A developer is looking to demolish two properties in the College Park Shopping Center just off Baltimore Avenue, according to planning documents filed with Prince George’s County.
The stores that would be demolished include Marathon Deli, a UPS store, 7-Eleven, Café Hookah, Kevin Nails, Lotsa Pizza, Krazi Kebob, Insomnia Cookies and C.B. Chinese Grill, confirmed Ryan Chelton, the city’s economic development coordinator.
Terrapin’s Turf — and any business with a storefront facing Route 1 — would not be part of the project, said city planning director Terry Schum. The College Park planning department has not received any other requests to develop the area this company is eyeing, she added.
“This area hasn’t changed in decades,” Schum said. “This is a redevelopment project, and an infill development project — it’s part of the revitalization effort along the Route 1 corridor.”
The project is tentative. So far, a company — Greystar Real Estate Partners LLC — has only filed documents seeking approval for a preliminary plan of subdivision. In other words, the proposal focuses on how property lines on the land in question should be redrawn for development.
Greystar — a real estate development, management and investment company — seeks to replace the shopping center on Knox Road with a multi-use building containing 341 student apartments and 32,000 square feet of commercial retail space. Greystar is also looking to have an on-site parking garage, Chelton said.
The project is set to be presented and voted on at the county’s planning board meeting, which is scheduled for Nov. 7. Filing planning documents and the vote at that meeting constitute one of two major steps in the development review process for large projects like this one, Schum said. The second step will come after Greystar files detailed site plans with specific design elements of the proposed plan.
Sophomore Makayla Buecker said she thinks the possibility of the development occurring is “awful.”
Buecker, a criminology and criminal justice and psychology major, said she “doesn’t see the point” in erecting more apartment buildings around campus in light of the construction of new residence halls on campus.
Greystar declined to comment on the project at this point in their application.
The city has long put effort into redevelopment projects, with the stated goal of making College Park a top-20 college town by 2020. In recent years, new housing and places such as the Capital One Tech Incubator and WeWork have opened their doors in the area.
The planning department will present Greystar’s proposal to the College Park City Council on Oct. 15 and Oct. 22, at which time council members will decide whether or not to recommend the project, Schum said.
While Schum declined to comment on the probability of the proposal being approved, Chelton said he thinks it likely that the area will be redeveloped.
“I’d say it’s pretty likely that something is going to happen,” Chelton said. “I’m not sure exactly what, but I’m fairly confident that something will happen there.”
Freshman Meghan Patel said she didn’t think students would be pleased to hear about Greystar’s proposal.
“A lot of students like to come here and just relax, sort of wind down, and eat some food.That’s part of the culture here,” said Patel, a bioengineering major. “I think [students] are gonna fight for this place, especially if they’ve been here for a while.”
Students and other community members who wish to express their concerns about the project should attend the College Park City Council work sessions and meetings in October to have their voices heard, Chelton said.
The project proposal will be presented Oct. 15 and Oct. 22 at 7:30 p.m. in Davis Hall.