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Category: 9909 Baltimore avenue

Development Updates on Route 1 in North College Park

Gateway Park construction to start soon

I often get questions about the status of developments on and along Route 1, especially on the part that crosses north College Park. Here are a few things I think we can talk about.

1. Gateway Park: At the south side of Edgewood Road intersection, just south of Beltway, the construction of the Gateway Park will begin fairly soon, possibly in this year. The final design has been approved and we gave the contract to a landscaping firm to construct the park.

2. 9909 Baltimore Ave. (The Spooky House). On the north side of the Gateway Park, we’ve started working with the community to replace the current so called spooky house by something nice that our residents can enjoy. There are suggestions about turning this into a park using some unused grant money. A committee has been formed involving residents living int he area and looking into various options.

3. Down south on Route 1, we started working with the SHA to have signalized crosswalks at Cherryhill. The construction has been completed and the

4. Also, SHA has been working on a plan to build continuous sidewalk on east side of Route 1 from Cherry Hill to Cherokee. Representatives from the SHA came to the Council meeting back in June this year to talk about the plan. Please read more about that here. Several month ago, I took a walk along Route 1 in north College Park with our City engineer and Council member Wojahn to check the pedestrian safety issues there.

5. Removing Eyesores: Further in the South, we gave contracts to take down 2 eyesores, one at Cherokee street and another at Fox St. Please read more about these projects here.

6. Two new developments are coming to the area around Cherokee Street, formerly known as JPI East and JPI West development. Each will bring some 8000 sq ft of retails.

7. A little further down, the City worked with the state to get 20 million for the engineering work of re-development of Route 1 in the south of Rt 193. This is a good news because sooner this part is developed, sooner we can start working on part in north College Park.

Turning that “Spooky House” into a Park – What Do You All Think?

Spooky house - 9909 Baltimore Avenue

Spooky house at the corner – 9909 Baltimore Avenue

9909 – Baltimore Avenue. This is the property at the north east corner of the Edgewood Road and Route 1. Many of you call this property “the spooky house at the corner”

For a good reason…

The property has been on the market for a while and has been a big eyesore. It’s sitting at the entrance of our neighborhood and the City itself and it gives such a bad impression for everyone who visits the city and in particular our neighborhood.

The owner of the property has tried to market this to a few businesses in the past so that it can get investments and redevelop completely. Unfortunately, so far he has failed to attract any business to this property.

The other option was to renovate the existing building and lease it to other businesses. According to the owner, this is also not a possibility as it is extremely cost prohibitive. The house is completely run-down and it will cost him a fortune to do a complete make-over.

The most feasible option is selling to hartford cash buyers company. They are well-known to buy houses fast.

In addition to this, there has been also some opposition from the nearby residents who don’t want to see large development coming to this place.

Amid all these uncertainties, here comes a proposal. The City has some unused Program Open Space (POS) fund that we think can be used to purchase the property and turn it into some sort of public facility, such as a park. This POS fund is a State managed fund and is sitting in a reserve account which can only be used if we can show the State a viable public project (such as a park).

Due to the sequestration and government cut back, there is a possibility that the State may change their policy to give POS funds to municipalities, in which case, we may lose this fund altogether.

Just to be clear, this is only a proposal at this stage. If we see a strong support for the project from our residents, we will take the proposal to the City Council and move further.

The NCPCA (North College Park Civic Association) will be holding a special meeting next Thursday (July 11) at 7:30pm about this property. Please come to that meeting and let me know what you think.

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