Revitalization of Memorial Park and 3300 RIA

Hi Friends,

On Tuesday night, we took another step forward towards revitalizing our downtown core. 

The students from the University of Maryland presented the final redesign of Memorial Park and its adjoining streetscape surrounding the entire block of 3300 Rhode Island Avenue. The design is striking, and demonstrates why this project is more than just a park upgrade. This is a complete revitalization of the entire block of 3300 Rhode Island Avenue - a block that sits right in the center of our downtown core, connecting the business districts along Route 1 and 34th Street.

The design is placemaking at its finest. Coupled with upgrades to traffic calming devices along Route 1, it will increase the chance that folks slow down and notice Mount Rainier while traveling between Hyattsville and D.C. This increases the chance that people decide to stop in Mount Rainier to shop or eat.

But our work here is not done. With a design in hand, our next step is to seek funding for the engineering and build-out of the design from the state's Department of Housing and Community Development in May. Towards that end, we have scheduled a private showing of the design to DHCD's Secretary Holt in mid-April, and have garnered support for this project from both the the County's Redevelopment Authority and the State Highway Administration.

And while this project is vital to improving the economy in our downtown core, this is no panacea. In conjunction with the sale of 3200 Rhode Island Avenue to a developer who can produce a mixed use complex with apartments, we consider this revitalization phase one in redeveloping our downtown. For us, personally, phase two should include the revitalization of the streetscape up 34th Street that was envisioned in the 2010 Mixed-Use Town Center Design. With some of the design already in place, we have a head's start on moving this forward next year.

Tying this all together is an overarching vision to create a vibrant downtown core that encourages dense living, walking, biking, and congregation, all of which increase the economic viability of owning a business in Mount Rainier. And with proposed funding in the budget for strategic vision-making next year, we hope you'll join us in turning a more comprehensive vision into reality.