Thursday, October 29, 2015

Development in Greenbelt Station

It's been a long time since I updated. We have been busy keeping up with the news about the development in our community.  For anyone that is building early on in a development (we built early in phase 1 of our community), it is definitely worth it to start researching and think about attending local city, township, or county meetings where they're discussing the development of your community. You can usually find the meeting information on the city, township, or county website.

Since the full development for Greenbelt Station (south core) hasn't been finalized my husband and I have attended a few of the Greenbelt City meetings on the development of the community.  It has been really cool to be able to give our opinions on the design of different parts of the community.  The City of Greenbelt definitely seems to listen to our opinions since we are actually living in the community.

I will also say that being early in the development is also frustrating since it seems to take forever for any of these development plans to be approved and completed. Long term, I think it will all be worth the wait though. Here's a status update on some of the major development projects in Greenbelt Station:

Traffic Light at the Intersection of Greenbelt Station Parkway and Greenbelt Road

This project was approved pretty much right after we moved in so we didn't go to any meetings on this.  We are extremely excited about it though!  I never thought I would say I was excited about a traffic light, but for those of you who live in or have visited Greenbelt Station, you probably understand my excitement.  There was a median on Greenbelt Road that forced us to make u-turns pretty much every time we left our house.  Needless to say it got old fast.  However the developers have finished their work on the traffic light and the state highway group has broken through the median.  The last we heard is that the road should be patched where the median was soon so we can make a left turn out of our community!  The traffic light will also be in but in test mode by the end of November (meaning it will just be blinking).

Greenbelt Station Park 

My husband and I attended some meetings on the Greenbelt Station Park and the design was finalized and approved by City Council.  Here are the plans.  The construction of the hardscape (sidewalks, etc) should be starting any time now and finished by Spring 2016. The developer will then plant trees and grass.  The grass area will be roped off most likely until Spring 2017. So we won't have a fully functional park for almost 2 years.

WMATA (metro) Trail

The WMATA trail is probably the most contentious topic in the community right now.  I think all of us (or almost all of us) bought in Greenbelt Station for the access to metro.  However, we signed our contract over a year ago and the walking trail to get to metro has not even been started yet. It really sounds like some of this hold up was due to the City of Greenbelt taking a year to finally agree to be the jurisdictional sponsor of the work on the trail. The developers and the City of Greenbelt are still finalizing plans for the trail to WMATA.  A proposed design already went to a city council work session and the developer is working to address some questions.  It sounds like the developers and the city planning team are hoping the final trail will be in front of city council for approval by the end of the year.  Once city council approves the plan then this will go to WMATA for review and approval.  It sounds like it will probably still be about 18 months until we have a functional walking trail to Greenbelt Metro Station. This is definitely the most frustrating part of our home purchase.  Although I will say since we purchased and aren't renting we are looking long term and eventually we will have the walking path and our purchase will be perfect. Also when/if we ever choose to sell, the walking path will help with our resale value. :)

Phase 3 of Greenbelt Station (South Core)

We went to a meeting last night where the Greenbelt Advisory Planning Board reviewed plans for Phase 3 of Greenbelt Station.  The plans aren't yet posted online, but what was presented last night was a mix of townhome models and a small section for retail or a city park.  The proposed design included 161 townhomes all with rear-loading garages like the Strauss model already in the community.  The proposed models will be NVHomes's Andrew Carnegie, Ryan Homes's Strauss, Clarendon, and Hepburn. As for the small section of retail or park, Woodlawn Develpment Group (another branch of NVR) is required to market the lot for retail for a year.  However they said they would not build a space for lease and that it would be the responsibility of whoever purchased the lot to build on it.  When I asked how exactly they will market this lot, Woodlawn just said they would post it on a commercial real estate listing service that is the commercial equivalent of the MLS. They are working with a real estate agent to get the lot listed in the next 30 days.  Overall it sounds like there won't be a lot of active marketing, and no one seemed optimistic that the lot will become retail.  It seems like the lot will likely be a small city park.  I personally would love to have retail so I'm hoping someone likes the lot.  Anyway the city council work session on this plan is set for 11/16.

There's lots of exciting development happening around Greenbelt Station, and we really are loving our house.