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Mayor's Report for September 2002

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§ Riverdale Elementary School Report for September 2002

Town Center Vision Moves Forward

By Mayor Michael Herman

On August 20, 2002, the Town of Riverdale Park executed the land transfer of the eight vacant buildings at the town center to Douglas Development Corporation (DDC). The developer paid $300,000 for the parcels, or approximately the cost to the town for acquiring the buildings a year ago. Douglas Jemal will be submitting building permits to the county immediately to allow for the refurbishment of these properties that have been largely vacant for 15 years. The expected development time is 180 days from the issuance of the permits. The mixed development will include a combination of retail and office space of over 10,000 square feet.

This historic moment begins the long and arduous task of the town to redevelop blighted commercial properties within our community. This partnership with Douglas Jemal came about after nearly a year of study, a design competition, and the negotiated arrangements for an accelerated redevelopment schedule. Dozens of people ranging from community volunteers, town staff, elected officials (current and former), and representatives from DDC made this project possible. I want to thank all those who participated in making our first economic development project take flight.

Other development and redevelopment projects, including the Eckerd store and a new office building on Route 1, Beale Circle Park improvements, as well as facade and streetscape improvements along Route 1, are in progress. Our Economic Development Committee, working in conjunction with our Deputy Administrator Krista Baker-Hernandez, are completing a town-wide commercial property survey to identify areas where economic stimulation is needed to allow appropriate commercial use in our business corridors.

I am proud that the mayor, town council, business leaders and residents in the community are working together to foster revitalization of our commercial corridors which will bring suitable commerce and economic expansion to our town. The new emphasis on redevelopment has positioned Riverdale Park ahead of neighboring communities and has resulted in numerous calls from residents outside the area asking how they can do the same. The town center redevelopment project is the first of many that will give our community sustained and sustainable economic development.

School's Open Drive Carefully

Students and teachers at Riverdale Elementary School have returned after the long and hot summer recess. We have more children walking to school than ever before now that it is a neighborhood school only.

Please take your time driving on our residential and cross streets and keep a keen eye for children. Please obey posted speed limits and stop signs. Let's have another tragedy free year in our community. Thanks.

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