City Hall Site Deal Moves Forward

The City Council agreed at their Wednesday meeting to proceed with a Preliminary Site Agreement (PDF) for the redevelopment on the existing city hall site just behind Smoothie King. The site will be transformed by Capstone Development Corp into a no more than 9 story building with roughly 165 condos plus retail and/or commercial space. The parking garage we reported on yesterday and also part of the deal, would be located directly across Knox Rd. If the current plans go through, City Hall will be relocated at the (to be reconstructed) Friends School Building near campus. An informational meeting will be held September 21st at 7pm in City Hall.

6 thoughts on “City Hall Site Deal Moves Forward”

  1. Do you have access to conceptual drawings for the site? It would be advantageous to create a true mixed-use environment with retail on the bottom floor of the Knox parking garage, in addition to an intelligent design which serves to minimize the view of the parked vehicles.

    Garages in Hoboken, NJ, for example, are well-known for their enclosed design.

  2. A mixed use complex with parking garage would be a great addition to the city. Even garages in Silver Spring and Bethesda do well to hide parked cars.

    Any thoughts on the scale of a 9 story building in downtown collegepark? It seems like it might be out of scale for the fine texture the city has retained.

  3. Clearly this building is going to loom over the rest of the city, but really what College Park needs is more year round feet on the street. Putting this building right in the main retail area is going to be a great for business and hopefully will spur further economic growth and even more housing (+less traffic during rush hour). The retail the adjoins the site is pretty ripe for redevelopment at this point. Over the years hopefully this tower won’t look so out of place.

  4. Notwithstanding the importance of having more feet on the street to generate economic activity, but the prospect of having hundreds of additional residents and shoppers would also contribute more EYES ON THE STREET. More eyes on the street = criminals go elsewhere. There’s obviously more to the crime reduction picture, including proper lighting, landscaping, community organization, etc, but more eyes on the street (“capable guardians,” in criminological terms) is the essential input to reducing crime.

    A landmark building is a critical to any fledgling downtown area, as it will not only act as a magnet for pure economic activity, but it will also generate additional housing, (increased downtown “buzz” = more developers seeing dollar bills = increased competition = a market which produces buildings that “fit” the established downtown aesthetic) which is another essential input to creating a vibrant, student friendly downtown.

  5. I agree with everyone’s comments wholeheartedly. My concern is that College Park cannot endure another building like the University View being built downtown. If its done tastefully and with proper articulation, the project has a significant potential to enliven the area and begin to answer the need for housing and street activity.

    We should not have to build outrageously out-of-scale buildings now in order to open developers eyes to the potential of the area. If this is going to be done, it needs to be done right. Hopefully, the developer and architects working on this project will realize this.

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