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Amazon Investing $82M In 2 Prince George's County Apartment Projects Near Metro

A rendering of Gilbane Development Co.'s Atworth College Park development.

Amazon's $125M partnership with WMATA to fund transit-oriented development in the D.C. region has borne fruit at two Prince George's County Metro stations.

Amazon is investing $81.7M combined into two multifamily projects, it announced Tuesday, pumping $56.3M into Gilbane Development Co.'s project at the College Park Metro station and $25.4M into an Urban Atlantic building at New Carrollton.

The investments are being made to help ensure that both projects, which combined would yield more than 700 apartments, would remain affordable for those making less than 80% of area median income for 98 years, according to details released Tuesday by Amazon and WMATA.

"Thanks to Metro’s nation-leading joint development initiatives and Amazon’s commitment to affordable housing, the future is bright for smart growth near Metro and other transit options in Prince George’s County and throughout the entire region we serve," said Paul Wiedefeld, general manager and CEO of WMATA, in a statement.

With Amazon's funding in hand, Gilbane plans to start construction immediately at the 451-unit Atworth College Park, which will feature ground-floor retail and a public park and is within walking distance of the University of Maryland and the Discovery District.

Urban Atlantic will use the funds toward its construction of The Margaux, a 291-unit development that is expected to deliver in late 2023 as part of the local developer's 2.3M SF multimodal hub at New Carrollton, the terminus of Metro's Orange Line and, eventually, Maryland's Purple Line.

In a release, the developer said The Margaux would feature "market-rate finishes," including an indoor-outdoor yoga and fitness center, a dog wash and dog walk area, and coworking space for remote workers on-site.

Amazon's Housing Equity Fund announced last summer it would partner with WMATA to develop affordable housing near Metro stations, part of its $2B commitment overall to build housing near its offices in Seattle, Nashville and Northern Virginia.

The funding specifically provides below-market loans to developers that already have joint development agreements with WMATA, which has been looking increasingly to bring in developers to construct housing on surplus land near Metro stations to entice new commuters and build revenue.

The Amazon-WMATA partnership also promised in a blog post to provide $25M to minority-led development firms.

In a statement on Tuesday, Amazon Head of Community Development Catherine Buell said the fund's progress over the past year was "promising, but we have more to do."

“The Amazon Housing Equity Fund is tackling the affordable housing crisis on multiple fronts and through innovative solutions, such as teaming up with public transit authorities, which brings people closer to more opportunities, services, and a better quality of life,” Buell said. “We know that our investment in these areas brings many economic opportunities for residents in the region, but we also acknowledge that this growth needs to benefit everyone in the community."