Route One ‘Northgate’ Highrise Planned

Northgate Elevation

Another residential highrise similar in size and design to the University View is planned for a Route One site located just north of campus. The Northgate project won final approval from city and county officials in June, and the 17-story project will contain 204 condominium units and is estimated to cost $68 million to construct. We hear the project was subject to lengthy debate by the City Council over the size, design, and amount of parking provided. Under approved plans the building will be connected by a trail to the pedestrian bridge located behind the University View. Other specific details are included in the Planning Board’s resolution (PDF) approving the detailed site plan. Click on the images below for a closer look at what is planned.

Northgate AerialNorthgate Project Elevations

11 thoughts on “Route One ‘Northgate’ Highrise Planned”

  1. Top left corner of that lot is mighty close to a curve in the Paint Branch, which may cause a similar situation that Jiffy Lube is currently experiencing, I wonder if theyre going to have to build another (eventually) futile erosion barrier there.

  2. Take a closer look at that image of the proposed building. See those context buildings to the left and right? One of the three buildings in that image doesn’t fit. Did anyone learn anything from the View?

  3. Evan, I think you’re right, but in the long run I think the city wants to replace most of the buildings on Route 1 with much larger ones – this is what the Route 1 Sector Plan specifies.

  4. Additionally, College Park desperately needs more housing units so as to reduce the price pressure. When we consider the aesthetics of an apartment (or condo) building, we must also consider what consequences the implementation of aesthetic values has on affordable housing.

  5. I just want to point out that these condos are intended for reasonably well-off folks, with University staff, faculty, and administrators in mind in particular. One big point of debate between the city and the developers was how to ensure that the condos are owner occupied and do not become student rentals. This is a big issue for the city on any housing that they don’t want to end up student housing. A few of the roadblocks with this though have been a) trying to find legal ways to do it and b) developers not being able to get a loan if too many units are restricted in covenants to owner occupancy. City politicians are extremely interested in shaping where students live and where they don’t in the city. Is this a good thing or a bad thing? I don’t know.

  6. I don’t expect this building itself to provide affordable housing, but my assumption was that an increase in the regional supply in housing can help reduce the price pressure as the demand continues to increase regionally whether we like it or not.

    As for politicians shaping where students do and do not live, I’ve always been worried about planning policies that wish to exclude *certain kinds* of people. Though I don’t know if students are a classified as a group legally protected from housing discrimination, it’s worrisome whenever an elected body wishes to find legal loopholes to usurp the spirit of the law.

    However, many jurisdictions tax owner-occupied housing at a lower rate than rental units as an incentive to owner occupancy. Perhaps the city could consider a “tax adjustment” in line with its vision to discourage absentee landlords. However, a good number of those landlords vote.

    It should also be noted that discouraging rental properties means that housing is restricted to those with sufficient access to the financial credit necessary to mortgage a home. Good luck if you’re poor.

  7. Does College Park have any restrictions on second-home ownership? Owning multiple units creates great opportunity for renters, but also pushes the cost of home ownership higher and higher as non-primary ownership demand is increased. I know many towns have/are classifying second-home ownership as a ‘business’ and requiring lengthy registration and taxation to discourage the practice.

  8. Keep in mind that many of these units will go for upwards of half a million. Very few students are going to be able to afford the required rent regardless of whatever covenants the city or county tries to make part of the zoning deal. This tower is just the beginning – they’ll be plenty of places for everyone to live. This is also a renters vs. residents debate, not just students vs. residents. What is concerning is the repetition of these exactions in other buildings like on the 9 story tower going up on the city hall site and Mosaic at Turtle Creek behind Hillel. if this is the only way we can get some higher end housing then so be it – as long as it is consistent with the law.

  9. “Keep in mind that many of these units will go for upwards of half a million. Very few students are going to be able to afford the required rent regardless of whatever covenants the city or county tries to make part of the zoning deal.”
    A person who can afford the mortgage on upwards of half a million dollars is more than just reasonably well off!

    FEW staff members have salaries that would support that kind of debt..

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