Guiding Principles for the Redevelopment of the

Northgate District of College Park


The City of College Park and the University of Maryland support the redevelopment of the section of Route 1 from the North Campus entrance at Paint Branch Parkway to Route 193. This section, known as the Northgate Area, which is currently developed with a mix of retail, office and residential uses, is characterized by a number of vacant buildings and underutilized parcels. This section serves as the northern gateway to the University of Maryland and to Downtown College Park. Therefore, strong visual and physical connections need to be made with the campus and the downtown area.


These guiding principles are consistent with the University’s Strategic plan, the Facilities Master Plan, the Comprehensive Plan for College Park, and the Route 1 Sector Plan.


The College Park City-University Partnership believes there is an excellent opportunity for quality redevelopment in the Northgate Area. Development should be university oriented, including a mix of commercial and residential uses, such as office, retail, a Class A hotel and student, staff, and faculty housing.


The Partnership strongly recommends developers working in the Northgate Area to incorporate the following guiding principles into their plans:


  • To minimize any increase in traffic, developers should strive to employ alternative transportation and mass transit options.


  • The west side of route one is the preferred area for student housing.


  • Paint Branch Creek is a significant amenity for the area. Its restoration should be incorporated into all redevelopment plans bordering the waterway.


  • Resources for the development of the Northgate Area should be leveraged to assist in the completion of projects such as Northgate Park and Riverwalk.


  • Public safety concerns need to be addressed in redevelopment plans through lighting, landscaping, and other Crime Prevention through Environmental Design (CPTED) techniques.


  • Structured parking and public infrastructure improvements are encouraged. Opportunities for shared parking with the City and the University should be explored, as should the use of Tax Increment Financing (TIF), or other financial tools. 


  • Building heights need to be compatible with the surrounding neighborhoods, working with the natural topography to minimize potential negative effects. Typically this means that tall structures should be on the west side of Route 1.


  • Development should be subject to real property taxes.


  • Special attention should be given to pedestrian and bicycle access to campus and improved connectivity to existing trail systems and destinations throughout the Northgate Area.


  • Streetscape improvements should be compatible with those on the University of Maryland campus and in downtown College Park.