Rising From the Mud

M-Square Building rising from the mud

We often use one word to describe the amount of development coming to College Park – “staggering“. Yet while driving down Route 1, not one crane can be seen nor construction project underway. Even on campus, the recent building frenzy seems to have trickled to a halt among higher bond prices and tightening state purse strings.

We were able to find one project physically underway at the university’s M-Square (our recently updated library page) Research park next to the CP Metro Station. The building is one of 3 planned and approved that will look similar to the rendering below. A fourth building, NOAA’s beautiful Center for Climate and Weather Prediction, is scheduled to open in February 2008, but has not begun construction despite several “ground breakings.”Rendering of M-Square office building

We also uncovered a aggressive proposed phasing plan for the university’s landholding around the Metro Station (below). Much of it is planned to be office space with a decidedly suburban office park character. This massive amount of office space is sure to sap up a lot of the market for office space in College Park (over the next 15 years?). At the same time, it’s important to remember that many of the tenants of these offices wouldn’t be here in the first place had it not been for the draw of the research park and the need for some firms to locate next to firms in the same (or closely related industries). Put more simply – the private market doesn’t build research parks by itself.

There is some housing proposed at the far southwest in addition to a major condo project planned for the WMATA parking lot (seen in yellow). We like the connection to the Anacostia Tributary Trail system, but eventually it will be necessary to have a meaningful pedestrian link under the Metro tracks towards campus.
Detailed Phasing Plan for M-Square

3 thoughts on “Rising From the Mud”

  1. Somewat related to MSquare: would someone please give me a ray of hope and tell me that the god-awful looking (actually Im thinking “fugly”) tennis center is temporary and will come down to make way for nicer looking development.

    talk about a visual train wreck. too close to the roadway and to crowded. how did that happen? where was the MNCPPC?


  2. A point that is seldom made is that about 50% of the M-Square acreage is in Riverdale Park. The NOAA property is predominately in Riverdale Park and the three smaller buildings referenced above are all in Riverdale Park. The American Center for Physics is a building that also straddles both municipal jurisdictions.

  3. The Tennis Center is here to stay. It is located on Park and Planning property and was paid for by a Maryland alumnus who worked on Wall Street. It has a tennis academy that trains youth from the Metropolitan area, with the aim of providing them instruction which will result in their being able to obtain college tennis scholarships.

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