City Launches Destination College Park Website

In June, the City of College Park officially launched an interactive website to increase the visibility of its local businesses. The new website, located at http://www.shopcollegepark.org, is a one- stop source of up- to- date information on city businesses, events, and attractions.

The website is the culmination of a six- month collaborative effort between the City and the Downtown College Park Management Authority (DCPMA), an organization of merchants in downtown College Park. The developers of the website are Geocentric, a start- up software and map services company, and King Cow, a web & print designers collective. The Anacostia Trails Heritage Area (ATHA), a grassroots organization dedicated to strengthening the image and economy of northern Prince George’s County, provided a matching grant to fund the site.

Starview Renderings Released

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DSP Site Plan

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View from Route 1

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Back of the development and green roof.

The City and University are close to arranging a deal to turn a property they own jointly into a student housing project. The property is located just south of Jiffy Lube and has stood vacant with a “Coming Soon” sign for the better part of six years. The project is planned to have  LEED Silver Certification, 146 rooms, 355 parking spaces, 550 student beds, and almost 10,000 SF of ground floor retail on Route 1.

The planning board wisely agreed to a 20% reduction from the required amount of parking for a project of this magnitude. They also agreed to allow 6 floors (1 over the maximum of 5 envisioned by the sector plan. These two variances allow for a financially feasible project with a underground parking structure. The planning for this project is ongoing and presumably it will be called before the county council by Eric Olson.

Read the full Detailed Site Plan here

See more renderings here

Beleagured Starview Project

Housing Proposed for Property Adjacent Lot 1

After months of rumors, some information has turned up regarding a project on the so-called Poole Property, a tract of vacant land across Mowatt Lane from the Architecture Building, across from Lot 1. A source at the University United Methodist church reports the church is considering a land swap to “straighten out the property line,” and we found this tidbit from a College Heights Estate Association meeting:

HANOVER CONSTRUCTION CO: Aaron Adler and Adam Harbin, representatives of the Hanover Company of Houston, Texas, briefed the Board on their plans to construct luxury apartments in College Park. The development will be on the Poole Property which is located on the southwest corner of Campus and Mowat Drives. The developers propose 5-10,000 sq. ft. of retail space, a roof top pool, and a 5-7,000 sq. ft. club house. There will be 1.4 to 1.5 parking spaced per residential unit. The company will construct approximately 250 unit, each 850 sq. ft. 70% will be 1 bedroom, and 30% will be 2 bedrooms with rents proposed at $1,200. Projections are not set in stone for any of these numbers. The projected tenants are graduate students, young
professions, visiting professors, and empty nesters. Aaron and Adam showed the board members samples of their prior apartment projects across the country. Hanover has received favorable comments from Doug Duncan of UMCP. The property will need to be re-zoned. Fall 2012 is the projected date for construction completion. Hanover will keep CHEA apprised of progress.

The Hanover Company‘s portfolio includes projects in Baltimore and Towson, Maryland. Does anyone know more about this project?

More updates 7/16

Two articles from the Diamondback:

– The city council has voted to approve the concept of selling the city hall site to a hotel/condo builder in an attempt to roll that project together with the East Campus TIF. City Hall would be moved to an undisclosed location. Previously that location was an abandoned school in Calvert Hills.

– UMD DOTS was forced to raise daily parking rates due to lower than usual commuter parking permit sales. This is surely the result of higher gas prices and more students living closer to campus. For some reason DOTS director David Allen was surprised in January that “Less than 50 percent of commuters drive to campus.” He reports the campus having “2,000 fewer parkers in the last five years.”

 

New Mosaic at Turtle Creek Renderings

This project has been flying in under the radar for sometime. It involves a land deal between UMD and a private developer to create “intergeneration” non-student housing. It is planned for a wooded lot just behind UMD’s business school on Mowatt Lane. As far as we know the original plans for the interior still stand (click the project category to learn more).

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