Why WMATA Is Pushing Growth Along Route 1

College Park Metro apartments retail

The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority is pushing new mixed-use developments in West Hyattsville and College Park.

The reason: It would help balance the commuter train system.

WMATA, the multi-state agency in charge of the Metro system, is working to spur mixed-use development with housing, office space and retail around a number of its stations, with a special focus on Prince George’s County, Director of Real Estate Nina Albert said at a recent event.

Currently, Metro trains tend to send a lot of commuters to the middle and western parts of its system in the morning — and back home again at night. But the other side of the platform, which has to run trains on roughly the same schedule, sits less used.

“We have focused on Prince George’s County because transit-oriented development on the eastern side of the region is part of our long-term financial success,” Albert said at the event. “We want two-way commuters.”

That’s led WMATA to focus on balancing growth, so that more people are headed to jobs in places like Hyattsville, College Park and Greenbelt. One way to do that is by working with developers on land that the agency owns around its own stations.

Locally, WMATA is working with Gilbane Development to build a 440-unit apartment building with 13,000 square feet of retail space at the College Park Metro and 183 townhomes, 300 apartments, 9,000 square feet of retail and a community park at the West Hyattsville Metro.

But so far its touting its biggest successes as developments at Largo and New Carrollton, which have more office space in the mix, which leads to more commuters headed to work.

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1 Response to Why WMATA Is Pushing Growth Along Route 1

  1. Andrea Kenner says:

    Building apartments is not the same as building jobs. Where are the jobs for all these new residents?

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