Cheverly Draws D.C. Commuters with Small-Town Feel

  • Cheverly STEM students playing lacrosse
Photos by Carly Brockinton — Prince George’s County Planning Department

Cheverly — Friends told Erin Murray to check out real estate in Cheverly when she and her husband were looking for a close-knit neighborhood to call home eight years ago.

But the transportation options and affordability are what really drew the couple to the area just a 15-minute Metro ride from her husband’s job on The Hill in Washington, D.C. The Cheverly Metro Station, Metrobus, and TheBus all serve as transportation options, but the multi-modal system does not stop there.

“On days like today (temperatures were in the 80s), my husband likes to bike into work on the Anacostia River Trail,” Murray said. The trail was recently connected to Washington, D.C.’s Anacostia Riverwalk Trail as part of the Anacostia Tributary Trail System.

Cheverly embraces its small-town feel—the 1.35-square-mile area is mostly residential. This zoning mimics most of the surrounding area. The 2017 Preliminary Greater Cheverly Sector Plan states that 32 percent of the greater area (2,507 acres) is residential, and 87 percent of those homes are single-family residences.

“A lot of younger families have been moving in, fixing up homes, and staying,” Murray said.

As of 2016, 6,469 people live in Cheverly, according to the census. And the homes are affordable; the median home price is $297,000. Statistics show that the vast majority of homes are owner-occupied and what Murray said is true—people are staying (89.7 percent of residents are living in the same house they were in the previous year).

The historic neighborhood was subdivided and developed in the 1920s with Craftsman, Spanish Revival, Colonial Revival, Dutch Colonial Revival, and Tudor Revival style homes, according to the sector plan. The plan suggests the area should be nominated for the National Register of Historic Places to preserve the homes and character of the area.

But not everyone is drawn to Cheverly for its accessibility and history.

Aliyah, a student at Cheverly STEM Education Center, said it “is a pretty neighborhood and most of the people are nice. I can walk 15 minutes to school and we can go to the community center for gym to use the baseball fields and tennis courts.”

Cheverly STEM, nestled in the center of this small community, is a center for homeschooled students to gather for classes a few days a week. The classes for 6–12 graders concentrate on science, technology, and math.

“For me, the school feels like a public school for homeschoolers to interact with other people,” student Andrew Hand said as he took a break from his lunch in the park in front of Cheverly United Methodist Church, where the school meets.

The group of about 10 students, who were batting around a lacrosse ball in the field, raved about Cheverly’s infamous “Cheese Park.”

Cheese Park? Yes. A small park in the middle of the historic neighborhood is affectionally known by the area residents as Cheese Park because of the oldest piece of playground equipment still standing. The climbing structure resembles a slice of yellowing swiss cheese jutting out of the grass. It’s just a small piece of what makes Cheverly unique.

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