BY REBECCA BENNETT — A parcel of land near the West Hyattsville Metro Station was purchased for more than $7 million in September, property records show. Representatives from the buyer, a development company called West Hyattsville Property Company, LLC, presented a general plan for the land to the community on Oct. 28.
The project would include 460 to 500 units, of which approximately 250 would be apartments in four- or five-story buildings. The rest would be 16-, 20- or 24-foot townhomes, according to Mike Sponseller of Hogan Companies, a representative and advisor to the West Hyattsville Property Co. There would be a number of green spaces, he said.
“It’s taken us 30 years for us to do anything but have a bite,” Prince George’s County Councilmember Deni Taveras (District 2) said. “I wanted to see a new vision for the West Hyattsville Metro stop.”
The parcel at 5620 Ager Road is approximately 18.5 acres. It sits between the Kirkwood Apartments and the metro station. The property is bordered on the south in part by a small parcel of land owned by WMATA. It is bordered on the west by the Anacostia River and a strip of land owned by the Prince George’s County Department of Parks and Recreation, according to Sponseller.
The site is currently home to a large, old warehouse that Taveras said had most likely been vacant for more than a decade.
Property records show Gunston Hall Realty was the last purchaser of the parcel in 1997. There was an attempt to develop the property in mid-2000’s, Sponseller said, but that plan went under between 2008 and 2009 with the economic recession. The property was in bankruptcy for several years, another representative said.
“Everything we are looking at doing is very largely consistent with the plans laid out back in 2005 to 2008,” Sponseller said. “And then almost an exact replica of what showed up in the [West Hyattsville Transit District Overlay Zone (TDOZ)] that was done by the county planning process.”
Sponseller said the zoning is M-X-T, which is generally meant to be a mix of residential and commercial. He said that because the property is in the West Hyattsville TDOZ, they are not required to have a commercial use on the property. He said it would likely be a mixed residential project, because it is boxed in by the river and the train tracks. There is already a commercial corridor nearby, he said.
“I understand that most retail will be on Hamilton street, however, it would be nice to have a coffee shop and baked goods right at metro; and residents would certainly support these shops,” Councilmember Joseph Solomon (Ward 5) said.
“The pedestrian friendliness, connectivity, and other transit orientations for the development will ultimately need to be strengthened before it’s ready for prime time,” said Stuart Eisenberg, executive director of the Hyattsville Community Development Corporation. “This is an exciting first step to an evolutionary change in land use around the station.”
The development team said they hope to have a submission into the county by the end of the year, and it could have expedited approval by the third quarter of 2016.