On Aug. 1, The Bernstein Companies presented a creative plan to the Hyattsville City Council on how to handle an underused parking garage: Tear half of it down and build apartments instead.

When the Kaiser Permanente offices move to their new location near the West Hyattsville Metro station, parking garage use is expected to drop even farther in Garage A of University Town Center, which is right behind Hyattsville’s new library on Toledo Road. 

Bernstein proposes to remove over 700 parking spaces. Because of the way the garage is built, removing half of it will not affect its structural integrity or traffic flow, according to Bernstein.

The proposed apartment building will have 209 units, mostly studio apartments and one-bedroom units, with a smaller number of two-bedroom units. The project team has not yet made decisions about whether any units will be offered at a below-market rate.

The proposed building has a number of courtyards which will be used as patios for the ground floor apartments, as well as provide stormwater management via rain gardens. “The benefit of this site is that we are removing impervious areas,” noted Nick Speach, a consultant on the project team.

Bernstein anticipates filing a preliminary plan of subdivision with the county planning board soon, with public hearings to be held early in 2023.

Bernstein is a D.C.-based real estate development company, which generally owns and manages the properties it develops, according to its website.