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Council to Discuss Monument Realty Development in North College Park

Monument Village Complex - East  elevation facing Route 1

Monument Village Complex – East elevation facing Route 1

Monument site on Route 1

Monument site on Route 1

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Tomorrow is our election day, so we’ll be having this week’s Council worksession on Wednesday. One of the major discussion we’ll be having is about the Monument development located at 9122-9128 Baltimore Avenue.

Several years after prior development efforts failed to materialize, this mixed-use project is moving ahead with a new developer, Monument Realty, and a modified plan. The 3.78-acre site was originally designed to include 200 apartments and 25,000 SF of retail, while the amended plan shows 235 apartments and a reduced retail component with only 4,800 SF along Route 1.

The staff is recommending supporting an amended DSP for the site and withdrawing the city’s request for a public hearing subject to the following:

1. Prior to DSP certification, the plans should be revised to:
a. Eliminate the lay-by lane on Route 1 and continue the streetscape along the property frontage.
b. Provide a gate for the loading space on the north side ofthe building and screen from public view.
c. Show brick veneer on the concrete panels of the garage in lieu of a green screen.
d. Substitute brick veneer for cementitious panels on the west side building elevation north of the parking garage.
e. Show up to two parking spaces reserved for a car-share program such as Zip Cars or Car-to-Go.
f. Show landscaping and fence details for the western property along Autoville Drive as agreed to by Autoville residents.
2. Prior to building permit, provide a payment to the City of College Park in the amount of $75,000 for the Project Feasibility Study for US 1 from College Avenue to MD 193 being conducted by the Maryland State Highway Administration.
3. Prior to building permit, provide a payment to the City of College Park in the amount of (to be determined) for improvements to the Route 1 Shuttle service or
for implementation of the Capital Bikeshare Program.
4. The applicant shall enter into a Declaration of Covenants and Agreement with the City of College Park.

The County Council previously placed a few more conditions, such as undergrounding of utilities etc.
1. ” … the applicant shall remove the utility poles and place underground the utility lines along the US Route 1 frontage.” The applicant met with Pepco who determined that the utilities should not be placed underground at this site without a more comprehensive plan for the undergrounding of utilities.

2. “A lay-by lane is permitted along US Route 1 to be used as a bus pull-off area and to serve as a loading area for larger trucks for a limited time in the evening.”

3. “Prior to the issuance of any use and occupancy permits for residential units, the applicant shall make provisions for the placement of existing utility lines and the poles along the US 1 frontage underground. It is anticipated that the applicant will seek a Revitalization Tax Credit to offset the cost of this condition. The applicant, the Planning Board, the County Council, DPW&T and the City of College Park will develop a plan so that all tax credits received will be utilized to initiate a comprehensive utility relocation on Us Route 1 north of Route 193. Such funds derived by a Revitalization Tax Credit”

4. “The applicant shall participate in a Transportation Study of the US Route 1 Corridor in the City of College Park for evaluation of transit strategies, including a US Route 1 shuttle operated by governmental, quasi-governmental or private entities. The Transportation Study shall evaluate the implementation of a comprehensive corridor-wide shuttle system. In the event that a new or enhanced US Route 1 shuttle system is not operational and serving the subject property at the time of issuance of the final use and occupancy permit for this project, the applicant shall provide a private shuttle for residents of the development project in accordance with a schedule and routes agreed to with the City of College Park. If subsequent to the institution of a private shuttle, a US Route 1 shuttle system is created, then the applicant shall participate in the new shuttle system in lieu of providing a private shuttle and it shall contribute a proportionate share of the costs of a US Route 1 shuttle, which contribution shall not exceed the cost of a private shuttle for the subject property alone.

It is anticipated that the applicant will coordinate its shuttle activities with the city of College Park, and that depending on the findings of the Transportation Study of the Route 1 corridor and depending on the success of a private shuttle or a comprehensive Route 1 shuttle system, that this condition may be modified.” The Route 1 Corridor Transportation Study was completed in 2008 and strongly recommended transit coordination and route consolidation in order to reduce current peak headways and increase service hours.

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8 Comments to “Council to Discuss Monument Realty Development in North College Park”

  1. By Pat, November 4, 2013 @ 11:38 am

    Why are projects in the City so drastically reducing their retail space (and why is the City letting them get away with it?) These areas are zoned Mixed Use Infill, correct? It seems they are trying to get away with the bare minimum of retail space so they can pack in the apartments. If we truly want a vibrant, walkable community, then why don’t we require all first-floor street frontage to be retail?

  2. By Robert Catlin, November 4, 2013 @ 1:52 pm

    Filling new retail space is a problem everywhere, not just College Park. The latest Route 1 sector Plan calls for retail to be concentrated in Walkable Node areas, where you have the greatest nearby population . Most new retail is restaurants, but the need for more restaurants is not really there. Amazon and the internet impact both the need for physically shopping for goods and the ability of retailers to pay the rents needed to pay for new construction. Look at the Enclave housing project. No retail space leased after two plus years.

  3. By Fazlul Kabir, November 4, 2013 @ 2:37 pm

    Pat, In addition to what Mr. Catlin has said on reduced retail space, the proposed plan include some amenities for the residents to enjoy in the Monument development. They include an indoor pool, a courtyard, general office (copying , internet access) facilities etc.

  4. By Patrick Wojahn, November 4, 2013 @ 2:42 pm

    Pat – since these developments were first proposed, the Hyattsville Community Development Corporation did a market study of the Route 1 corridor, which is available here – http://collegeparkmd.gov/EconomicDevelopment/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/CC-Final-5-4-2012.pdf. It should help explain why developers are scaling back their retail, specifically the finding that “the majority of the potential market demand is already served by local retailers.” (see p. 1 in the summary). While there may be some opportunity for niche retail and the additional residents may add some demand for additional local retail, unfortunately the market doesn’t look good right now for retail options. I agree that we want more retail in a vibrant, walkable community, but it won’t do any good if it’s vacant.

  5. By anita, November 5, 2013 @ 11:37 am

    Why is there a need for these apartments? There are so many vacancies in the Enclave and Mazza?

  6. By Robert Catlin, November 6, 2013 @ 6:09 am

    The projects proposed for these properties are not student housing. New student housing will be built downtown for the next few years. So new student housing to the north should only include building the second phase of the Enclave. Somewhat surprisingly, the student apartments, both new and old, have few vacancies this term, a significant improvement over last year.

  7. By anita, November 8, 2013 @ 12:45 pm

    Thanks for your response. It’s good to hear the vacancies are not what they were. What is the second phase of the Enclave? Are they taking over the space where Jiffy Lube is?

  8. By Robert Catlin, November 9, 2013 @ 8:27 am

    No. The Enclave, when finished will be a U shaped building. The new building will run north-south behind the existing building and will be connected with an “ammenity tower”. Jiffy Lube will probably be around for a while. About 6 years ago it spent $1 million to shore up the stream bank behind the building so that it would not fall into the stream.