County and private-sector development officials hope the investment, along with other efforts to boost housing and public transit, will spur the kind of growth needed to create a vibrant urban place in an area now mostly known as a transportation hub.
New Carrollton is already home to the largest group of employers in the county, with nearly 12,000 public and private sector jobs and at least 4,000 more expected to be added in the coming years as new office buildings open, including Metro’s new headquarters in Maryland.
“Literally, what used to be just flat surface parking lots is now an explosion of growth,” said Angie Rogers, the county’s assistant administrative manager for economic development.
Along with a new metro headquarters, construction is underway on a 291-unit apartment complex and 1,800-space parking lot that will house bus operations. Amtrak is also planning a $75 million overhaul of its facilities.
Officials hope the pedestrian and bike improvements will create better connections for transit users and those who live and work there as part of the continued growth. Plans are to start construction next year and have all features, including the train hall, built by 2026.
“New Carrollton, as a transit-oriented development area, was envisioned as something that’s walkable and bikeable, that’s multimodal,” Rogers said. “This federal grant is going to allow us to get some of those connections.”
The train hall will be built in what is now an open space leading to the subway, creating covered spaces for escalators and retail opportunities, officials said, while providing transit riders with a way seamless to connect between multiple modes of transportation.
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New Carrollton has a subway station as well as stops for MARC and Amtrak trains and local, regional and intercity bus lines. It is also where Maryland is building the easternmost stop of the proposed Purple Line between Prince George and Montgomery counties.
The commitment to improving public infrastructure is a critical part of supporting ongoing redevelopment around New Carrollton, said Cheryl Cort, policy director at the Coalition for Smarter Growth, a regional advocacy group.
“It’s going to create a place that’s pedestrian-friendly…an urban place rather than just a collection of buildings,” Cort said.
Metro chief executive Randy Clarke said this month that the proposed changes, which also include plaza space, will improve connectivity to the Metro station and help attract customers, businesses and homes additional in New Carrollton.
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The project is a collaboration between Prince George’s, Metro and private developer Urban Atlantic, which will lead the construction.
Metro, which owns property around the station, has separately signed a joint agreement with Urban Atlantic for a 2.3 million square foot mixed-use development project around the station – a project that includes the development of 40 acres of surface parking lots in addition to 1,500 residential units, a hotel, 1 million square feet of offices and more than 150,000 square feet of retail. As part of the agreement, Metro’s new headquarters in Maryland is expected to open later this year.
Vicki Davis, co-founder and managing partner of Urban Atlantic, said the pieces come together to create a downtown-like space in an underdeveloped and underused area and, for far too long, a place of passage rather than a destination. .
“The county set the vision for this to become a very important economic center,” Davis said. The area bounded by the Capital Beltway on the east side, Route 50 on the south side and the railroad tracks on the northwest was rezoned over a decade ago to allow for mixed-use development.
“Parking lots get a second life,” Davis said. “We increase the overall density, and it becomes a tremendous economic engine – a place where people live and work.”
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Over the past decade, New Carrollton has added major employers such as the Maryland Department of Housing and Economic Development and Kaiser Permanente. A building with 282 apartments opened last year.
Metro completes a platform improvement project at the station, and Amtrak begins construction of a high-level platform and restoration of an unused platform. Plans also include modernizing counters and employee offices. Amtrak said its project, which is expected to be completed in 2025, will help facilitate growth and is part of a larger plan to reduce congestion and allow for greater operational flexibility and service expansion between Baltimore and Washington. .
Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks (D) this month welcomed news of the $20.5 million grant the county won through the Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity program (RAISE). Alsobrooks said the funding would support improvements around New Carrollton Transit Station, covering nearly half the cost of pedestrian and bicycle improvements.
The project is one of five projects in the greater Washington area receiving nearly $60 million in total federal funding under RAISE, which receives a $7.5 billion injection over five years from the last year’s infrastructure.
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“This is yet another symbol of growing opportunity for all Georgian princes,” Alsobrooks said in a statement. “We are excited about this project as it will transform the county’s largest employment hub into a true ‘downtown’ and help establish New Carrollton as the primary transit hub on the East Coast.
County leaders have sought to attract more commercial and residential development to New Carrollton for over a decade. The changes in New Carrollton, some say, are a sign that the county is on track to meet long-standing goals for developing its subway stations.
“For years we have seen growth concentrated on the west side of the Beltway. And we really didn’t have those employment centers in Prince George’s County,” Rogers said. “We haven’t seen the same kind of development around our metro stations that we’ve seen around others. But now we see it.