Cheverly, the missed opportunities!!
While driving along Route 202 in Cheverly, I think, wow! A lot of a missed opportunities! While Rushern Baker III, previously served in office as County Executive, he didn't utilize his platform to rejuvenate, redevelop, reimagine the Town of Cheverly and beyond. And yes! This is where he’s resided for more than two decades!
I remember the Giant in Cheverly, served as staple to the community. While attending Gladys Noon Spellman Elementary School in Cheverly, my first-grade teacher Ms. Caselberry, took my class on a field trip across the street to Giant, to tour the grocery store. Channel 4 News followed us as we learned about produce and even got to step into the freezer! Giant served as an anchor for the shopping center, but neither Giant or the center itself received major upgrades or renovations. When Mr. Baker III, became County Executive, I just knew he would make this a priority to better serve his immediate community. This never transpired. Eventually Giant closed, because of the need to have a larger footprint. Aldi has taken over the space and has been a great benefit to the community, affording access to fresh produce and food.
I envision that entire site being redeveloped as a mixed-use development. Ground floor retail including Aldi and CVS Pharmacy, and four to six levels of apartments/condos hovering over Landover and Old Landover Roads. The adjacent parcels, which included businesses, Afrik International Food Market and De Ultimate Tires would be annexed into Cheverly city limits and be part of the reimagining. This would maximize the potential of a “Cheverly Town Center” and better utilize the land in terms of ridding surface parking lots and providing a parking garage for renters and shoppers. This would not only compliment neighboring Walgreens, but also spur redevelopment of the adjacent shopping plaza by Cheverly Station apartments. This would create more foot traffic, attract more educated people, and higher incomes; nonetheless, create a destination for the Town of Cheverly, Prince George’s County, and beyond.
The goal is to activate Landover Road east to reimagine Kentland, Landover Metro, and Landover. The zoning needs to change specifically at Landover Metro from industrial (I-1) to mixed-use town center (M-U-T-C) or M-X-T (mixed-use transportation) to encourage mixed-use development. I must keep emphasizing, the county needs to rid surface parking lots and provide parking structures. On any given weekday, Landover Metro parking lot is at least fifty-percent unoccupied. A portion is used as a driving course for Access Metro.
A potential “Cheverly Town Center” could also activate Landover Road west to better use the Public Playhouse and afford redevelopment to the surrounding areas.
Cheverly Metro is another missed opportunity by our former County Executive. As you approach the Metro station, the station lacks street visibility as it is hidden behind overgrown trees and weeds. The station had a better street presence, when I was a young child. This area along Columbia Park Road has been neglected over the years. There is a vacant parcel of land abutting the Metro parking lot screaming for mixed-use development. I envision a grocer-anchored project, such as MOM’s or Lidl, with other tenants such as CAVA or Tropical Smoothie Café and luxury apartments above.
Just on the other side of Route 50, the 7-11 convenient store has served the community for many of decades. Unfortunately, the repair shops, body shops, and junkyards have been an eyesore. This area is ripe for redevelopment. The future needs to not only complement the existing housing, but also allow better connectivity to Cheverly Metro Station.
Our former County Executive helped execute the agenda for our future Regional Medical Center in Downtown Largo, but what about the redevelopment of Prince George’s Hospital Center in Cheverly, once the new facility opens? How are we going to reactivate this unique site? We don’t want an abandoned hospital, like the Glenn Dale Sanitorium! Our current County Executive, Angela Alsobrooks, has put together a taskforce, but I have heard little of what’s next once Prince George’s Hospital Center closes.
There’s a lot of potential in Cheverly, as it serves as a gateway into Prince George’s County. Let’s seize the opportunity by maximizing the land use, minimizing missed opportunities, and utilizing our current infrastructure and resources to builder a greater Cheverly!!