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From the Editor: East Side Story

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Posted on: July 10, 2011

Susie CurrieBY SUSIE CURRIE —What’s in a name? When it comes to brand names, plenty.
Take EYA. When the townhouses on the west side of Route 1 were being developed, EYA established its brand here by lining several blocks along the east side with mural-sized ads.
So it’s understandable that many residents still use those initials as shorthand for all new development from DeMatha to Franklins. Indeed, Arts District Hyattsville is still identified as “an EYA neighborhood,” both in the city and on the company website.

Pulte sign July 2011
Pulte will finish what EYA started in Arts District Hyattsville. Photos courtesy Susie Currie.

But in fact, EYA built only the first phase, the townhouses and live-work spaces on the west side. The first occupants there moved in four years ago.
Now, across Route 1, the first wave of 170 townhouses are dotting the skyline. Those residents will share the community center (formerly the Lustine auto showroom) with the west-siders, but they won’t share a builder.
These are Pulte homes. The two companies have collaborated on several Washington-area development projects, so perhaps it shouldn’t have come as a surprise when Pulte signs went up on Route 1.
We hope that this outsourcing proves as successful as the one just south of there, the retail center, which is owned and developed not by EYA, but by StreetSense. After the bulldozed area at the intersection of Route 1 and Jefferson Street languished for months, StreetSense took it over last year and began building The Shoppes at Arts District Hyattsville.
After a flurry of spring activity, no new businesses have opened there since Chipotle on May 17. While locals are certainly enjoying the wedding-worthy manicures from Essential Day Spa and grass-fed Elevation Burgers, many may be wondering if the promise of Thai food and organic dog biscuits will ever be fulfilled.
If the developer’s predictions are correct, July 18 will usher in the retail trio Busboys & Poets, Tara Thai and Big Bad Woof. The dark cloud in this silver lining is sure to be parking, which some shoppers are already finding to be limited at peak times. Somewhere, fingers are being crossed that customers will take the city slogan, “A World Within Walking Distance,” to heart.
Whole Foods has dominated much of the local grocery buzz lately, now that its on-again, off-again relationship with Riverdale Park appears to be back on. The prospective site, currently zoned for single-family housing, lies on Route 1 just north of the U.S. Postal Service facility and across from University Park.
Will it or won’t it get to be Whole Foods’ first home in Prince George’s County? Stay tuned. But in the meantime, you can shop right here in Hyattsville at Yes! Organic Market. At this writing, it’s still on track to open in August – complete with, as of last month, approval to sell beer and wine (to enjoy elsewhere).
And if you run out of cash while shopping? Visit the Bank of America ATM, also scheduled to come in August.



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