University View Pictures Released

As we reported Sunday, the University View plans an absolutely massive phased expansion – 434 units (1,416 student beds) and a whopping 30,000+ S.F. of retail. The 1st phase is planned to take place by 2010 (directly in front of the University View) with the other phases (including a parking garage) materializing by 2012.

Special thanks to Councilmember Stephanie Stullich for getting ahold of these for the general public. Looks like we’re finally getting somewhere around here…

Full build out


University View elevations

Site Plan:
Street Pattern

Ground floor retail and amenity plan:

View first floor site planUniversity View Groundfloor siteplan

Existing locational charm:

Existing conditions as of 2007

Tons of New Student Housing and Other Development

As we’ve noted, the student housing landscape in College Park has changed dramatically in the past 6 months. Developers are falling over themselves to propose new projects.

Otis Warren/ Steve McBride (best known for building the University View) were at the City Council meeting last Wednesday. They are now proposing a 12-story, 154 unit (516 bed) student housing project directly in front of University View with 12,200 S.F. of ground floor retail (expected completion 2010). The site had previously been planned as an office building. This newly proposed building (previously called the University View Overlook) would house UMD’s Freshmen Connection program.

Warren/McBride are abandoning plans for a luxury condo building just north of the View (8400 Balt Ave). They acquired the Koon’s Ford Quicklane in front of that site and now are proposing a 9-story phased student housing project with 280 units (900 beds) and 18,040 S.F. of retail (expected completion 2012).

Also, the County Planning Board accepted the city’s downtown parking garage plan (w/ retail) for review and the commission now has 70 days to take action.

Pictures to come….

Student Housing Proposed at Northgate

Early Proposal for 8400 Baltimore AveA condominium project first proposed in December 2006 by area developer Otis Warren is moving forward, and this time it seems possible it will be developed with students in mind. The project, located at 8400 Baltimore Avenue, will contain 300 residential units, 14,000 square feet of retail, and a 4-story 421 space parking garage. These are the same numbers from when we posted a very rough rendering in February. According to our sources, although the city has a number of complaints regarding aesthetics, they supported the concept that it could become student housing at their meeting earlier this month. If built, the building could result in as many as 900 to 1,000 student beds. The condo market has softened significantly in recent months and many projects in the Washington region have moved from condos to rental units.

Issues raised during the city’s consideration of the detailed site plan at their meeting earlier this August included the infamous rules about whether the building’s facade had enough brick, the fact that the proposed building’s lot coverage exceeds the maximum and is set back 8 feet farther than the build-to line, and quibbling about the applicant’s traffic and parking exemption calculations.

We think this project illustrates one of the biggest problems with the M-U-I overlay zone: the excessive parking requirement. Cities as diverse as Ithica, New York, San Francisco, and Arlington County, Virginia have had the courage to question the parking dogma and build buildings with no — or very little — parking, especially when located near transit. Rental housing near the university on Route One should contain less parking than the zone currently requires.

The Prince George’s County Planning Board Hearing on the plan has been scheduled September 20th.

University View Part II – “Raymond Towers” Rendering Uncovered

Early Proposal for 8400 Baltimore Ave

We stumbled across this early rendering of the 8400 Baltimore Avenue project directly north of the 16-story University View that we first reported on in early December. As proposed it would be a 12-story (4 parking, 8 residential) condominium tower with 301 units and 14,000 square feet of retail fronting Route 1. Koons Ford would remain at its current location in the middle of the “L” shaped building. According to county documents, it will be named “Raymond Towers”. The City Council gave the project a lukewarm reception in December and again earlier this month. Their opinion counts strongly, but is not the final word. If built, it will likely carry a substantial owner occupancy requirement (interesting discussion on this) and be marketed as luxury condominums. More to come on this project as details and new renderings become available.