County planning board approves new housing development
By Brittany N. Gaddy
The Prince George’s County Planning Board unanimously approved the development of The Hub, a mixed-use student housing project on the north side of Knox Road in College Park.
After approving the preliminary plan of developer Core Campus Manager, LLC (Core Spaces) on Oct. 8, the board approved the detailed site plan Oct. 15.
The plan will create a 0.72-acre parcel of land by combining six lots and razing two duplexes that were built in 1953.
The apartment building will have 161 dwelling units, which will include 46 one-bedroom units, 21 two-bedroom units and 94 four-bedroom units. Amenities will include a gym, yoga room, sauna, club room, hot tub and a pool terrace. There will be 1,022 square feet of space set aside for retail and plans include a garage with 94 parking spaces.
During a Sept. 15 College Park City Council meeting, members discussed the redevelopment of land at 4210-4220 Knox Road. The council voted to approve the development plan Sept. 22. Some members had concerns about the apartments’ affordability, the development’s stormwater management and the increase in traffic it could introduce to the area.
The costs of the rental units have not yet been decided.
Councilmember John Rigg (District 3) expressed his concern that possible high prices for The Hub could make it difficult for some University of Maryland students to live in the city.
Matthew Tedesco, a lawyer representing Core Spaces, said that the diversity of the units will increase the apartments’ affordability.
Edward Maginnis Jr., assistant vice president for real estate at the University of Maryland, said that increasing the supply of apartments will also lower rental prices.
City council student liaison Adam Rosenbaum compared The Hub’s possible rents to Terrapin Row apartments, which are currently priced as high as $1,909 for a one bedroom apartment.
“… [I]t doesn’t really change the status quo,” Rosenbaum said. “This is just sort of adding to the number of beds … without really making it easier or more accessible for students to live close to.”
Councilmember Maria Mackie (District 4) said she’s concerned that having another high rise in the area could exacerbate stormwater management issues.
But according to Miriam Bader, senior planner for the city’s Department of Planning and Community Development, all stormwater will be treated and remain on the site. It “will be collected and treated by five micro-bioretention planters … with underdrains, a green roof and a vault and filter system.”
Currently, there is no stormwater management for the site, said David Bickel, Core Spaces’ civil engineer. “So this development makes everything better,” he noted.
While some residents are concerned that the development may increase traffic in the area, a traffic impact analysis conducted by Lenhart Traffic Consulting Inc., indicates that plans for The Hub offer adequate access to public transportation facilities, minimizing the need for cars. The study also projected that the intersection of Knox Road and Route 1 is equipped to handle the additional traffic volume.
Citing some low levels in the analysis, Tedesco said, “At the end of the day, the analysis and the test that we have to conduct, and the laws that we have to follow do indicate that this is a passing intersection under all circumstances.”
“In general, [students are] very excited to have The Hub coming,” Rosenbaum said. The retail space is “a major source of excitement.” But the issues of traffic and storm water management will remain in discussion as The Hub development process continues.