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College Park: The Next Research Triangle?

Washington, D.C. Other

North Carolina's Research Triangle is often hailed as ground zero for groundbreaking findings, and for developers, hot demographics. But College Park could soon give it a run for its money, according to University of Maryland VP Brian Darmody at our Future of Prince George's County event last week at National Harbor. Brian (right, with Linowes & Blocher's Midgett Parker) says the distance from Baltimore to College Park is about the same as the area NC's Research Triangle covers, and that metrics such as income and education levels are better in Maryland. That's why the school is heavily focused on growing the M Square research park just south of campus (square vs. triangle—it's a geometric showdown), where it will aim to help tech startups prosper.

DC-based Monument Realty hopes to take advantage of the young, affluent population in College Park, and the firm's Josh Olsen updated the crowd on its Monument Village at College Park multifamily development starting next month. Monument will bring 235 apartment units (including a heavy mix of studios and one bedrooms) as well as 4,800 SF of retail to the project, which sits on Route One not far from campus. While the property won't be a traditional student housing project, Josh says the impact UMD can have on developments is huge: "The University of Maryland is nothing but a Millennial factory... and we believe in the beneficial impact" of the school.

The list of developers in College Park is growing larger by the year, including Keane Enterprises. The firm's Andy Shuckra reports that it has two projects in the works there: a 275-unit apartment complex on Berwyn House Road that'll target UMD faculty and staff as well as M Square workers, and a 157-room Courtyard by Marriott at the site of the former Koons Ford on Route One. The hotel will also include 23k SF of retail, 12k of which has already been leased out to CVS. (Unlike the Ford cars, the hotel rooms won't have four doors. That'd be a bit much.)

WMATA (and director of real estate Stan Wall) is also firmly in the College Park development mix, with a five-acre site just south of the College Park Metro station. The org just received a bid from Metropolitan Development Group proposing 500 residential units and 10k SF of retail.