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City Council Supports Downtown Development Plan

Downtown College Park: The area like around Cornerstone (left) can potentially transform into a mixed use development like Easton town Center in Columbus, Ohio

Downtown College Park: The area around Cornerstone near Route 1 and Knox Rd. (left) can potentially transform into a mixed use development like Easton town Center in Columbus, Ohio

Land use diagram

Land use diagram

In last Tuesday’s worksession, the City Council approved a motion in support of the general concept before beginning the process of working out details of this plan.

In September, a group of stakeholders, including developers, City, County, and State elected officials, and representatives of the University administration held a meeting to discuss plans for redevelopment of downtown College Park. The result of this meeting was a plan for redevelopment the downtown area on both sides of Route 1 between Lehigh Road and Guilford Drive, incorporating mixed-use office, commercial and retail development, and proposing four different options for redevelopment of the City Hall site (including possibly relocating City Hall to Calvert Road). It also includes possible transportation and circulation improvements needed to support the vision.

Looking at the west side of Route 1 in the land use diagram, the, Area 1 is suggested to include 170,000 SF of office and/or university related use with ground floor retail facing Lehigh Road / Southgate Lawn to the north and facing Knox Road to the south. The site is MUI and other uses are permissible. The buildings along Route 1 will remain. New buildings are anticipated to be approximately 6 stories. The Sector Plan calls for minimum 2 stories and maximum 6.

The new north south street may extend to Lehigh Road and, if so, a small green may be appropriate as a transition to South Campus Commons to the west. Although this green space is shown in the Sector Plan, it was determined in the Workshop that it may not be needed; if the north south road ultimately does not extend north to Lehigh, a new building may extend further west. Parking for this site may be accommodated on site and/or in the City Garage.

Area 2, 3, and the Quality Inn site are suggested to be residential with ground floor retail. Although, the sites are MUI and other uses are permissible. Retail should be continuous along Route 1. Retail, residential units and/or residential amenity space should be along Knox, Hartwick, and Guilford Roads. Residential units and/or residential amenity space should front along the new north-south street. Parking is proposed to be multi-story garages in the center of each block, wrapped with residential units. Buildings are anticipated to be approximately 6 stories.

Area 2 is suggested to include 300 market-rate residential units; Area 3 to include 200 units; and the Quality Inn site as, potentially, 200 to 300 units. Student housing is not preferred, although more supportable on the west side of Route 1 rather than the east side. For instance, the “Knox boxes” are being redeveloped as student housing. Retail tenants are unknown at this time, although complimentary retail and restaurants are anticipated, as either small shops and/or retail anchors.

Area 3 also includes, potentially, a “signature” retail store at the intersection of Hartwick Road and Route 1.

For the concept plan for the east side of Route 1 and other related areas, please check here.

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