Luz Lazo | The Washington Post

[Renderings via Hines.]

For nearly a decade, the University of Maryland studied proposal after proposal for a parcel of vacant land in the heart of College Park’s Route 1 corridor. Negotiations with developers went nowhere. An ambitious plan for a town center fell apart twice. Community opposition halted all progress.

Now the site that once was home to the university’s research greenhouse facility is about to become the pinnacle of College Park luxury: Developer David Hillman plans to build a conference center and hotel with 276 guest rooms, a massive ballroom, high-end restaurants and an innovation incubator where students can launch start-up companies.

Early last month, the university received state permission to transfer three acres to the University of Maryland College Park Foundation and pursue the construction of the four-star, $115 million hotel across from the main university entrance at Route 1 and Paint Branch Parkway in northwestern Prince George’s County.

 

The years-long effort to transform the corridor will move a step closer to completion Wednesday when the College Park City Council reviews the proposal before it goes to the county for the planning board’s approval and permitting.

Prince George’s officials have given hints of strong support for the project, promising an expedited approval process. They say they expect to break ground on the project this winter for a fall 2016 opening. Read more