College Park approves $1.7M coronavirus relief fund

College Park City Council unanimously approved a $1.65 million coronavirus relief package designed to aid businesses and provide direct aid to city residents affected by the pandemic’s disruptions. 

The vote took place at College Park’s May 26, 2020, City Council meeting, held virtually. The measure is expected to be funded through federal disaster aid reimbursements. 

The biggest line item in the relief package is a $1 million small business assistance grant program. Only College Park city businesses with 25 or fewer full-time may apply. The program provides up to $15,000 per business for to offset losses from business interruptions or decreased customer demand caused by the emergency measures imposed to try to stem the spread of the disease. The grants are further restricted to commercial entities with no more than 10 outlets.

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Another one: 9-story, 282-unit student-housing project planned for College Park

Another developer has eyes on College Park’s southern Baltimore Avenue corridor, this time with plans to build a large mixed-use student housing complex on Guilford Drive. The developer behind the project, dubbed The Standard at College Park, is Landmark Properties, an Athens-based developer of student housing. Last month, Landmark Properties filed paperwork for approval of its preliminary plans. In those documents, the developers outline plans to build a nine-story, 282-unit student-housing complex with capacity for 951 beds set atop 6,671 square feet of ground-floor retail “likely to include a restaurant use.” The building is planned to have a 180-space parking garage. The site in question is a 1.85-acre parcel of land sandwiched between Hartwick Road and Guilford Road, just west of the massive planned College Park Southern Gateway development, which will have hundreds of market-rate multifamily units. 

The application was accepted March 11, 2020.

Wawa planned for College Park Ikea

Developers hope to build a Wawa gas station and convenience store on what is now a parking lot near College Park’s Ikea store on Baltimore Avenue, according to documents recently filed with county planning officials. Last week, Washington D.C., based developer Roadside Development filed a detailed site plan application for review and approval by the Prince George’s County Planning Board. The plan calls for the construction of a 4,740 square-foot gas station retail facility on 1.4 acres near Baltimore Avenue. 

A map shows the relative location of the planned Wawa near Ikea Circle. According to the documents, the facility is planned for the southeast corner of the circle at the intersection of Ikea Way and Ikea Boulevard, to be more precise. 

The Wawa, if approved, would have some familiar company nearby. Almost exactly one kilometer to the north is the Wawa at 10515 Baltimore Avenue in Beltsville. 

Wawa’s application is tentatively set to be considered by the Planning Board at its April 30, 2020, meeting. 

New details unveiled for Knox Road mixed-use project

The developers behind a plan to build a large mixed-use student housing complex on Knox Road in College Park have filed detailed site plans for approval by County officials. The filing provides many new details about the project, including the first renderings we’ve seen of the proposed building, and a host of information about building layout and design. The project comes from McClean, Virginia-based developers Greystar Real Estate Partners, which also manages apartment buildings under subsidiary Greystar Property Management Services. The project will have 14,800 square feet of retail commercial space, 334 student housing units, and 251 parking spaces, most of which are located in an underground garage. To make way for the project, developers plan to raze the existing one-story retail strip that already exists on the block.

College Park City Hall demolished

College Park’s City Hall is no more, as construction workers demolished the building Feb. 26, 2020, to make way for a new facility that will see City Hall share space with University of Maryland offices. The new city hall will feature a large wood-paneled Council Chamber, as well as improved interior spaces and expanded offices for city staff. The entire building is expected to cost around $47 million to build, however the cost is being split with the University of Maryland. College Park’s share is about $20.6 million.