A New Look for Fort Totten

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Two massive projects will reshape the area around the Fort Totten Metro station.

As local leaders consider updating a zoning plan for the area around the Prince George’s Plaza Metro station, it’s worth taking a look at what is happening at Fort Totten, which is two stops away on the Green Line.

The first project, called Fort Totten Square, is already underway. It will feature 350 rental units, an “urban-format Wal-Mart” similar to the Georgia Avenue location and other ground-floor retail spots when it opens later this year.

Another project, called Art Place at Fort Totten, has a less clear timetable. That project will also feature a mixed-use development with a public library and possibly a children’s museum as well. It is being planned by the Cafritz Foundation, the same developers behind the upcoming Whole Foods in Riverdale Park.

In a piece last August in the Washington Post, retired University of Maryland architecture professor Roger K. Lewis praised the Cafritz project:

This project will revitalize this piece of the city. Yet it will accomplish more by demonstrating how constructive urbanization can positively enhance rather than adversely affect existing, low-density residential neighborhoods. And it will serve as a model for government-backed, community supported, creatively designed redevelopment, showing what is possible in other comparable metropolitan Washington locations.

The two projects at Fort Totten — along with the new mixed-use development at Rhode Island Row — show that developers are finally getting serious about the areas around Metro stations in the northeastern part of Washington.

They’re also further proof of what we’ve said before: The Green Line is the new Red Line.

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