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Developers Offer Revised Plans for M Square Project

The city's planning staff approves of the changes developers made to their plans for office space and a parking garage at the M Square Research Park.

The College Park planning staff is recommending that the city council approve, with conditions, the revised plans put forward by developers who want to construct office space and a parking garage at the M Square Research Park.

Developers hope to create an attractive, pedestrian-friendly transit district that reduces reliance on vehicles and provides an economic boost to the area, according to a memo from the city’s planning staff.

The 13.43-acre property is located on the College Park and Riverdale Park border, within a 10-minute walk of the College Park Metro Station and near a proposed Purple Line light rail stop.

The detailed site plan that the mayor and council reviewed at Tuesday’s work session in was revised since the . The changes addressed concerns from College Park, Riverdale Park and the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning staff concerning the environment, parking and other design issues.

No tenants have yet been identified to fill the three proposed office buildings, 150,000 square feet each.

Below is a breakdown of information about the property, the stakeholders, the detailed site plan and the review and approval process, as discussed at Tuesday's meeting, and explained in city documents.

M Square Facts

  • Location: M Square Research Park, east of River Road, approximately ½-mile west of intersection with Kenilworth Avenue
  • 13.43 acres comprised of three lots: Lot 15 (3.85 acres); Lot 16 (5.84 acres); Lot 17 (3.73 acres)
  • Zoned Planned Industrial/Employment Park
  • Property Owner: State of Maryland
  • Developer: COPT Development and Construction Services, LLC
  • Nearby: USDA, NOAA, FDA Center for Food Safety, Center for Advanced Study of Languages, American Center for Physics and the College Park Metro Station

College Park or Riverdale Park?

  • Both. Lot 17 and the majority of Lot 16 are in College Park, while the rest is in Riverdale Park.
  • It’s located within the College Park-Riverdale Transit District Overlay Zone.

Review and Approval Process

  • the detailed site plan with conditions, as part of the property is in Riverdale Park.
  • College Park planning staff is recommending approval with conditions. The College Park council will vote at a future meeting.
  • The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning technical staff report will be available by Feb. 23.
  • The Prince George’s County Planning Board is scheduled to hear the case March 8 in Upper Marlboro.

Detailed Site Plan

  • Applicant: M Square Associates, LLC, a public-private partnership between Corporate Office Properties Trust and the
  • Includes 450,000 square feet of office space and a four-story parking garage to be built in three phases. Each office building is 150,000 square feet.
  • Surface parking will be provided, generally screened by buildings and landscaping.
  • Buildings will be constructed of precast concrete and aluminum, and will include a glass canopy over the entrances.
  • The design does not preclude ground floor retail, but the developers have not committed to retail. They said there must first be a demand for retail at that location. They said if retail is introduced, it would likely be within the buildings just south of the College Park Metro Station.

Transit-oriented

  • The three buildings are about a 10-minute walk from the College Park Metro Station and will be even closer to the proposed Purple Line station.
  • There will be three points of access into the property from River Road. The two outer points will be right-in and right-out only, while the central point will allow entry and exit from both directions.
  • Will include a pedestrian amenity along River Road
  • The developers plan to include a bike share station at the location, as long as the city moves forward with the program.
Adelphi Sky February 09, 2012 at 08:25 PM
"Developers hope to create an attractive, pedestrian-friendly transit district that reduces reliance on vehicles and provides an economic boost to the area, according to a memo from the city’s planning staff." Hmmm. With nowhere to walk to get a cup of coffee or eat some lunch that doesn't isn't served by a machine I find it hard to see how this development is transit-oriented and pedestrian friendly. If all you need is a bus stop within a ten minute walk, then every block in College Park is transit-oriented. How about some nice watering holes and restaurants, and a drug store for our high earning scientists and professionals? Sheesh. And some apartments or condos wouldn't be bad. See Montgomery County's proposed LifeSci Village near the FDA campus. Google it.
Rosalie Jones February 10, 2012 at 01:24 PM
I can' even imagine getting in or out of the research park when NOAA moves in with 1000 employees and no traffic signal @ RiverRoad and University Research Court since 3 buildings are exiting there.

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