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Council Approves Project Turtle with Key Departures and Conditions

On June 11, 2024, the City of College Park City Council voted unanimously to support the approval, with conditions, of Detailed Site Plan-23009, known as Project Turtle. The Council also endorsed various departures from the development district standards and alternative development district standards, marking a significant step forward for this transformative project.

Key Departures and Conditions:

  1. Parking Space Dimensions:
    • The Council supported a departure from the prior Zoning Ordinance’s Parking Space Dimension Standard (Section 27-558(a)), allowing parking spaces to be constructed at 9 feet by 18 feet instead of the previously required 9.5 feet by 19 feet.
  2. Loading Spaces:
    • A reduction in the number of loading spaces required by the prior Zoning Ordinance (Section 27-588(a)) was approved, permitting 2 loading spaces rather than the mandated 3.
  3. Alternative Development District Standards:
    • Building Height: Approval was granted to allow buildings along Baltimore Avenue to rise to six stories, with a maximum of seven stories for buildings situated behind.
    • Setbacks: Minor encroachments of the building along Navahoe Street and Melbourne Place were permitted.
    • Parking, Number of Spaces: The project was allowed to provide 286 parking spaces instead of the required 355.
    • Loading and Service Areas: The loading and service area was approved to be only 15 feet away from a public sidewalk, provided it remains out of sight.
    • Structured Parking: The parking structure along Navahoe Street was allowed a setback of just 14 feet from the property line, provided it is masked by the building façade (page 243).
    • Architectural Elements/Siding: The use of fiber cement paneling was approved to ensure consistency with other projects within the City.
    • Water Efficiency and Recharge: The sidewalk along the eastern edge of the project will be concrete.
    • Streetscape: Adjustments to widths and dimensions were permitted to accommodate existing conditions.
  4. Declaration of Covenants and Agreement:
    • The Council stipulated that a Declaration of Covenants and Agreement with the City must be executed before the Planning Board approves of the Detailed Site Plan (DSP).

On a related note, the City has worked with the businesses on the property (Campus Village Shopping Center) to help relocate to College Park. Some of the businesses are expected to be back once the development is completed.

As Project Turtle progresses, residents and stakeholders can look forward to the revitalization and growth it promises, with a keen eye on maintaining the harmony and heritage of College Park.


Detailed Site Plan for Old Campus Village Up for Council Discussion

The LV Collective has submitted a Detailed Site Plan (DSP) for a new mixed-use development on the east side of Baltimore Avenue, between Melbourne Place and Navahoe Street (8133-8155 Baltimore Avenue). The proposed project includes 299 student-oriented apartments, 13,305 square feet of retail space, and a 2,219 square foot community space.

Key Project Details:
Hearing Date: The Planning Board will review the DSP on Thursday, June 27th. Park and Planning Staff reports are typically available two weeks before the hearing.
Estimated Construction Cost: $124 million
Estimated Property Taxes: $3 million annually, once stabilized
Job Creation: The project will create 7 full-time and 11 part-time jobs, with additional employment opportunities from the retail space. Additionally, approximately 800 temporary construction jobs are expected.

The development features a 6-7 story building comprising 299 units (1,011 beds) of student housing and 13,684 square feet of commercial space. It also includes the 2,219 square foot Lakeland Legacy Center, dedicated to the Lakeland community. Parking will be provided in a structured garage occupying the first two levels of the building, accessible from Melbourne Place, with a drop-off lane for deliveries and ride-sharing.

The northern façade will house a service area, accessible from Navahoe Street, across from the McDonald’s restaurant. This area will be screened and only open during move-ins, move-outs, and trash pickup. The rear façade, facing Lakeland, will feature a step-back design with two-story townhouses and the Lakeland Legacy Center.

Currently, the site includes several commercial buildings, totaling 34,422 square feet of gross floor area, which will be demolished for the new development. These buildings include a commercial shopping center (Campus Village Shoppes), a liquor store, and a gas station. The applicant is working with existing tenants to potentially relocate them to the new space, while also seeking new tenants for any remaining areas.

Community Impact:
Local Businesses: The applicant is committed to working with College Park businesses and sub-contractors.
Economic Growth: The new development will generate significant property tax revenue and create numerous job opportunities, supporting the local economy.

Next week, the City Council will discuss the DSP with the developer. Staff recommends supporting the DSP with certain conditions to ensure it meets community needs.

Stay tuned for more updates and make sure to attend the Planning Board hearing on June 27th to learn more about this transformative project!

Developer to Present Preliminary Plan for Former Campus Village

LV Collective announced plans for a 299-unit development at the former site of the Campus Village Shopping Center (photo credit:

This development will take the place of the former Campus Village Shopping Center. If you recall, the City grappled with keeping the small businesses at the former shopping center in College Park when they were told to leave a couple of months ago. Thankfully, the City was able to retain some of the popular businesses, such as Taqueria Habanero, in College Park. A few others are negotiating with the developer regarding a plan to return to the retail area of the development once it is complete. The development will include additional shops, a community center, a co-working space, and other amenities. The City Council will discuss the preliminary submission plan at next week’s meeting.

LV Collective has submitted a Preliminary Plan of Subdivision (PPS) to consolidate 9 existing lots into one 2.71-acre parcel.

At the time of the Detailed Site Plan (DSP), the Applicant will seek permission to construct a mixed-use development comprising 299 student-oriented apartments, 13,305 square feet of retail space, and a 2,219 square foot community space at the location of the former “Campus Village” Shopping plaza.

The Planning Board is scheduled to review the Preliminary Plan on Thursday, April 18th. Park and Planning Staff reports are typically published 2 weeks prior to the hearing date. The Application includes two variation requests: 1. To waive the Public Utility Easement (PUE) requirements, and 2. To waive the 25-foot floodplain setback requirement. Both variation requests are common for developments along Baltimore Avenue and are typically granted. A Detailed Site Plan will be required before development begins. The Planning Board date is set for April 18, 2024.

The estimated construction cost is $124 million, with projected property taxes of $3 million annually once stabilized. The project itself will create 7 full-time jobs and 11 part-time jobs. Additionally, the 13,000+ square feet of retail space will generate additional jobs while supporting local businesses. An estimated 800 temporary construction jobs are projected. The Applicant is open to using College Park businesses and subcontractors.

The Applicant has collaborated with the Lakeland Community and has offered to provide a 2,219-square-foot Lakeland Community space free of charge in the proposed building. The City Council will consider supporting the approval of the Preliminary Plan of Subdivision 4-22034 with some conditions and two variation requests.

College Park’s Roadmap to a Brighter Future: The 2021-2025 Economic Development Plan

Because more people are moving to the city and they need more services, the Mayor and Council asked for a plan to make the city better. They made a plan for the years 2021 to 2025 called the City of College Park Strategic Plan. So, the Office of Economic Development looked at how the city is doing now and figured out ways to make it better for everyone who lives there. They wrote reports that have ideas and recommendations to make the city’s economy better and make life in College Park nicer for the people who live there.

The report focuses on four main things to make the city’s economy better. They looked at how things are now, talked to the people who live there and work there, checked out what other places are doing, and made a plan to make the city’s economy stronger.

By looking at all this information, they figured out how land is used, how much money people have, how well buildings and houses are selling, and what tools they can use to make the city’s economy better. They talked to people who live there and people who work on important projects to get their ideas. They also checked out what other places like College Park are doing to get ideas on what might work here. Finally, they made a plan to make the city’s economy grow.

This report has lots of up-to-date information about the stores in College Park, jobs, houses being built, and places where people can have fun with their families, like playing games or climbing on things.

Even though the final report and plan are long, they talk about everything in the city’s economy. They want to tell the people who live there, the businesses, and the people who make important decisions about the future of College Park what they can do to make the city even better.

You can read the full economic development plan here: College Park Economic Development Strategy – FINAL – 10312023.

At next week’s meeting, the City Council will discuss the economic development plan.

Redevelopment of Campus Village Shoppe Site

I wanted to let you know that many of you have shared concerns about the businesses in the Campus Village Shoppes and asked what the City is doing to assist. We share your sadness regarding the impact on these businesses and our City due to the notice to vacate the property. I want you to know that the City is working to assist the impacted businesses when possible and that the City Council will work with residents, the property owner, and the County to support a project that enhances our community.

Campus Village Shoppes was purchased by LV Collective in 2022. The new owners have discussed a redevelopment proposal (multi-family housing with first-floor retail) with their tenants and community groups. The owners have discussed with some tenants the possibility of leasing space in the new development. To facilitate the redevelopment of the site, all tenants were recently told to vacate their spaces by September 30.

I know that vacating the space has created a financial hardship for some of these local businesses, and I hope they will be able to relocate to the new project or elsewhere in the City. Several years ago, many retailers in College Park were displaced by new projects on Baltimore Avenue and Knox Road. At that time, there was virtually no vacant retail space for those tenants to consider. Many stores closed, and others relocated outside the City. As you note, City staff are working with Campus Village tenants to assist them in identifying space in College Park that will meet their needs, whether in recently constructed commercial space or older commercial locations. The City may provide financial assistance to facilitate a business relocation if appropriate. We cannot require the owner to extend the time to vacate or offer tenants space in the new development.

When the County has accepted the LV Collective application to redevelop the site, City staff will be notified. Staff will review the plans, schedule a public presentation, and provide comments based on the site zoning and other requirements. LV Collective will present the plans at a public City Council Meeting, likely more than once and hopefully with changes based on City and public comment. Information regarding redevelopment plans and presentations before the City Council will be available via the Council Meeting agendas and other media.

The County—not the City—has the authority to approve, deny, or modify development plans. The City has no land use or zoning authority. The City can and will provide an official position on all proposed developments in the City.

If you would like additional information regarding the businesses at Campus Village Shoppes or other business news, please get in touch with Michael Williams, Economic Development Manager, at

Thank you again for your engagement in this matter.

Proposed Development in Beltsville

A development has been proposed for the subdivision of the Beltsville Costco properties into one lot for the relocation and expansion of the Beltsville Costco Fuel Facility. In accordance with M-NCPPC guidelines, a neighborhood meeting will be held on Wednesday, August 9, at 6:45 PM at St. John’s Episcopal Church to discuss this project in greater detail with the community. For more information, click here.

All interested persons are encouraged to become a “person of record” for this application. As a person of record in a zoning case, you are provided with notice of upcoming meetings, actions, and decisions rendered at certain stages of the zoning application process, as well as relevant appeals procedures. Requests to become a person of record may be made online at, or call 301-952-3530 for additional information. Please reference the subject application numbers: SPE-2022-004 + PPS-2022-022

Maryland’s Bid for New FBI HQ Site Could Gain Advantage from Significant Criteria Changes

According to the Maryland Matters report, the federal government released new criteria for a new FBI headquarters campus, with changes that are expected to benefit two potential Maryland locations over another option in Springfield, Virginia.

The criteria, released by the General Services Administration on Friday afternoon, would place greater emphasis on cost, as well as the federal government’s goals to locate agencies in sustainable locations that strengthen the vitality of communities and advance racial equity.

The new criteria also de-emphasize, by 10 points, the new site’s proximity to the bureau’s training academy in Quantico, Virginia.

Route 1 Land Redevelopment Study Community Stakeholder Workshop

The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC) entered into an agreement with the consultant team of Smart Growth America along with The Neighborhood Design Center to work on the US Route 1 Redevelopment Study. Work on this project began in June 2022 and will be completed in December 2023.

The MNCPPC will be hosting a Community Stakeholder Workshopon Saturday, June 3, 2023, at the Beltsville Community Center, 3900 Sellman Road, Beltsville, Maryland 20705

Open Conversation: 9:00 a.m. – 9:45 a.m.
Community Workshop: 9:45 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Register via EventBrite:

For more information, please read here.

Construction Funding Proposed for North College Park Community Center

Great news. We recently learned that the MNCPPC has proposed funds for the design and construction of the North College Park Community Center in their FY24-30 Capital Improvement Project (CIP) budget. You can see the community center-related budget item here on the MNCPPC’s website:  (on page 363, project # 512094).

M-NCPPC’s budget pages show about $21 million of total funding over the next fiscal years. This includes $15 million in FY24 and $6 million in FY25. In addition to M-NCPPC’s funding, the City of College Park and the State also have committed to contribute $1.5 million and $1 million of funding to the project, respectively.

This is major news. The significant funding for the design and construction is expected to take the project to the finish line. I want to congratulate you all on this fantastic news. Thank you for the many years of advocacy that have taken the project this far. Also, let’s thank the City and the County and State for their partnership in the project. Special thanks go to Councilmember Dernoga for his hard work throughout the project. Furthermore, implementing Core Drilling for Anchor Installations will ensure secure and reliable attachment points for structures and equipment, enhancing safety and stability in the completed project.

If you’re looking to use design-build construction for your next project, this company in Canada does design-build and may be able to help you. For scaffilding services, hire an expert to help you with the construction.

The project team has recently completed the feasibility study of the center. This included getting the community’s feedback on a number of potential sites in north College Park. You can see the final report of the study here. The concept design includes amenities, such as multi-purpose rooms, a gymnasium, a group fitness room, a teen room, a senior room, a kitchen, and more. During the study, most residents preferred the Hollywood Sopping Plaza (where MoM’s is located) site over other sites. That said, the project team has yet to make an official announcement on the final site.

Please note – these funds are still “proposed” in the upcoming M-NCPPC budget. They are not approved yet. We’ll need your assistance to continue to advocate for these funds. There will be opportunities to speak/send comments at the upcoming MNCPPC public hearings.

If the proposed funds are approved by the M-NCPPC, the project team will work on on-site acquisition (depending on the site it selects) and will secure a design firm to complete the final design. The design team will then seek the community’s input on the final design. Once the design is completed, the team will start the final construction. As construction progresses, temporary fences adorned with visually appealing construction fence banners offer an aesthetic solution to conceal unsightly aspects of construction sites, promoting a more orderly and professional appearance.

We’ll keep you posted as the project moves forward.

New Route 1 Development Coming to UMD Entrance

The plan is to create 524,000 square feet of office space and 285 multifamily dwelling units at the southeast corner of Baltimore Avenue and Campus Drive. The applicant Brandywine Realty Trust is partnering with the Terrapin Development Company in this project. The parcel comprises 42.91 acres, and parcels 1-4 are proposed for development.

The Purple Line will pass south of the development. Diamondback Drive north of Testudo Way will be eliminated and incorporated into the parcels.

The community considered the site for a town center development about a decade ago. At that time, the community was calling it the east campus development.

In a 2021 meeting, the Terrapin Development Corporation (TDC), the University’s development wing, presented a new plan for the site. The council was told that the project team would consider incorporating some of the community-oriented amenities into the development.

The project team will need a Detailed Site Plan before any development. The Planning Board public hearing is scheduled for February 16, 2023.

You can read more about the development here.

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