A Subway franchisee has his eyes on a blighted piece of downtown Hyattsville, with a proposal to transform a vacant aluminum-sided building near the intersection of Jefferson Street and Baltimore Avenue into a fast food restaurant.
The building, located at 5516 Baltimore Avenue, most recently housed the ill-fated Alberta's Thrift Shop, whose sign can still be seen hanging above the fenced off structure.
The site sits next to the Happy Wash car wash at 5514 Baltimore Avenue.
If given approval by the Maryland National Capital Park and Planning Commission, the site would be razed and redeveloped as a one-story, 1,400 sq. foot fast food sandwich restaurant.
But the property owner, Potomac resident Jagjot Khandpur, is requesting a variance, asking the planning commission to approve the project with a driveway and rear parking lot which takes up 35 percent of the 6,300 sq. foot footprint of the property. The Prince George's County Gateway Arts District zoning calls for buildings to take up 80 percent of their lot frontage, a requirement which Khandpur's proposal does not meet.
According to city documents, Khandpur has two decades experience running Subway franchises, and he has already received corporate approval to expand to downtown Hyattsville.
Khandpur bought the property in 2011.
The proposed restaurant calls for a two lane, 22-foot wide driveway which connects to a small parking lot in the rear of the property.
"Due to the narrow frontage of the lot, the requirement to provide parking in the rear and the need to provide a two way driveway access to the parking, we cannot provide the required 80 percent frontage development as required," reads a letter from the applicant. "Meeting this requirement would render the property useless."
His proposal comes before the Hyattsville City Council tonight when he asks for their approval of his amendment to the Arts District's development standards.
The city council meets at 8 p.m. at the Hyattsville Municipal Building on Gallatin Street.