Developer sought for major TOD in Maryland
Update: Metro issued its RFP on Tuesday, September 21, here.
The land around the New Carrollton Metro station stop in Prince George's County, Maryland, consists of huge parking lots in a sea of sprawl. The area is the opposite of a hip, mixed-use urban place. But the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) thinks that the site has big potential for transformation into an urban center.
Steven Goldin, a real estate official with WMATA, told the Washington Post that the site is the best real estate development opportunity in the country.
"New Carrollton is, we believe, the premiere development opportunity in the United States." he said. "Not only the premiere TOD (transit-oriented development) opportunity, the premiere opportunity. You've got an Amtrak stop, a Metro stop, a MARC stop. The GSA [General Services Administration] already has a huge footprint out there with the IRS building, so obviously it's a location that the GSA knows and is comfortable with. And you've got a jurisdictional government that wants to see development there. So we expect a national response."
Metro is looking to partner with a developer on the project, which calls for up to 3,000 housing units and 2.5 million square feet of office or other commercial space on 39 acres, according to the Washington Business Journal. "Metro will hold a mandatory pre-bid meeting Oct. 5 with responses due Nov. 5. The authority will then work with the partner to plan the project," the article notes.
In addition to residential and commercial development, the County's Overlay Zoning Map Amendment calls for an extensive system of open spaces; an efficient street network that feels welcome to pedestrians, bicyclists, and vehicular traffic alike; and a Metro station rebuilt as a grand urban transportation center.
The Washington area already has more prime examples of recent TOD than probably any other metropolitan area in the US. These include Clarendon in Arlington, Virginia; Rockville Town Square in Rockville, Maryland; Twinbrook Commons in Rockville, Maryland; downtown Silver Spring, Maryland; Bethesda Row in Bethesda, Maryland; and the area around the Columbia Heights Metro station in the District of Columbia. All are centered around Metro Stations. But Prince George's County, where New Carrollton is located, lacks a single high-quality TOD and is behind the rest of the region in this kind of development.
The September 6 Washington Post article is here.