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Category: Development Page 1 of 48

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 economicdevelopment@collegeparkmd.gov.

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 http://bit.ly/MNCPPCpor, 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: pgplan.org/Route1workshop

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. 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.

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.

Council Approves Funds to Complete Hollywood Streetscape Project

The contractor of the Hollywood Streetscape has requested a contract amendment to cover the increased cost of construction due to the extended duration of the project, unusually high inflation, additional resurfacing requested by staff and inclusion of the “goat paths” to the Hollywood Shopping Center.

Although envisioned, the goat paths were not part of the original bid or permitted as the City did not own or control the property. An agreement between the City and Carrollton Enterprises has since been executed, enabling this work to proceed.

The original construction estimate was $2,801,800 based on the unit cost of itemized materials and estimated quantities of Materials two years ago.

The contract completion date was June 2022, but due to permit delays, field changes and supply chain issues were extended.

At last night’s meeting, the Council approved a Contract Amendment for $408,875  to complete the construction of the Hollywood Streetscape Project.

RST Seeks Changes to Covenant Concerning Right-in/Right out on Route 1

The Applicant, RST Development, LLC, has submitted Detailed Site Plan to construct a 5-7 story, mixed-use building at 9113 Baltimore Avenue. The project includes 317 multi-family units, 3,296 square feet of commercial space intended to house the local Meals on Wheels program, and a six-level parking garage with 328 parking spaces.

The Planning Board hearing is scheduled for January 19, 2023. On the January 10 meeting, the Council voted to require the developer to apply for a reconsideration of the Preliminary Plan of Subdivision to allow for right-in, right-out access on Baltimore Avenue. The developer at that time expressed concern about the delay that such an application would cause.

Staff attended a meeting with the developer, their attorney, and M-NCPPC staff on Friday, January 13 and discussed the following: If, at the hearing on the DSP, the Planning Board makes it clear that it would deny the addition of the right-in option, then would the Council still require the developer to apply for a Preliminary Plan reconsideration, or would the Planning Board response at the DSP hearing be sufficient.

If the Planning Board was in support of the right-in, right-out, we would request that the DSP be approved with this option as an alternative and the developer would then file the application for an amendment of the Preliminary Plan. At next week’s meeting, the Council will consider n amendment to the Covenant concerning right-in/right-out on Baltimore avenue.

Council Supports Rt 1 Affordable Housing with a New Condition

At last night’s meeting, the Council voted to support the Detailed Site Plan for “Flat at College Park” by the RST development on the east side of Route 1, between Cherokee Street and Delaware st.

The Council voted 5-3 to add a condition asking the development to add an entrance to the development from Route 1. This new entrance will be in addition to the entrance from Cherokee street. This addresses neighborhood traffic concerns about the sole point of ingress on Cherokee Street.

The applicant will need to apply to the Planning Board for reconsideration of their original Preliminary Plan to add this new entrance.

In the end, the Council voted unanimously to support the plan.

Several residents spoke before the Council voted. Thanks to all who spoke.

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