The University of Maryland and city of College Park are partnering to redevelop the current site of City Hall into a community-campus amenity.

The project will transform the 4700 block of Baltimore Avenue—at the heart of downtown College Park—to include a public plaza, new City Hall and UMD office building with retail space on the ground floor.   

When completed in 2021, it will be a new central element in the $2 billion revitalization of the city and campus area known as Greater College Park.

“Fusing together dynamic retail space with public space and city and university uses is a watershed moment,” said Ken Ulman, UMD’s chief strategy officer for economic development. “The city and the university are working hard as partners to create a space that truly connects our downtown and surrounding community.”

As one of the first steps in the process, the community is invited to take part in a meeting at 7 p.m. tonight in the City Hall Council Chambers to learn about the project from officials and the architectural firm, Design Collective, and provide feedback.

The meeting will include a “visioning exercise” to consider how the project can contribute to Greater College Park; what type of activities should be supported on the site and public plaza; and what sort of spaces should be in the new city hall and what type of retail should be included.

Construction is expected to begin in 2020, after the leases expire for tenants in the existing strip plaza: Hair Cuttery, Shanghai Café, Smoothie King and Subway. UMD and the city of College Park will jointly fund the project and plan to pursue LEED certification in use of green building practices.