According to sources, the site of Monument Realty’s Northgate Condo project has gone into foreclosure and will hit the auction block this Wednesday, May 5th. The 1.05-acre parcel lies just north of University View and Taco Bell on Route 1. The 17-story, 204-unit, $68 million Northgate project was originally approved in June 2006 as high end condos with ground floor retail. Mark Vogel, the developer of the Varsity and University View, flipped the property and approved plans to Monument Realty for $4.2 million, but the project became stalled in 2007. That was when the Federal Aviation Administration began investigating concerns that the building represented a “presumed hazard to air navigation” based on the height of the building and its location in the College Park Airport’s flight path. The height of the building was eventually limited to 12-stories, but with changing market conditions, Monument began to signal their intention to turn the Northgate project into student housing. Nothing ever came of it.
The Detailed Site Plan has lapsed on Northgate Condos and the future owner of the property would have to re-enter the planning process. Since the Route 1 Sector Plan update will pass later this month and change the underlying zoning that governs what can be built on this parcel, the future owner will have considerable difficulty building anything over 4 stories. The zoning will be Mixed-Use Residential: “Properties that contain a mix of uses that are predominantly residential.” Given financial realities that developers face, RTCP believes such a height limit will preclude ground floor retail on this property and in redevelopment in much of the Route 1 Corridor from this parcel northwards until the Hollywood Rd Area.
We spoke with County Councilman Eric Olson’s office and apparently Resolution PGCPB 09-170 item II #7, pg 4. will allow construction between 4 and 10 stories instead of 2-4 on this parcel.