On Thursday, the Prince George's County Planning Board approved a conceptual site plan submitted as part of an application to rezone the Kiplinger property west of Prince George's Plaza Metro Station on East-West Highway in Hyattsville.
The rezoning would allow the Kiplinger property, once home to a large printing facility, to be redeveloped as a mixed-use transit oriented development. Current zoning would only allow the 11 acres at 3401 East-West Highway to be rebuilt as a commercial shopping center.
The conceptual site plan submitted by property owners Kiplinger Washington Editors, a trade publication company based out of Washington, DC, envisions an 870 unit apartment development with a parking garage and 34,200 square feet of commercial or retail space at the west corner of the property.
The conceptual site plan was approved with a number of conditions, some of which originated with members of the Hyattsville City Council. City leaders had taken nearly a month to decide how to respond to the proposed rezoning request, which required the filing of the conceptual site plan.
Now, whichever company decides to redevelop the Kiplinger property will have more flexibility to place retail and commercial space. The goal is to get more residential, pedestrian and commercial activity along East-West Highway. City officials had raised concerns that the initial conceptual site plans provided by Kiplinger had the retail pegged on the west end of the property, facing the Home Depot, creating a blank stretch of streetscape.
Among the conditions approved with the conceptual site plan include the elimination of direct access to the property from East-West Highway. Currently, the Kiplinger property already has an entryway on the busy thoroughfare, but county transportation planners asked that it be taken out to enhance pedestrian friendliness along East-West Highway.
But stronger conditions which the Hyattsville City Council wanted to impose upon the conceptual site plan, like determining how required recreational amenities would be handled, will have to wait until the discussion about a detailed site plan comes down the road.
When that might be isn't clear. Kiplinger's legal team has insisted that the property owners intend to obtain the rezoning so that they can market the property to a suitable development firm.