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Developer Q&A: Prince George's County Roundup

From Hyattsville to College Park to Greenbelt to Brandywine, major developments are planned throughout Prince George's County. Many of the developers behind those projects spoke at Bisnow's Future of Prince George's County event last week. Here are excerpts from what four of those developers had to say about the vision for their projects. 

Former Urban Investment Partners Senior Vice President of Development Brook Katzen at Bisnow's Prince George's County event.

Urban Investment Partners Vice President Brook Katzen on the Hyattsville site UIP assembled to build a 260-unit mixed-use project

"It’s about two miles north of the D.C. border and two miles south of College Park and the University of Maryland, which is a great place to be. We think we can pull housing demand from both directions."

"There are sort of three commercial districts within the City of Hyattsville. The two Metro stations, West Hyattsville Metro and Prince George’s Plaza Mall Metro, and then the Arts District, which is not at a Metro station. Not to discount the importance of being next to Metro, it’s really important and we love developing near transit. But in this particular case we really like the Arts District and Hyattsville because of its character, the appeal and funkiness of the Arts District."

COPT Senior Development Manager Evan Weisman at Bisnow's Prince George's County event

COPT Senior Development Manager Evan Weisman on his strategy to attract businesses to College Park's Discovery District, where COPT plans to invest roughly $500M and build 1.5M SF of development:

"The university has its own on-campus incubator, several businesses have come out of that recently. We want to keep those businesses in the area. We would certainly target them. We’re also pitching to private businesses that this would be a great place to locate because of the proximity to the university and also because of the proximity to D.C. in general. People don’t realize how close College Park is to D.C. When we think about this location we think of it as a lower-priced alternative to a Bethesda, because with Purple Line coming you’ll be able to live in Bethesda but take a job in College Park that you never would have taken before, and the same thing with Silver Spring."

"We see College Park becoming a more densely populated residential community for people out of school in apartment-style units. There are two residential buildings with retail planned in the area. That’s going to help us attract more tenants to the office space. Employees will have somewhere nice to live nearby, more amenities, and that will fuel more companies wanting to come."

Renard Development Co. Manager Garth Beall

Renard Development Co. Manager Garth Beall on his Greenbelt site that was among the three finalists for the $2B FBI HQ before the General Services Administration canceled the search in July

"From my perspective, we’re actually still under an option agreement with the federal government to sell a portion of the Greenbelt site. It’s 4M SF total, 2.4M SF is for the FBI and 1.6M SF is for mixed-use development. We actually entered into that agreement before they moved forward with the solicitation for the build, and it remains active. Obviously the solicitation for the construction of the headquarters has gone in a little bit of a circuitous route and the solicitation was canceled. I think they’ll probably be moving forward."

"Acting Administrator Tim Horne understandably was probably a little nervous moving forward with a very complicated transaction with the exchange of the Hoover Building downtown. They didn’t have permanent leadership at the Public Buildings Service, which is GSA’s real estate arm, or GSA or FBI. They left the bidders hanging for a few months. I don’t think they wanted to leave the bidders on hold forever. So they decided to cancel it. My understanding from maybe a month ago is that they are working on Plan B, and they actually think they’re going to have a Plan B. And Plan B, as I understand [it], is a phased project, which makes a lot of sense. They’re in 16 locations. 52% of their headquarters employees are at the Hoover Building. Early on, because of the funding issues, we had proposed breaking this thing up a little bit. Make it a little bit more easy to swallow to get approved. They could do 1.1M SF of net rental, get everybody out of Hoover and then build the rest of it."

TripleStone Chief Operating Officer Angela Patel

TripleStone Chief Operating Officer Angela Patel on the Cadillac Crossing development in Brandywine:  

"What used to be, or still is, a small motel — the Cadillac Motel right on 301 — within the next few months will begin a multiphased, nearly $50M project spanning 15 acres and 200K SF with a great variety of partners and contributors."

"The first phase, which is currently about to wrap up, is a retail center anchored on both ends by corporate clients, Verizon and Chipotle, who was actually first to take a chance with us.

"As part of that retail center there will be local small businesses as well, such as a nail salon, hibachi grill and a sushi restaurant. As a small business ourselves, it's important to us to make sure we’re not only creating jobs in the county, but also supporting local businesses."

"Phase 2 will be a Lidl grocery store, one of the largest grocery chains in Europe from Germany. They’ve been another great anchor for the site. The third and fourth phases are unfolding before us, but what we envision is a hotel, which is well underway in conceptualization, as well as what we hope will become a medical center and/or an office facility and/or an extension of one of the great educational institutions in the county who are rapidly running out of space."