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.

PSA: Purple Line work intensifies in College Park

Purple Line construction is ramping up in College Park, with a slate of road and lane closures, as well as bus realignment, scheduled to accommodate work in the weeks and months ahead. 

Starting on March 2, workers will reduce Campus Drive between Paint Branch Trail and River Road to one lane, with flagging to control two-way traffic, on weekdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. On March 9, workers will then close Presidential Drive between Campus Drive and Championship Lane on the University of Maryland campus for utility relocations expected to last about 9 weeks. The same day, crews will close two lanes on Adelphi Road, leaving two lanes open, for about three months. 

Interactive map: Purple Line road closures, bus changes in College Park

According to College Park city officials, Campus Drive between Baltimore Avenue and River Road will be completely shut down from late May to August 2020 as workers essentially re-dig the roadway rail underpass to allow for the Purple Line trainsets to travel underneath. The closure will sever the east-west motor-vehicle connection from downtown College Park to the College Park Metro Station’s bus bays. As a result, bus service coming to the station by way of Route 1 will instead use the relatively-disused bus bays on the west side of the station from Calvert Road. Because of that, College Park City Council is considering a measure to remove speed bumps from Calvert Road. 

The nearly 16-mile, 21-station Purple Line is expected to open first in Prince George’s County between Langley Park and New Carrollton in 2022.

Flier hints at College Park Southern Gateway’s future

Thanks to reader Stuart Adams for flagging this one: The developers behind the ambitious Southern Gateway Project in College Park are circulating leasing materials that provide new details about the planned development, and hint at how the project is being marketed to potential tenants. Among the newest details are renderings showing the amount of anchor and secondary retail space available with the project, which comes from Bozzuto development. Included in the plans are a potential 20,160 square foot space for a “health club” and 14,660 square feet available for a “specialty grocer,” though it must be emphasized those are merely conceptual suggestions. But – and this is the exciting part – according to project’s Loopnet listing, only nine of the smaller retail spaces are available for lease, indicating that the larger anchor spaces have been leased out already. Route 1 Reporter has reached out to the developers after hours for comment and will update this story if more is learned. The marketing materials lean heavily into the area’s demographic profile, noting that 20,620 residents with an average annual household income of $108,710 and an average daytime population of 18,640.

Update: Beltway Plaza Planning Board decision delayed

The Prince George’s County Planning Board delayed until Feb. 20, 2020, consideration of preliminary plans for Beltway Plaza’s proposed redevelopment. The vote to delay occurred at the Planning Board’s Feb. 6, 2020, meeting. The delay was sought by the mall’s owners to give time for the city of Greenbelt to weigh in on the matter, which it is expected to do at its Feb.

300-unit Northgate gets final approval

Prince George’s County Planning Board unanimously approved final plans for a nearly-300-unit student housing complex near the intersection of Berwyn Road and Baltimore Avenue in College Park. The site is currently home to an abandoned restaurant and a Burger King. The vote took place at its Jan. 30 meeting after being continued from the Jan. 23 meeting.

College Park changes trash laws

After hours of debate, College Park City Council approved twin measures that will bring sweeping changes to the city’s “special” and “bulk” trash pickup policies and fee structure. But because of a last-minute amendment put forth by Councilor Robert Day, City Council approved changes to the fee schedule with a phase-in period where no penalties or fees would be assessed for those violating the new rules. At the end of the phase-in period, Council would have an opportunity to revisit the ordinance and consider changes. The amendment caused two council members, John Rigg and P.J. Brennan, to withdraw their support the measure, with Rigg saying it had been gutted and kicked down the road. 

“We’ll be debating this again in a year,” said Rigg after the votes were counted. What happened

City Council passed two measures dealing with non-standard trash issues.

College Park Marriott gets preliminary approval

Prince George’s County Planning Board unanimously approved preliminary plans for a new hotel near the College Park Metro station. The action took place at its Jan. 23, 2020, meeting, with relatively little discussion. 

The 126,000 square-foot hotel is planned for a triangular-shaped 2.1-acre parcel bound by Campus Drive, Corporal Frank Scott Drive and Lehigh Road practically across the street from the College Park-University of Maryland Metro Station. The hotelier, through Republic Properties Corp. and its holding company New Hotel LLC, plans to build a 165-unit hotel with 8,000 square feet of retail space. 

The project is sited within the College Park-Riverdale Park Transit District Development Overlay Zone, a zoning district similar to the Prince Georges Plaza Transit District Development Overlay Zone designed to encourage developers to create mixed-use, walkable, urban neighborhoods. In addition to the Metro station, construction on the New Carrolton to Bethesda Purple Line light-rail is underway literally across the street from the site of the planned hotel.

Preliminary Northgate plans approved

Prince George’s County Planning Board unanimously approved, with minor conditions, preliminary plans for a nearly-300-unit student housing complex near the intersection of Berwyn Road and Baltimore Avenue in College Park. The site is currently home to an abandoned restaurant and a Burger King. The next step is to get more fine-tuned plans approved by county officials. The project’s detailed site plan application was filed in late November, and is expected to be considered at the Planning Board’s Jan. 23, 2019, meeting.

UMD Idea Factory gets Planning Board OK

The Prince George’s County Planning Board unanimously approved plans to build a new, futuristic-looking engineering facility on College Park’s University of Maryland campus. The E.A. Fernandez Idea Factory plans include a new five-story 61,240 square foot building connected to the Kim Engineering Building by a pedestrian bridge. Open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, it will include workspaces for students, areas for student competition teams and a new home for UMD’s student-run incubator, Startup Shell. In all, the building is expected to cost $50 million to build. Another rendering shows the Idea Factory from Stadium Drive

It will also be home to the Alfred Gessow Rotorcraft Center, the Robotics Realization Laboratory, the Quantum Technology Center and other laboratory spaces.