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Developer Buys 3 College Park Hotels To Tear Down, Replace With Affordable Housing

More than 300 units of affordable housing are planned for a site not far from the University of Maryland's flagship campus after the sale of three adjacent hotels.

A rendering of the planned 317-unit affordable housing development at 9113 Baltimore Ave. in College Park.

The 4.4-acre site at 9113 and 9137 Baltimore Ave. in College Park has long been home to the Days Inn, Howard Johnson and Red Roof Inn hotels. The property sold to a developer that is planning to build a five-story, 317-unit affordable housing project, BridgeWater Real Estate Brokerage co-founder Adam Stein told Bisnow

Stein, who represented the seller in the deal, declined to share the name of the buyer and seller or the sale price, and the sale hasn't yet posted to public records.

But past property records, planning documents and news reports involving the site indicate it was sold by an affiliate of Columbia, Maryland-based Baywood Hotels and the buyer that has been planning the development is an affiliate of Rockville-based RST Development. 

RST's Scott Copeland presented preliminary development plans to the College Park and Prince George's County governments, public records show, and the Prince George's County Planning Board approved the detailed site plan in March to build a 317-unit project branded the Flats at College Park. 

The hotels were constructed between the 1940s and 1990s, and Stein said he expects them to close in the coming weeks. RST's timeline for beginning construction on the project is unclear.

The properties at 9113 and 9137 Baltimore Ave. in College Park feature three hotels that are now planned for demolition.

The developer plans to use Low-Income Housing Tax Credits to make all of the project's units affordable, Stein said, and he said it may take advantage of the site's location in an opportunity zone

Stein said the property was appealing for affordable housing because of the lack of options for low-income residents in College Park and the high demand from staff at the University of Maryland and the surrounding businesses. The property sits about a mile north of the UMD campus entrance on Baltimore Avenue, also known as Route 1. 

"There’s a lack of affordable housing in that area. There's just not a lot in that submarket," Stein said. "So the lack of supply and the increased demand, there’s a lot of demand with the school alone, much less all the indirect jobs from supporting the school."

Stein's team at BridgeWater Real Estate Brokerage marketed the site specifically as an affordable housing development opportunity. Stein co-founded the firm in 2021 along with Tim Sabet after the pair left Gaithersburg-based Ideal Realty Group.

BridgeWater's strategy is focused on creating new affordable housing by identifying development sites and working with the owners to sell them to developers. It has closed three prior deals of this kind in Southeast D.C., Lexington Park, Maryland, and Great Mills, Maryland, and the duo did similar deals while at IRG. 

Stein said property owners typically receive calls from many brokers trying to work with them to sell their sites, and pitching affordable housing projects has helped him stand out and "get hung up on less." Plus, he said he sees it as a way to use a brokerage firm to spur the societal benefits of affordable housing creation. 

"By targeting properties in specific areas with proper zoning that we know or have a feeling that affordable housing would be the highest and best use, then I believe that I’m creating a company and trying to train and find new agents to create and preserve affordable housing from the brokerage side," Stein said. "That’s my goal."