Domain College Park, LLC has submitted a Detailed Site Plan application for 256 units of market rate multi-family apartments on Mowatt Lane, according to City of College Park Senior Planner Elisa Vitale.
Presented at Tuesday night's city council meeting, the site plan detailed a visual and specification-laden preview of what Councilwoman Stephanie Stullich (Dist. 4) deemed a "very attractive project."
The property, a 2.66-acre site in the Mixed-Use Transportation Oriented (M-X-T) Zone, is located at 7720 Mowatt Lane with frontage on Campus Drive and Mowatt Lane, Vitale said.
Over 10,000 square feet of ground floor retail with 380 spaces of structured and underground parking will support four stories of market rate apartments with amenities such as a fitness center, screening room and a resort style courtyard with a pool.
"The parking ratio is 1.48 per unit," Vitale said. She added that she believes this is a reasonable parking ratio.
But there's one issue that's remains a "sticking point," according to Attorney Richard K. Reed, counsel to The Hanover Company, the Houston-based developer.
The bone of contention: the $54,000 price tag for a bike share station.
"While $54,000 is not that much in the scheme of things, it's an unanticipated cost in this late point in the project." Reed said emphatically.
Councilman Marcus Afzali (Dist. 4) spoke directly to Reed and Adam Harbin, Acquisitions and Development Partner at The Hanover Company, saying the cost for the station is "not that much" and that unexpected costs are typical in construction projects.
"The amount can be negotiated. A downright rejection of this would be a problem."
Harbin acknowledged, "unexpected costs do come up." Citing College Park's priority toward a green approach to development, he reminded the council of one costly step, in addition to two others, Hanover has taken to meet the requirements.
"[We're] electing to meet new stormwater regulations [with a] cutting-edge stormwater management design," Harbin said. "[We] paid for charrette and providing a plaza."
Councilman Patrick Wojahn (Dist. 1) stressed that congestion is an issue in the city. "We want to see a standard."
Wojahn added that bike sharing is one way of handling congestion. "The entire region is using it and it's shown to be successful. This is a real priority."
At Capital Bikeshare, in the D.C. metro area, cyclists can choose over 1,100 bicycles from at over 110 stations across the district and Arlington, Va., and then return it to any station, according to its website.
"It's a very attractive project," Councilwoman Stephanie Stullich (Dist. 4) said. "At the same time, it's not something we're just asking you, it's something we're asking all developers."
Reed agreed that the bike share is a "desirable option," but said the problem is timing. "You're asking us at the tail end."
Despite the lively debate, it was agreed that the requested financial contribution — $54,000 — for the operation and maintenance of a bike share station at the project remains open for discussion.
"We can study the issue," Harbin said.
The City of College Park Mayor and Council anticipate taking a position on Jan. 11 at their regular meeting, and the Prince George's County Planning Board will review the application at a hearing on Feb. 10, Vitale said.