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College Park Aims to Become a Future Prince George’s Downtown

In the last Council meeting, the College Park City Council sent a letter to the Maryland Park and Planning stressing the potential of College Park / UM Metro and the Greenbelt Metro station as possible future “downtowns” of Prince George’s County.

As was announced in the recent unveiling of Prince George’s County Plan 2035, Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning (M-NCPPC) officials are looking to develop up to three sites as downtown hubs for the county. Given Prince George’s County is about 500 square miles, multiple downtowns are under consideration in order to both recognize the different north, central and southern regions of the county.

You can find more about the plan here on the plan’s website: http://planpgc2035.com/ .

M-NCPPC held a town hall meeting recently at the University of Maryland to get community feedback on this idea of a future “downtown Prince George’s County.” The meeting was the latest of the 3+ years effort to find where the County should focus the most of its development resources. The effort started back in 2009 with several public forums organized by the Envision Prince George’s initiative. The U-MD forum included a discussion of the key elements of a downtown and looked at three “high performers,” which could more easily become downtown areas, and three “potential game changers,” which could become downtown areas if certain things happen, such as the relocation of the FBI to Greenbelt Station.

The 3 “high performers” that were selected include College Park / UM Metro, Prince George’s Plaza and the New Carrollton Stations. The scores were given based on several indicators, such as transit & access, capacity, walkability and economic growth potential. In addition to the Greenbelt Metro station, Branch Avenue and Largo were considered “potential game changers,” depending on whether certain specific developments come in at those locations.

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