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Grocery Shopping Gets ‘Greater’ as Trader Joe’s Opens

Much-Anticipated Store Among Recent Retail, Housing Projects Reshaping College Park

By Annie Krakower

Students take a selfie in front of mural at College Park Trader Joe's

Aleena Illahi ’26, left, and Shafa Alam ’26 take a selfie in front of one of the murals in College Park’s new Trader Joe’s, which opened today. The store is the most recent highlight of the Greater College Park initiative, a $2 billion public-private partnership striving to place the community among the nation’s best college towns.

Photo by Stephanie S. Cordle

Finish up those grocery lists and grab a cart, because the latest—and much-anticipated—College Park supermarket is ready for business.

The first Trader Joe’s in Prince George’s County opened its doors today, bringing to Baltimore Avenue the national chain’s moderately priced, private-label branded foods, from peanut butter pretzel nuggets to pumpkin pancake mix. Terps, families and other community members perused the bustling 11,000-square-foot store—complete with murals depicting University of Maryland buildings, turtles with grocery carts and a flower-filled “TJ’s” modeled after campus’ landmark M.

The store is the most recent highlight of the Greater College Park initiative, a $2 billion public-private partnership striving to place the community among the nation’s best college towns.

[How We Picture Greatness: See Greater College Park’s Transformation in Before-and-After Photos]

Aster interior
Aster College Park (Photo by Stephanie S. Cordle)

“Communities need great grocery stores. We’re now so excited to add yet another grocery option within walking distance for so many,” said Ken Ulman, the university’s chief strategy officer for economic development and president of the Terrapin Development Company (TDC), a partnership between UMD and the University of Maryland College Park Foundation. The popular Trader Joe’s selecting College Park as a new location, he added, is “a signal of a healthy, thriving community.”

The store is part of the new Aster College Park mixed-use community, a project led by TDC and the Greenbelt, Md.-based Bozzuto Group. The complex, located where the Quality Inn and Plato’s Diner used to be, also includes nearly 400 residential units, with other retailers including Crunch Fitness, Roots Natural Kitchen and Inspire Nails on the way.

Whether you’re ambling through the aisles, enjoying your new digs in a gleaming apartment building or stopping by the state-of-the-art city hall, the recent revitalization around College Park is hard to miss. Take a tour through some other recent highlights:

Shop Made in Maryland pop-up shop outside City Hall
(Photo by Stephanie S. Cordle)

City Hall
The new College Park City Hall opened late last year, with city offices, council chambers and meeting rooms on the building’s first two floors and UMD offices on the third and fourth. The first floor also houses retail space, and Shop Made in Maryland—which will sell art, jewelry and other goods produced by in-state artists and designers—is set to debut around the holidays. The space will also include Cameo, a specialty coffee shop.

Tempo
Open this semester, this eight-story, 299-unit student housing, parking and retail complex created by Gilbane Development Company replaced the former Baltimore Avenue Burger King, boasting amenities like a makerspace, podcast/video studio and multisport simulator. Right behind the building, an extension of Paint Branch Trail, complete with benches and lighting, makes walking and biking to class a scenic breeze.

The Standard at College Park
Located at the former site of the Hartwick Building, this 951-bed apartment building is set to open in Fall 2023, with leasing available now. The Landmark Properties and Dwell Design Studio housing development will feature an academic lounge and computer lab, a yoga studio, three courtyards and even a dog-wash station for Terps to rinse off their canine companions.

Hub College Park
A Core Spaces development, this 465-bed complex on Knox Road will offer students a rooftop pool and hot tub, a fitness center and sauna, outdoor study areas, and a co-working lounge and coffee bar. The project—along with Aspen Heights-College Park, another Knox Road student housing development, being constructed by Donohoe—should be delivered in time for the next academic year, Ulman said.

Atworth
Construction is under way and wood framing is going up for this Gilbane project, which is partnering with the Amazon Housing Equity Fund to bring retail and 451 studio, one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments to the area adjacent to the College Park Metro Station in Spring 2024. Also at that train stop, the new bus loop, which Terps can use to catch a Shuttle-UM ride to campus, is complete after relocating to prepare for the upcoming Purple Line light rail.

Crane with "Go Terps" flag
(Photo by John T. Consoli)

Union on Knox
Terps on campus during the summer surely noticed the gaping hole in the ground where 7-Eleven and Marathon Deli used to be. (Don’t worry—Marathon just moved around the corner!) The TDC and Greystar Real Estate Partners project is now growing upward on its way to becoming apartments for nearly 800 students and 21,000 square feet of retail. While the complex isn’t slated to open until Summer 2024, the construction crew is showing its Maryland pride in the meantime with a “Go Terps!” flag waving from its crane.

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