Town Center Readies for Tenants

This step is the first in preparing the property for tenants, according to a town official.

After sitting vacant for more than a decade, the Riverdale Park Town Center is finally in the first stages of a build-out that may eventually lead to tenants occupying the space in 2013. 

The Town Center has long struggled to attract tenants. Last spring, the Town Center Market opened its doors in the first step towards revitalization the downtown area has seen in years.

Nearly a year after the new market celebrated its grand opening, there has been some notable activity in the Town Center. New leasing signs have gone up, and utility companies have been a near constant presence on Queensbury Road. 

These signs of progress are not false, according to Councilman Jonathan Ebbeler (Ward 1), who said Douglas Development has assigned a project manager to the Town Center. 

“We’ve seen full commitment from the Douglas Development team that progress is being made,” Ebbeler said. 

These commitments include a full utility build-out and an open house for potential tenants as early as this spring.

“They have been working with Pepco and they have asked for town & county assistance in dealing with [Washington Gas],” he said. 

The utility build-out, said Ebbeler, is the most cost-prohibitive piece. Washington Gas has agreed to bring in a high-pressure gas line, opening up the possibility for a coffee house or even a restaurant in the Town Center. 

Prince George’s County Council Member Eric Olson and his office have been working closely with the town and the developers to move the process along, Ebbeler said. 

Douglas is also revisiting plans for the former bookstore located on the corner of Queensbury Road and Rhode Island Avenue. Plans for this project could include a second story addition, slated for commercial retail, Ebbeler said. 

Ebbeler sees a vibrant Town Center as an essential component of a thriving Riverdale Park. 

“It’s a small project, but it's an important part of where the town would like to go in the next decade or two,” Ebbeler said. 

Some parties have already expressed an interest in leasing space in the Town Center, said Ebbeler, including a coffee shop and a yoga studio.

Peggy Anne March 06, 2013 at 02:54 PM
I hope it stays classy, and keeps out the riff raff. I'm old enough to remember the locksmiths shop, shoe shop, and the mom and pop place. I remember the big old house at the end of the block that was torn down.
Myrissa March 06, 2013 at 06:00 PM
But wait until you see what he's asking for rent. Here's the problem with that property. No one can afford to pay that price per square ft. and make a profit. I've already checked it out. If a small business would have support from the community it might work...BUT the prices that the small business will have to charge will keep the community away. I think its called GREED...the small business will be working for the developer!
Kirsten Jensen March 06, 2013 at 07:53 PM
What is he asking for rent? And do you know how big/small of spaces they are willing to rent? I am interested but don't want to waste my time if the numbers don't work. Just out of curiousity Myrissa, what kind of store were you thinking of putting in?
James March 07, 2013 at 03:31 PM
The Town Center would be a great location to add office space for the Town of Riverdale Park. The Town has voted to spend between 3-5 million dollars to put a second story on the existing Town Hall building. The Town Center location has plenty of parking and would be accessible for the elderly/disabled residents to conduct Town business. The current Town hall has a serious parking problem with poor access. It's a shame the Town of Riverdale Park does not want to support it's local business owners by renting space at the Town Center. It would be a Win-Win for the Town and the business owner.


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