Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Contee Co. Redevelops 25 Acres around Prince George's Plaza Metro

As part of the development around the Price George's Plaza Metro station, the Contee Company, LLP, is redeveloping 25 of the its 35 acres, along with Old Town Construction and the Lessard Design. Those 35 acres were originally developed in the early ‘60s. The developer now intends to build several thousand housing units and an office building. Currently, it is working on a building dubbed "Building 6," which will replace 5 recently demolished buildings.

Jared Spahn, a Managing Member of Old Town Construction, said since the area is a living community, Contee is rebuilding the parcels one at a time and demolished the five buildings in February. Spahn said he expects a grading permit for Building 6 "in a week or two."

Building 6 will be a 4-story, 283-unit, 360,000 s.f. garden-style podium building with an underground parking garage, replacing the 105 units demolished.

"It’ll have all the great bells and whistles to compete with all the great projects,” Spahn said.  The bells and whistles apparently include fitness rooms, a business center and meditation gardens to presumably spend time in after spending a long day in the business center. Spahn said it needed to be “extremely high-end to compete with the other great projects that have been invested in around that Metro station.”

Spahn said construction should begin within the next two weeks, as soon as he receives the grading permits.

The  new building will be competing with other “luxury” complexes in the area, but Spahn thinks customer service will set it apart, commenting that having a local owner is what tips it over the edge.

“What I think sets our building apart a little bit from the others is because compared to Post Park and Equity Residential, we are renting from friends and family instead of a multinational corporation. What it allows us to do, we’re not driven by stock prices or market movements because we are long-term investors, it’s going to allow us to provide, we think, a better priced product for our customers than those that have to answer to Wall Street.”

The entire area previously had 555 garden-style apartments in 20 buildings on the site. Through redevelopment, Spahn expects 2,400 to 2,500 units and 350,000 s.f. of office space in the next ten to fifteen years.

Hyattsville, MD real estate development news


J.D. Hammond on Jun 13, 2012, 2:57:00 PM said...

This is actually Prince George's Plaza, not West Hyattsville.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, JD. I was wondering what the heck the 2nd photo was, if not the mall.

HesterGoodie on Jun 13, 2012, 5:56:00 PM said...

Lessard Design is an architecture and planning firm, not a developer.

Sivad said...

Just one word comes to mind... Unbelievable.

I would have never thought the entire area surrounding the mall would be reconstructed. Talk about being able to correct the mistakes of the past.

Anonymous said...

Now they just need to tackle the mall itself, all the surrounding seas of parking, and the horrific 1960s office builds (i.e. 95% of the PG Plaza area) and they'll be all set...minus the fact the new residential construction from last decade is still mostly vacant....

Behrad said...

Hopefully they can build housing that attracts UMD faculty so they can live closer to work.

Anonymous said...

It's great to see development finally coming to--beginning to create critical mass at?--a P.G. County Metro station. The radical imbalance of growth in the metro area (toward the west) has become a problem and this is a small step in the right direction.

Also, the architecture looks fairly decent, at least considering that the developer is using one of the worst architects in the area, Lessard, known for their race-to-the-bottom standards of both architectural aesthetics and construction quality. Lessard is also a leader in having a huge gap between the renderings and the finished product, so any optimism must be contained.

Anonymous said...

@ the last Anonymous with a grudge against Lessard.

Suppose you are right. The who, in your opinion, is the best local Lessard's competition? Baranes? Bonstra? Colbert? Esocoff? Please share your opinion. No agenda, I am just curious.

Anonymous said...

@previous Anonymous: There's no grudge. And the agenda is to help (in a very small way) move Washington toward 'global city' status.

A decade or two ago, most DC architects, including all of those you name, were in a similar place to Lessard: the avant-garde of the rear-garde, I used to say, doing projects with varying degrees of historicism and often questionable construction quality. To some degree, it was the times. But all of these firms have moved on, improved. Their portfolios still have duds of course, but overall architectural and construction quality is way up. I just don't see that with Lessard. It seems that they are in the same place as they were in 1995.

One hopes that negative criticism might spur positive change, like for instance when DCMUD posted on Lessard's development at Rhode Island Metro and a score of scathing comments (none from me, by the way) popped up almost immediately. And no defenders! But I don't know Mr. Lessard personally or professionally: perhaps such criticism is ineffective.

Anonymous said...

@ previous Anonymous: Modernism is historicism. This "global city" status is a joke meant to scare people into thinking if they don't keep erecting piles of glass and concrete they are some how provintial.

Let me ask you this, how come Paris, Rome, and London haven't destroyed their historicist city center's for this stuff you call avant-guard? Becasue it's soulless and inhumane. Not to say that some of those guys you now claim have improved don't do some spiffy stuff now and then, but most of it is re-cycled 1950's modernism.

Look at the scathing comments that popped up with the new library by that London phony. You keep singing that 1920's Bauhaus mantra, becasue fewer and fewer people buy the canard that to be hip you have to look like a ice cube. Give me decoration, give me love!

Anonymous said...

In the same place since 1995? We competed against 4 international teams for a project in Nanjing, China and recently won - thoughtful planning and great design made us # 1.

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