Thursday, April 23, 2015

Why Choose Greenbelt Station?

So, why did we choose to buy a home in Greenbelt?

I've mentioned before how the two most important factors for us were price and Metro accessibility, which narrowed our search considerably. But I thought it might be helpful to talk a little bit about how we chose the Greenbelt Station neighborhood in particular.

1. Distance
The community sits less than ten miles as the crow flies from where we work in downtown Washington, and less than a mile to the door of the Greenbelt metro station. (We actually measured this in Google Maps ourselves, and it's exactly .78 miles. Trust, but verify, right?)

2. Neighborhood
With our budget, we couldn't afford to buy a home we liked that was both in a well-established neighborhood and close to DC. While I'll admit the area immediately surrounding the subdivision is a little industrial looking, Greenbelt already has a nice community – you can see lots of different organizations here – and stores that we frequent (Target, IKEA, groceries, local restaurants, etc).

The other thing that really caught our attention is that the surrounding area is seeing a lot of positive development and growth. Some examples...

  • Greenbelt is one of the top contenders under consideration for the relocation of the FBI headquarters. There's a good Washington Post editorial about that here, and Greater Greater Washington blog posted the renderings of what it would look like if the FBI moved in.
  • Whole Foods is moving in just down the road in Riverdale Park, and will include space for "upscale restaurants, cafes and coffeehouses, boutique shops, a fitness club and a hotel." (Source here.) Construction is already underway on this project, and an Apple Store and Founding Farmers are among the rumored future tenants.
  • Several projects in neighboring College Park: new Urban Outfitters, new Marriot TownePlace Suites, new Courtyard Marriott, new University of Maryland Hotel, Knox Village, Target Express, etc. This map really gives a sense of just how many large scale development projects are in the works.
  • The mixed-use Hyattsville Arts District project.
  • Support for the Purple Line light rail project is uncertain, but Obama has said he's be willing to put in $100 million in federal aid. (Source here.) Dan Reed at Greater Greater Washington reports that Hogan is setting aside $313 million for the Purple Line and $106 million for the Red Line — enough to keep the projects progressing. Edit 7/25/15: Purple line is officially a go. It isn't projected to be completed till 2020, but it's still great news.
Especially as these projects come to completion – many of which are scheduled to finish by the end of 2015 – not only will these revitalize Route 1, these will translate to an increase in property value. Win for the community, win for our pocketbook.

3. Nature
The model of townhouse we're building doesn't include a yard, as you can sort of tell from the site plan, but the community has a lot of opportunity for greenspace. The neighborhood is building a two acre park, and there are all sorts of parks and trails nearby. We are not nearly this ambitious or fit enough to do this, but you can even bike all the way from Greenbelt to downtown in fourteen minutes!

1 comment:

  1. Nice overview, definitely plenty to feel excited about in that area. It will be interesting to see how it all comes together over the next few years. We live a few blocks from "the wharf" development here in SW DC and we can definitely speak to the effects these type of projects have on property value.