The city of College Park took another major step toward reshaping its downtown this week, authorizing the purchase of two properties along Route 1.
The buildings at 7409 and 7411 Baltimore Avenue, which are currently home to Subway and Shanghai Cafe, sit at a key location near one of the busiest intersections in town. They were sold to the city for $1.6 million.
The city plans to redevelop the block — including the spaces currently occupied by Smoothie King and the Hair Cuttery — to include a new city hall, an office building for the University of Maryland, new retail space and a public plaza, according to the Diamondback. Construction would begin in late 2019 or early 2020.
Thanks to abundant student housing up Knox Road and the new Landmark apartments above the Target Express, the area has a lot of foot traffic. It’s also home to a seasonal farmer’s market on the weekends.
The city and the university are serious about turning College Park into a premier college town, and projects like this show they’re putting some skin in the game.
When you add in the new Hotel at the University of Maryland, the under-construction Purple Line, high-end student housing and a new robotics building, the effort has already made serious headway toward that goal.