattsville Metro development, provided a few conditions are met.

The list of 13 conditions, which came from input from a previous council meeting and public comments, was laid out by Assistant City Administrator Jim Chandler at the meeting.

“I think that the conditions and the statements and the concerns of the community have been actively reflected in what you see tonight,” Chandler said.

The conditions include making the promenade and amphitheater space comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act, complying with Pepco lighting standards so the community lighting is compatible with the public system, planting only native trees, establishing that low-lying vegetation in the bioretention swales are of low-maintenance materials, and including more public amenities such as a tot lot.

The Riverfront at West Hyattsville Metro, located at 5620 Ager Road, will be a mixed-use townhouse and apartment development on an 18.5-acre site adjacent to the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) West Hyattsville Metro station and Anacostia River Northwest Branch Trail. The new community is expected to have 183 townhomes, 300 apartment homes and 9,000 square feet of retail space. The project will also create 4.5 acres of public parkland, including an amphitheater and bike/pedestrian loop connecting to the Northwest Branch Trail system.

The West Hyattsville Property Company, LLC will develop the site in two phases, with construction on the townhomes starting this spring. The parcel of land was purchased for more than $7 million in September 2015 by West Hyattsville Property Company, LLC.

The proposed development will replace an existing 250,000-square-foot warehouse that has been vacant for more than a decade.

Gilbane Development Company, the project manager for the development, said townhome sales are anticipated by the end of 2017.

Councilmember Joseph Solomon (Ward 5) had expressed concern about the new development’s connectivity with the current community, including infrastructure connectivity to Nicholson Street, Kirkwood Place and the trails. During the meeting, he praised the 12th condition, which would require public roads adjacent to the development to connect with the planned new roads.

“I am very pleased the developer has taken these concerns into consideration and has reached out to both the county and Kirkwood to begin the process of integrating the community,”Solomon said.

He added that he is “excited about the overall increased level of interest in West Hyattsville development.”  

Despite the list of conditions, Chandler said he doesn’t anticipate any challenges to the request, which was a concern raised by Councilmember Thomas Wright (Ward 3).

“Nothing seems to be outrageous,” Chandler said.

The development plan will be heard by the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission at the March 2 Planning Board meeting.