Awards: Excellence in Design: Honor Award (Institutional Architecture), AIA Maryland Chapter, 2022. Excellence in Design: Public Building of the Year Award (Institutional Architecture), AIA Maryland Chapter, 2022. LEED SILVER,  U.S. Green Building Council.

When project plans for the Purple Line light rail line called for the relocation of University of Maryland at College Park (UMD) office facilities, the University acquired retail property in downtown College Park adjacent to City Hall. As the acquisition materialized, University and City leaders recognized the transaction paralleled plans to redevelop College Park City Hall on its original, expanded, site. Shared priorities and a desire to leverage resources made way for a successful development partnership – an innovative shared space with university offices, city services, community meeting spaces, retailers and space for public gatherings and events.

The capital-intensive project required daily collaboration between the City and the University -most decisions over the project’s lifetime required joint approval by the City and UMD. Redgate Development Company served as a neutral development manager and managed the project budget and the procurement of the construction and design teams.

The project team opted for an innovative, condominium-structured ownership model; each party owns their respective office units and a percentage of the common elements. The University occupies 45,000 square feet of space in the upper two floors of the building; Government offices, City Council chambers, an atrium and community meeting spaces occupy the remaining 33,000 square feet in the four stories of commercial office space. The 10,000 sq. ft. of retail condominium space is owned by The Terrapin Development Company. Roles and responsibilities for ongoing maintenance and operations were pre-determined in advance as part of the project plan.

Video Produced by Redgate Development Company

Completed on time and within budget, College Park City Hall is a visual reminder of the possibilities of strong town-and-gown relations. Though completed in December of 2021, the rapport necessary to execute the (admittedly) risk-intense project did not occur by chance. The project’s success was made possible by a decades-long commitment of both the City of College Park and the University of Maryland to cross-sector collaboration. This shared commitment, observable in real-time throughout the city, is further codified in the formation of the College Park City-University Partnership. Founded in 1997, College Park’s community development nonprofit is a conduit of several successful development projects, including: College Park Academy, the College Park Community Preservation Trust, and the Partnership’s Live+Work Program.

In the case of College Park, it becomes clear — campus and community relations are worth prioritizing. College Park City Hall may serve as a model for town-and-gown communities nationwide.

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The Community Preservation Trust is now accepting applications! For more information, visit: