After discussing much debated Cafritz and the Book Exchange developments in the past month, the City council will take yet another development in tomorrow’s Council work session discussion.
M Square development is a 13.43 acre of office space in 3 buildings and a 4 story parking garage, to be built in 3 phases, at the M Square Research Park. The property owner is the State of Maryland and the developer is COPT Development and Construction Services, LLC.
The developer, M Square Associates, LLC has recently submitted a Detailed Site Plan (DSP) to the Prince George’s County Planning Board. A hearing date for the application has been set on March 8, 2012. According to schedule, the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC) technical staff report will be available February 23, 2012.
The Research Park is part of the Riverside Preliminary Plan and is located within the College Park-Riverdale Transit District Overlay Zone
(TDOZ). The site is located on the east side of River Road, approximately one-half mile west of its intersection with Kenilworth Avenue. The USDA building is to the southeast of the site and the NOAA building is to the east of the site. The proposed development is located primarily in the City of College Park and partially in the Town of Riverdale Park (majority of Lot 15 and a portion of Lot 16). The Town of Riverdale Park anticipates taking a position on the subject DSP application on February 6, 2012.
The Applicant originally submitted the DSP application in February 2010 as a way to address density, trip cap, and parking
issues associated with the DSP. The subject DSP was scheduled for review by the Mayor and Council in September 2011, but the
Applicant did not proceed with the application at that time. The Applicant revised the DSP to address environmental, parking, and other design issues that were identified by City of College Park, Town of Riverdale Park, and M-NCPPC staff and resubmitted the DSP in December 2011.
The new proposed DSP includes reduced parking and more amenities for pedestrians, including a more pedestrian-friendly entrance and a focus on one side of the buildings more on pedestrian access than automobile access. The new design reduces parking along River Road and provides a wider sidewalk.
Staff recommends approval of the DSP with some conditions:
- Move the buildings to allow for more for a larger pedestrian plaza
- Eliminate parking spots within 40 feet of River Road and replacing these with green space
- Add additional bicycle amenities and shower and changing facilities for cyclists
- Assure an appropriate storm water management plan
- Comply with trip caps and implementation of a Transportation Demand Management (TDM) plan
- Fund to support a City Bikeshare program.