The owners of a piece of rundown Hyattsville real estate that they want to turn it into a small Subway sandwich restaurant are in a bit of a pickle.
According to Jim Chandler, economic development coordinator for the city of Hyattsville, the planned Subway franchise is at odds with two development standards in effect in downtown Hyattsville. One requirement mandates that developments have a two-way, 22 foot wide driveway to access rear parking areas. The other requirement mandates that new development frontage take up 80 percent of the front property line.
But the property owned by Jagjot Khandpur, the Potomac businessman who wants to redevelop what is a vacant building near the intersection of Jefferson Street and Baltimore Avenue, is too small to reasonably meet both requirements.
Khandpur has proposed building a 1,400 square foot Subway franchise at 5516 Baltimore Avenue. His plan includes the 22 foot wide driveway, so he's asking for the city council's support for his request to seek an exemption to the development standard for lot frontage.
Chandler said that Khandpur has investigated purchasing property adjascent to what he already owns to construct a less obstructive driveway, but the price has proven prohibitive.
Trash would also be dumped and collected in the rear of the proposed restaurant.
According the Chandler, Khandpur is eager to begin work on the property.
"They have identified a shortage in the market here," said Chandler. "They identified this specific spot in Hyattsville. They have done their market research."
City council members were generally receptive to the idea, with both Councilor Tim Hunt (Ward 3) and Councilor Paula Perry (Ward 4) saying they'd have no problem approving it.
But the city council did not take any action on the request for support, opting to gather feedback from the public on the proposal.
Khandpur's proposal still needs to be approved by the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission before work can begin.