September College Park Development Update

Be sure to see the September College Park Development update. The Development Update is a bi-monthly newsletter prepared by the City of College Park Planning, Community and Economic Development Department covering development activity in the City. It covers status updates to the Maryland Book Exchange redevelopment, M-Square, and East Campus proposals among others. To subscribe, please feel free to contact Robert Riker at (240) 487-3544 or

18 thoughts on “September College Park Development Update”

  1. I noticed there is a 150-room hotel noted for the Koon’s dealership site. Any idea who’s working on that development and what it will look like?

    Also, is anything happening with some of the stalled Northgate projects? Namely, View III, the cite of the defunct Northgate Condos, and the College Park Motel (which I think was supposed to be a new Best Western).

  2. The College Park Motel demo work began Saturday (9/10) with the disconnection of utilities. A fence around the property went up today (Thursday). View III has applied for building permits to buy time. With the opening of Oakland Hall on north campus without the demolition of Leonardtown as envisioned by the Foulger-Pratt plan for East Campus, View III, as approved by the County, may not be a viable project, unless the University expands its enrollment Northgate condo is long dead, this Monument Realty property was foreclosed upon by the bank a couple of years ago.

  3. Thanks for the info, good to hear at least one of the projects is starting. It would be a shame to lose View III, as that’s a big part of the revitalized Northgate area. Do we know who owns the site where Northgate Condos were planned (or is it still bank owned)? How about the former Koon’s dealership site?

  4. Northgatge Condo property is still bank owned (to the best of my knwledge. At auction (2009)no party present would bid when auctioneer said bidding would start at $2 million. Propertty had sold previously for $4 million to Monument Reality.

    Koon’s family owns property and will partner with developer, but will retain significant interest in development.

  5. It must be a member of my landlord fan club talking. Not surprisingly he still doesn’t even know how to spell my name; but why get anything right when you want to display your misdirected anger and ignorance.

  6. I agree with Bob Catlin that there is misdirected anger and ignorance, but not with the Bob Catlin’s landlord fan club remark. There is no reason to attempt to discredit someone without any basis. This is what prcrstn8r does and this is what Mr. Catlin does as well.

    Why would a city councilman make such a derogatory remark aimed at a specific group with no basis? Is it misdirected anger or ignorance? Does he have a vendetta against College Park landlords? Does he vote fairly on the issues regarding landlords? Is he prejudice to their positions? Does he unfairly target landlords with legislation? I could go on and on about this remark.

    I find this behavior troubling especially from an elected official. In fairness to all Mr. Catlin should recuse himself from votes that effect College Park landlords. The is something that should be taken up by the council and discussed in an open forum.

  7. Friends, I do not think this is the appropriate forum for this type of discussion. There are a multitude of message boards that focus on local politics and mudslinging. You will only meet hostility by bringing negative discourse here. If you feel the need to bring something to the attention to RCP readers, please do it in a respectful way that advances discussion and does not outright defame individuals.

  8. I was surprised these off topic comments were permitted. They show up all the time in response to various Diamondback stories. We are much beter off without them.

  9. Anyway, it will be interesting to see what the new hotel at College Park Motel site will look like. Are there renderings anywhere for that?

    That new hotel and the Koon’s lot redevelopment should keep the ball moving while we wait for View III to be built (if that still happens). Hopefully something will happen for the former Northgate Condos site too.

  10. The hotel project called Garden Suites was approved by the District Council in July 2007. No renderings are available online. Some information is available from the Park & Planning website (PG Planning Department) under DSP-05005. Search under 2007 for Garden Suites.

  11. Thanks again for all the insights. One more question. I read that the town hall is being renovated/expanded (the article I saw seemed to indicate that all the parking spaces would be eliminated for the expansion, so I’m guessing it’s fairly substantial). Is that still in the works? Are there any renderings available?

  12. The City Council has not seen the initial plan for the proposed addition. The addition will have to be fairly large to house the dozen or so Public Service employees who work out of the Old Friend’s School east wing, provide accomodation for the contract police program and provide additional staff/community meeting space. But that doesn’t mean that all of the surface parking will go away.

  13. There are some great projects on this list but its a shame that none of them involve a redesign / remodel of Rt I. So far all of these buildings make RT 1 look even worse as they are only doing the minimum required to improve it. I hope the new projects are required to make a larger investment into RT 1.

  14. It is hard to require much when the State does not have a detailed design and engineering for a rebuilt Route 1. I expect the $8 million that the State will spend toward this goal in 2012-13 will matter for projects that the County might approve in a couple of years.

  15. The City’s Planning staff has never liked the heavy massing of the Route 1 proposed projects. The City Council in the past found that dealing with the City’s housing shortage was more important than demanding that the project be downsized to present a more attractive looking project. Now because of the project location and the much greater availability of housing, their is no reason to not focus on how a project looks and blends in with the neighborhood. I suspect the developer could address the Planning Staff’s concerns by developing a new plan that would reduce the number of beds by about 15-20%. So an 800 bed project rather than a 1,000 bed project.

  16. It will be very interesting to watch how the Book Exchange project progresses through the development review process. There is definitely a gap between what the Sector Plan says and what the City’s staff wants it to say. Most (but not all) of the items listed in the city’s staff report are of questionable relevance. The developer’s step-back argument is specious.

    Let’s not forget that the city (both council and staff) fill an advisory role. The county planning board and council have the ultimate say. Eric Olson on the county council could definitely delay the project, but ultimately this doesn’t come down to a popular vote no matter how much the elected officials would like it to. The developer is mostly within the intent and bounds of the zoning for the property. As usual, the press coverage and political pronouncements overlook this fact.

    I do believe that the project could be improved and that it will probably have to be scaled down on the order that Bob is talking about.

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