A new hotel, apartment building and nearly 20,000 square feet of retail space will transform the area surrounding the College Park Metro in the next several years, local officials said.
At the end of 2016, Prince George's County officials chose a team of developers — Republic Properties, Pyramid Hotel Group and the Mark Vogel Companies — to develop approximately 2.6 acres of county land across from the Metro station, said Dave Iannucci, the county's assistant deputy chief administrative officer for economic development.
The site is expected to include a hotel with approximately 150 rooms and an additional 7,360 square feet of retail space, Iannucci said.
"We expect they're going to go after restaurants in particular … to meet some of the demand from the office park at M-Square," Iannucci said. M-Square Research Park is a part of the University of Maryland's Discovery District, a 150-acre area hub for business and research facilities.
The county is currently negotiating the sale of the property to the Republic team, Iannucci said, as well as discussing the terms of a binding contract. Construction on the project will hopefully begin sometimes in 2018, he added.
"We want quality in there," Iannucci said. "We're not looking for a low end hotel; we're looking for a very solid brand."
The Republic project follows a string of hotels popping up around the College Park area — including The Hotel, which is scheduled to open on Route 1 sometime this summer, and the Cambria Hotel, which is located across from The View at the former Koons Ford showroom. The Cambria Hotel is scheduled to open about six months after The Hotel, or within the first three months of 2018 — said Marian Hrab, The Hotel's director of sales and marketing.
Despite these additions, Prince George's County Councilwoman Dannielle Glaros said she thinks the Republic Hotel will provide the necessary overflow accommodations for those looking to stay in College Park for conferences at The Hotel. It will also provide house retail for companies within the Discovery District.
"We are actually a pretty robust market for a lot of different hotel operators," Glaros said. "We've been fairly underserved … We have a lot of office tenants that have people who would come and stay in the area for events coming on, and we also have a number of visitors who come to College Park and use it as their gateway into the nation's capital."
Gilbane Development Co. also announced in 2016 a project to transform a five-acre WMATA parking lot into more than 400 apartment units and an estimated 11,900 square feet of retail, the Washington Business Journal reported.
While Mayor Patrick Wojahn said he is excited for both properties to capitalize on this area of College Park, he also voiced concerns about quality of life in existing neighborhoods.
"We don't want a development that towers over the houses that we have in our neighborhoods currently," Wojahn said.
These developers still need to meet with various civic associations and residents of College Park to hear any concerns or potential feedback, Wojahn said.
"I do feel optimistic about these developments," he said. "I'm a firm believer that the best approach to development is to put it in places where the infrastructure can best handle it, and around a Metro station is a very appropriate place for more dense development."