Downtown Building Houses City and University Offices, Retail, Plaza
Photo by John T. Consoli
The city of College Park and University of Maryland yesterday dedicated College Park’s new city hall, a first-of-its-kind collaborative project that houses municipal services, UMD offices, retail space and a large public plaza.
“Our new city hall will serve multiple purposes: offices for our city government, services and meeting spaces for residents, and a vibrant plaza with retail creating a new center for downtown College Park. The new City Hall will be the beating heart of a new College Park,” said College Park Mayor Patrick L. Wojahn.
The 95,000-square-foot building is anchored on the first and second floors by City Hall offices, Council Chambers and meeting rooms. UMD has offices on the third and fourth floors, and the Terrapin Development Company will manage the first-floor retail spaces. This collaboration leverages the shared interests of the city and university to stimulate investment with the goal of creating one of the nation’s best college towns.
"The new City Hall is a visual representation of the joint partnership that exists between the university and the city of College Park," said University of Maryland President Darryll J. Pines. "A new city hall, where both university and city employees work and collaborate in many ways, is unprecedented. This project is one to be celebrated and speaks to our mutual commitment to work together on being a vibrant, sustainable college town and community."
Added Carlo Collela, vice president and chief administrative officer at UMD: "We anticipate that our already strong relationships will strengthen even further as a result of this proximity, and the additional year-round workforce will benefit local businesses."
The 7,000 square feet of retail space spread across four suites is anticipated to be a mix of food and beverage operators and retailers selling soft goods.
“Through our role in this project, we seek to bring a diverse lineup of retailers to contribute to the vibrancy of downtown College Park. We are actively seeking out retailers who want to be involved in the College Park community and look forward to announcing our slate of retail tenants in early 2022,” said Ken Ulman, president of Terrapin Development Company.
This state-of-the-art building and plaza feature a bioretention system for stormwater management and is expected to achieve a LEED Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.
“The new College Park City Hall-UMD office building project is more than a beautifully designed building to serve the community. It is the embodiment of partnership and a statement to all that the future success of both the city and university are directly linked,” said Prince George’s County Council Member Dannielle Glaros (D-District 3).
The city had been exploring locations and options for a new city hall for many years, and after selecting the site in 2014, started discussions with the university to combine adjoining properties and construct a shared building and plaza fronting Baltimore Avenue. The project broke ground in February 2020 and received $1 million in state funding.
"The opening of the new City Hall, with university, city and state investment, embodies the new era of city-university cooperation championed by former university President Dr. Wallace Loh. That's why it's appropriate that we are also unveiling a plaque recognizing his extraordinary contribution to the community and to the university,” said state Sen. Jim Rosapepe (D-Prince George’s), former chair of the College Park City-University Partnership.
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