By Alice Carlson

Trader Joe’s is coming to College Park this fall, offering students and residents an alternative to Lidl, Target and the Whole Foods in nearby Riverdale Park. Part of a national chain of more than 560 stores, the new Trader Joe’s will be the first of its kind in Prince George’s County. The store will occupy just under 15,000 square feet of the ground-floor retail space at the Aster apartment complex, located at 4400 Calvert Road, just west of Baltimore Avenue.

Terrapin Development Company (TDC), the real estate and economic development enterprise collaboratively formed by the University of Maryland (UMD) and the University of Maryland College Park Foundation, was instrumental in bringing Trader Joe’s to College Park. According to Ken Ulman, TDC was formed “with a mission … to create a walkable, diverse, vibrant, university community that helps us attract and retain students, staff and faculty.” Ulman is TDC president and head of economic development at the university.

 “For us to be able to manage all the density that we have, it’s really important that we have amenities like grocery stores nearby and that benefits the environment [and] that benefits our quality of life. It’s helpful in many ways” Mayor Patrick Wojahn said. 

Conveniently located, the new Trader Joe’s will be within walking distance for many residents. Ulman confirmed that the store will have customer parking, as well.

Ulman also noted that bringing Trader Joe’s to College Park sends a message to other retailers about opportunities in the city and surrounding community.  “And so having a Trader Joe’s do the work to understand the market is also opening up other retailer’s eyes to say, ‘Oh, maybe I should think about bringing my concept to College Park,’” he said.

Trader Joe’s offers shoppers unique products, about 80% of which carry Trader Joe’s private brand labels. The stores, which stock seasonal offerings and a unique selection of frozen foods, aim to give shoppers not only products they love but a shopping experience that is fun, as well. 

The College Park Trader Joe’s is due to open in October; as of press time, the date had not yet been announced.