Route 1 College Park Drama (Demo)

University of Maryland Physics Professor Jim Gates is the bomb. Professor awarded National Medal of Science for his lifetime contribution to science and research

Cafritz property redevelopment deal, aka Whole Foods deal, goes WAY sour.  I mean way sour.
After more than 12 years of planning, University of Maryland officials scrap the plan for new integrated town center and fired Cordish Companies
I tell you WHAT, this little corridor is really a hot topic today.

Professor Jim Gates
Professor Jim Gates

From the Washington Post, “For his lifetime contribution to science and research, Sylvester James Gates Jr. is among 12 men and women who will receive the National Medal of Science from President Obama during a ceremony Friday in the East Wing of the White House.  ‘The joy of discovery, it’s almost indescribable,’ Gates, 62, said with a grin recently.  ‘To solve a problem and be the first human being to solve that problem, that’s a feeling that’s unlike almost anything I can describe. And that happens. And so that’s a very special treasure in life for people like me.’”  I love this story.
Cafritz Whole Foods RenderingLawyers for the Cafritz family presented some draft papers from at a town council meeting that turned out to be shady, “Cafritz developers, Calvert Tract, LLC, submitted three letters of approval to town council members which, to the untrained eye, were attributed to the president of the adjoining American Center for Physics (ACP), the mayor of Riverdale Park, and a county economic development official.  In fact, each of the three letters had been composed by lawyers for the Cafritz property. They had been intended, according to an interview published in The Diamondback with Cafritz attorney Chip Reed, to serve as draft stand-in documents pending the actual approval of their respective attributed authors,” according to the Hyattsville Patch.  Now the Riverdale Park Mayor John Tabori is demanding an apology from Crafritz camp and saying he’ll “probably never comfortable” with dealing with Cafritz developers again.  Add to that the Prince George’s County Planning Board is advising members not to approve the current preliminary plan of subdivision for the Cafritz project, arguing that the proposal fails to meet several conditions required for passage, this from the Hyattsville Patch.  
From Rethink College Park, “There were many issues with the Cafritz plan, environmental, transportation, just everything, “The Preliminary Plan of Subdivision (PPS) was originally scheduled for review by the County Planning Board on Jan. 17th. However, the Riverdale Park Town Council found issues with the proposed path of the hiker-biker trail and the crossing over CSX rail lines. County Planning Board staff also found the proposal failed to meet several conditions required for passage and recommended disapproval of the PPS.  Shortly afterwards, the Cafritz development team decided to temporarily withdraw its proposal.”  But NOW CAFRITZ DEVELOPERS HAVE ANNOUNCED THEIR INTENT TO REFILE THEIR PRELIMINARY PLAN.  Wooosh.  This is a LOT.  Read up at Hyattsville Patch.  Maybe there’s a Whole Foods coming, maybe not.
UniversityofMarylandTurtlePowerUniversity of Maryland officials are scrapping more than a dozen years of planning on the long-awaited East Campus project for a new plan they said will better integrate the campus and the surrounding community.  It took 12 years for you to figure that out?  Geez.  The Diamondback reported, “For about a decade, officials had their sights set on a planned town center that would bring graduate student housing, a movie theater, a hotel, retail and upscale restaurants to the development. But after hearing from the ‘broader community,’ a ‘parcel-by-parcel’ plan that brought these amenities along Route 1 seemed more compatible with the city, said Rob Specter, administrative affairs vice president and the point man on the project, at a forum held yesterday to discuss the project.
 The thinking behind this new long-term project, Specter said, is that it will make College Park a more desirable location for alumni, faculty, staff and prospective students, while allowing officials to complete the project in smaller steps. Officials do not have a concrete timeline because the project will be done in parts, but plans for a hotel will come in the next month or two, he said.  ‘We’re all a little more optimistic,’ Specter said.
East Campus’ completion was initially slated for 2010, but a budget crisis in the same year halted plans. Although the university began moving forward with development plans with Cordish Companies, it has now instead hired U3 Ventures, a multidisciplinary firm with expertise in college town development.”

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