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Council Receptive to Downtown Subway

No action taken at meeting on proposal, but signs appear positive for developer.

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, 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.

FiFi Griffin September 11, 2012 at 02:02 PM
Why do we need a another chain restaurant in this area anyway...especially a Subway? I would much prefer a smaller mom/pop deli...it would fit in nicely with the NEW developing downtown. As a new homeowner in this community, I would think we would want to make this part of Hyattsville more eclectic....and Subway does not scream artistic/eclectic at ALL. When I am eating at Bus Boys, I get the impression that many of the diners would appreciate a lovely mom/pop deli and not a Subway. Leave that for another part of Hyattsville....
s September 11, 2012 at 02:56 PM
Good point...
Farmer Joe September 11, 2012 at 04:32 PM
Yes! I could care less what a Subway looks like; it's a Subway (an eyesore no matter what). We should be trying to lure "Taylor's Gourmet" who already has a few locations in the area and offers great deli fare. Obviously if someone wants to put a Subway up that's their business, but if they get no business because Taylor's is taking it, we won't be looking at it for long.
HyattsvilleCouldBeBetter September 11, 2012 at 05:38 PM
But Subway is a great place for aspiring sandwich artists to start their career! Anyway, subway is one of those places that I'd rather have and not need than need and not have.
Donald James September 11, 2012 at 07:13 PM
A one story, single use building is not the right fit for this location. They should be encouraging mixed use buildings that fit in with the new surroundings. It doesn't have to be a tall building, maybe 2 or 3 stories. Hell...subway could even be the business that utilizes the ground floor retail. But not the only use for the site in this prime location.

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