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Gilbane Signs Deal With WMATA To Build 440-Unit College Park Project

A rendering of the 440-unit project Gilbane is planning at the College Park Metro station

For more than two decades, WMATA has been looking for a developer to build on a six-acre site it owns next to the College Park Metro station, and now it has taken a key step toward making that a reality. 

The transit agency signed a deal with Gilbane Development Co., allowing the developer to move forward with detailed site plans of the 440-unit, mixed-use project it has proposed on the site, WMATA announced Tuesday. 

WMATA put the site out to bid four times, dating back to the mid-1990s, but had not been able to reach a deal. Prince George's County and Maryland jointly built a 1,290-space parking garage next to the site in 2005, anticipating the development of the surface lot. WMATA issued the most recent request for proposals in July 2015. The agency awarded the site to Gilbane in July 2016 and signed a term sheet the following month.

The developer had since met with community members and received preliminary plan approval in October, but the latest agreement gives it the commitment it needs to move forward with the next phase of planning and ultimately break ground on the site later this year. 

The project will include 440 multifamily units, roughly 12K SF of retail and a one-acre public plaza. It will sit next to the Green Line Metro station and a future Purple Line station. 

“Maximizing transit-oriented development around Metro stations brings more residences and jobs within walking distance of our stations, which increases ridership and revenue for Metro without increasing costs,” WMATA Real Estate Director Nina Albert said in a release. 

The project is part of College Park's Discovery District, a $2B public-private partnership aimed at revitalizing the area between the Metro station and the University of Maryland. The $180M hotel that anchors the district delivered in September, and developer Corporate Office Properties Trust has plans to build at least 1.5M SF of office space over the next 10 to 15 years. The area had been proposed for Amazon HQ2 but did not make the 20-city shortlist announced last week. 

Gilbane, a national development firm based in Providence, Rhode Island, is also building a 483-unit project at the West Hyattsville Metro station, two stops south on the Green Line from College Park.