Developers sought for College Park Metro area

Prince George’s County officials are looking for developers to submit designs for an 8.3-acre site across from the College Park Metro Station.

Officials hope to create a transit-oriented community that could include lodging, residential, retail and office space. The development would be tailored toward professionals working in the area or commuting to Washington, College Park Economic Development Coordinator Michael Stiefvater said. 

The county filed a request for applications from developers March 13 to present ideas for the space. The request is essentially an open invitation for developers to submit design concepts for consideration by landowners, including the county, Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority and the Castle family, a private party that owns parcels of the land. 

“There’s a set of documents including conceptual plans that interested developers must submit by the April 25 deadline,” Stiefvater said.

Stiefvater met with developer representatives March 17 to educate them about the landowners’ expectations for development proposals, College Park District 1 Councilman Fazlul Kabir said.

Stiefavter’s audience was three times the normal size for such information sessions, Prince George’s County spokesman Scott Peterson said.

“There’s a number of parties interested [in developing the site],” Kabir said. “They don’t yet know what will go there, but they’re looking for an office park or mixed-use community.”

Stiefvater said he expects the development to blossom into a community of its own, rather than become integrated into the surrounding area.

“The site represents one of the largest development opportunities in College Park, so we imagine it becoming its own neighborhood that is different than the single-family neighborhoods tucked behind Route 1,”

Stiefvater said. “If completed, the project area will help improve the research park from a typical office park to a vibrant community that can be utilized beyond the work day.” 

While the specifics remain to be seen, the site itself is centrally located. It is within walking distance of the Green Line and the future Purple Line light rail station and is near the university, M Square Research Park and the College Park Airport. 

This is the latest of many efforts to increase transit-oriented development in the county. Other projects include the University Town Center development at the Prince George’s Plaza Metro Station and the potential FBI headquarters at the Greenbelt Metro Station. Such construction benefits not only transportation and the environment but also the local economy by attracting residents and businesses that might not otherwise target the area, Stiefvater said. 

“From a purely economic view, it will provide a boost to the city and county through additional tax revenue on underutilized property,” Stiefvater said.

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