There have been two owners of the major buildings at the Town Center since 1986: Stamatios Rodousakis ("Rodousakis") and William A. McConkey ("McConkey") d/b/a Oldline Management. In the fourteen years of their ownership, the government of the Town of Riverdale Park ("Town") has made consistent offers to both owners to assist with state financing programs and planning and marketing efforts to no avail.
Following is a chronology of events for the property legally described as Block 34, Lots 21 and 22, Riverdale Park subdivision, a/k/a 6202 Rhode Island Avenue.
- Rodousakis purchases property from John Heinicke.
- Maryland-National Capital Park & Planning Commission ("M-NCPPC") assigns a staff member to study all buildings and coordinate efforts of town and owners towards improvements. No cooperation from owners.
- Rodousakis authorizes his brother to meet with town and an architect to discuss ways to improve his property.
- Rodousakis' brother dies---no further activity on plan for improvements.
- Dumm's Corner, under new ownership, begins major improvements and expands business to include a sandwich shop.
- Town meets with Gordon and Taylor Wells regarding their interest in a property in the Town Center. Wells Family purchases property and opens Wells Antiques.
- Town asks owner of Dumm's Corner to attend a meeting at Town Hall with Rodousakis to encourage development. Meeting is held--owner of Dumm's tells Rodousakis a baker would like to buy the property.
- Rodousakis sells the property to Oldline Management (McConkey) . Town is informed by representatives of Oldline that major renovations will be initiated immediately.
- Leland Hospital closes. Town begins series of meetings with state regarding future use of property.
- Town coordinates with M-NCPPC to hold a series of revitalization meetings for public/private improvements at Town Center I (MARC station) and Town Center II (6200 block of Baltimore Avenue). McConkey is a participant. M-NCPPC staff offers to lay ground work for McConkey to apply to state financing programs to begin project. McConkey takes no action
- Town requests improvements at MARC Station from MD Dept. of Transportation. Project approved--construction begins.
- Town applies for state grant for expanded improvements around MARC station. Funding approved--plans developed using revitalization design--construction begins.
- Additional funding under state grants approved for improvements to Queensbury Road.
- Town initiates project to install carillon clock as part of 75th Anniversary celebration.
- Town arranges a meeting for McConkey at Town Hall with representatives of State Department of Economic Development, and Housing and Community Development. McConkey is provided with forms and information on applying for state funding.
- Bookstore owner announces plans to close. Audrey Bragg and Simon Plog purchase inventory and lease space to operate bookstore and expand it to a coffee depot.
- Public projects at Town Center completed. Private funding of $30,000 covers cost of purchase and installation of town clock.
- Town learns of state program for funds to improve Lafayette Avenue. Application filed--funds approved.
- McConkey has not applied for any state programs.
- Town passes Resolution under new state enabling authority to condemn McConkey property based on owner's allowing continuing deterioration with impact on surrounding properties.
- McConkey begins facade improvement project on corner unit of property. This project suspends town's basis for condemnation proceeding, which is no activity by owner and impact on adjacent properties.
- Lesa McLaughlin meets with town to request support under a state loan program to purchase a portion of McConkey property as a dance studio with apartment above. Town adopts resolution required by state--loan is approved subject to appraisal. Appraisal shows purchase price is excessive. McLaughlin informs McConkey and asks for negotiation on price. McConkey refuses.
- Town begins construction project for improvements to Lafayette Avenue.
- Town sets meetings with owners of 6200 block of Baltimore Avenue to discuss public/private partnership to improve sidewalks.
- Town supports purchase of Leland Hospital site by Crescent Cities Foundation to operate as a nursing/rehab center.
- RiteAid advises town of interest in new store at corner of Baltimore Boulevard and Queensbury Road. Requests town support for zoning change.
- Rodousakis moves for foreclosure on property he sold to McConkey and schedules public auction for February 23, 1998.
- On date of auction announcement is made that McConkey has filed for bankruptcy and auction is suspended.
- Town attends hearings at U. S. Bankruptcy Court regarding future of McConkey/Rodousakis property.
- Bankruptcy judge dismisses Chapter 11 case based on lack of information from McConkey and converts matter to Chapter 7.
- Town works with State Department of Agriculture and resident task force to open a Farmers' Market at Town Center. Average attendance at first year market is 200--250 customers.
- Town is advised by McDonald's Corporation that new facility is proposed for corner of East-West Highway and Baltimore Boulevard. Town's support for project is requested.
- RiteAid Drug store opens.
- Town attends hearing on Chapter 7 case. Bankruptcy is dismissed in late 1998 as a "no assets" matter.
- Town contacted by owner of
District of Columbia catering service regarding purchase and renovation of a
deteriorated property on Queensbury Road near Baltimore Boulevard. Town's
- Town enacts urban renewal legislation to proceed in a condemnation suit on McConkey property based on no activity by owner since 1996.
- On the advice of town attorney, town retains bankruptcy lawyer to clear town center property from all taint of bankruptcy for purposes of condemnation suit.
- Property is lifted from bankruptcy matter in March 1999. Town contacts appraiser to come to property--as required in condemnation proceedings sends McConkey notice of date and time---he does not appear.
- Town makes appointment with appraiser for second time to arrange appraisal. McConkey is sent letters and police officer is successful in making personal service. McConkey calls Mayor evening before appointment and states he will be there.
- McConkey does not appear. Appraiser states he would do "curbside" appraisal which may be sufficient for condemnation under situation where access to interior is not possible.
- Crescent Cities Center opens at Leland Hospital site.
- Town learns foreclosure auction is scheduled for mid-June. Does not proceed with appraisal, but authorizes that town will offer a bid for the property. Two days before the auction town learns that legal advertising does not cover all of McConkey property and withdraws from participation in auction.
- An investor/developer is successful bidder at auction. Meets with town to discuss plans for property and is informed that property description is incomplete. Three weeks later he notifies the town his title company will not insure property because legal description was defective. Attorney for Rodousakis is advised by the court he must re-advertise and conduct another auction.
- Second season of Farmers' Market opens. Average attendance is 300-350 customers.
- Gepetto Catering opens on Queensbury Road.
- Town does not proceed with "curbside" appraisal as another auction is imminent. Auction is scheduled for October 12. Town authorizes bid for property. McConkey and a resident, Mrs. Viscarra, outbid the town's offer. Mrs. Viscarra is successful with bid of $242,500. Sale must be ratified by the Circuit Court before settlement on property.
- No activity on ratification or settlement on property. Mrs. Viscarra advises town should be patient.
- Town engages services of appraiser to perform "curbside" appraisal to permit filing of condemnation action.
- Town arranges for a third season of the Farmers' Market at Town Center.
During the years 1992 to 1998, the town improved the public spaces in Town Center I and II with funding of $1 million. Under various state grants, streets and sidewalks have been improved and street furniture, a train station and shelter, ornamental light fixtures, signage and landscaping have been installed. In 1999, the town funded installation of a Veterans Monument in the Town Center area. A $4,000 grant from the state was received as part of this project.
Private investment improvements by the owners of Dumm's Corner, Wells Antiques and the Riversdale Society (Calvert Memorial Park) has added another $300,000 to the total investment in the area.
Further, Crescent Cities Center, a multi-million dollar project, RiteAid, a $1.5 million project, and McDonald's, a $1 million project, have brought 200 new jobs and an expanded customer base to the vicinity of the Town Center.