The Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) and Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (Metro) has selected Forest City Washington to develop the land around the New Carrollton Metro Station according to the Washington Post.

Neither officials at MDOT nor Metro would comment on the process but did admit the selection phase is nearing an end. “Metro and the Maryland Department of Transportation are still in the process of an active procurement for New Carrollton,” Metro spokeswoman Angela Gates told the {AFRO}. “The selection team is preparing a recommendation for Metro Board action by the end of March and for subsequent action by MDOT.”

The process to select a developer was supposed to have happened already. Interested companies were to have bids submitted by Nov. 5, 2010, with a final decision by Dec. 16. However, the {Post} reports that the bidding phase was extended to December and the process is taking longer than expected.

Metro officials say the delay isn’t a bad thing. They believe the extra time has allowed for a deeper and more competitive group of proposals. “The request for qualifications was designed to foster an open and competitive selection,” Gates said.

“The pool of proposals was among the strongest Metro has seen for its development opportunities in Prince George’s County.”

Forest City Washington is the development group behind the ongoing redevelopment projects at Waterfront Metro Station and the Yards, the Capital Riverfront district near Nationals Stadium, in the District. The company says it specializes in mixed-use, residential and military housing development.

The New Carrollton Metro Station is already home to Metro’s Orange Line, Amtrak, Greyhound and the MARC Camden Line. It will also be a stop on the proposed Purple Line which will run from New Carrollton to downtown Bethesda, Md.

Despite those resources, though, the land around the station is a wasteland of parking garages and empty lots. Officials within the county and at the two agencies leading the charge say it’s time to fix that issue. “This is the only place in the country with this kind of rail conversion,” said Steven Goldin, Metro’s director of real estate, told the AFRO last year. “On top of that, you’ve got the IRS facility there with 1.2 million square feet and 5,000 employees so it’s a place that already knows and likes.

“When you put all those things together, it’s a site that we think is the jewel of the crown of all of the undeveloped sites around metro stations.”

The New Carrollton site will be home to one of the largest transit oriented development projects on the east coast and will be the largest development project in Prince George’s County since National Harbor. It’ll feature office, retail and residential development opportunities that will put it on par with locations in Arlington, the District and Montgomery County.

Organizers are still hoping that groundbreaking on the project begins in early 2013.