In Spring 2017, the Partnership sponsored a real estate market and redevelopment study of the mid-town section of College Park, from Lakeland Road to MD-193. A multi-disciplinary team was formed by University Professors Dr. Margaret MacFarland (Real Estate) and Dr. Madlen Simon (Architecture), with assistance from the City Planning Department, bringing architecture, urban design, and real estate development expertise to the study. The design team was asked to envision a healthy, walkable district to tie together University and City with sustainable mixed-use development within the current zoning code.
An Academic Study
This is an academic study that developed market analysis and proposed redevelopment concepts, yielding the following:
- Paint Park envisions modern, social living and Class-A office space, and joins it with nature. The idea features a seven-story residential building, an eight-story office building, and an inviting public realm between the two buildings: https://secureservercdn.net/220.127.116.11/vzb.11e.myftpupload.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/MS-Final-A-New-Vision-for-Midtown_110317_Paint-Park.pdf
- The Square at College Park is a mixed-use development concept located within walking distance to the University. It features a rooftop garden for residents, while the open square provides a connection to community: https://secureservercdn.net/18.104.22.168/vzb.11e.myftpupload.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/MS-Final-A-New-Vision-for-Midtown_110317_The-Square.pdf
- Midtown Village is a sustainable mixed-use development idea that includes Class A rental units, retail, and a large public plaza. The plaza connects residents with the University and Community, while the street level would offer retail amenities: https://secureservercdn.net/22.214.171.124/vzb.11e.myftpupload.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/MS-Final-A-New-Vision-for-Midtown_110317_Midtown-Village.pdf
- Lakeland Hub is an idea for mixed-use development that features significant placemaking. The concept includes multifamily apartments, a public plaza, a food hall, a fitness center, as well as a pool and spa: https://secureservercdn.net/126.96.36.199/vzb.11e.myftpupload.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/MS-Final-A-New-Vision-for-Midtown_110317_Lakeland-Hub.pdf
- Additional potential features in this graduate level real estate and urban design study include a “riverwalk,” parking garage, solar houses, and a connecting bridge over the Paint Branch at Berwyn House Road.
Please note, there are no active developments around these concepts. This study is academic in nature, but can yield ideas and visions that can be helpful to thinking about the future of the area. While not all of the concepts depicted are feasible, they provide opportunities to think differently about this segment of College Park. If you have any questions regarding this process or the study itself, please contact Eric Olson, Executive Director of the City-University Partnership.
The Partnership would like to thank the multi-disciplinary team of professors and graduate students who came together to reimagine this automotive strip into an active, pedestrian friendly space of City and Campus communities. The Partnership would also like to thank the community for welcoming and supporting this student-led effort by providing key insights and feedback. Special thanks to the Lakeland Civic Association and the Berwyn Civic Association.
FULL REPORT LINK: https://files.acrobat.com/a/preview/03d195a5-96f0-4cb0-a978-6ff74b183008
Potential Opportunities, Features, and Place-making:
- This Midtown District vision is an opportunity to create a new gateway showcasing innovation.
- The intersection of “Innovation Drive” with Baltimore Avenue would be a prime location for new office space focused on technology.
- Consider rotating new development along Baltimore Boulevard by 90 degrees, with buildings enclosing pedestrian mews and plazas connecting neighborhood streets through to the river.
- The concept of a “Paint Branch Promenade Riverwalk” transforms the stream from barrier to social connector, providing access to nature and healthy outdoor recreation linked to a regional trail network.
- Connecting bridge over the Paint Branch at Berwyn House Road offers a potential pedestrian and vehicle connection to campus, with a new street – potentially called “Innovation Drive” – bridging the Paint Branch, connecting to Regents Drive, and linking campus and the Midtown District.
- A parking garage lined with retail could be located just west of the Paint Branch.
- The University of Maryland’s Solar Decathlon houses could line the street, highlighting innovative technology development on campus.
- Create mews linking Baltimore Avenue to the “Riverwalk” and provide views of Paint Branch
- Create a market square offering retail to neighborhood residents, campus community, and hotel guests
- All-pedestrian phase “barn dance” street crossings for enhanced pedestrian access
- Lively retail/entertainment offering “third places” for community gathering
Market Analysis Opportunities:
- University related demand exists for additional office, study, or general use space.
- With numerous student housing options, proposals should find a way to differentiate from competing Class A residential properties through brand management and latest trends.
- There is an overabundance of fast casual dining and convenience strip shopping centers that focus on providing commodity products.
- The retail component of the development should focus on specialty retail products and creating an authentic sense of place.