The group planning to develop the land around the Bowie State University MARC train station is still in its exploratory stages as it tries to figure out whether or not the possibility of the Redskins moving to the area would be the best idea for the county.

“I know there was a lot of excitement, a lot of energy and a lot of competition with FedEx Field,” said Bowie State MARC Station Development Board Chairman Boyd Campbell. “Where it ended up it certainly went a long way and what we’re saying it could be nice growth for our project or Bowie.”

A team led by Prince George’s Assistant Deputy CAO of Economic Development and Public Infrastructure David Iannucci is undertaking a feasibility study on the economic impact of Redskins Park relocating from its Loudoun County, Va. home. Prince George’s County Council Chairwoman Ingrid Turner, D.-Dist. 4, wants to know if Redskins Park will be the best thing for the county though.

“I was asking that the terms of the feasibility study include an economic analysis,” said. “I wanted to make sure that was included so that we can say ‘this is a good idea.’”

The board has a six-month timeline in place that will call for a progress report on the feasibility study currently underway to move Redskins’ park to the county as well as a final report from Urban Land Institute on what the county should focus on to develop the land around the station.

The board expressed some trepidation about whether or not ULI would be the right company to use as it hoped that ULI would be able to provide its services sooner than when its final report is due. However due to the company’s reputation and a probably substantial increase in costs, the board saw fit to remain with ULI.

The initiative to develop the land in Bowie was introduced last year after the District Council approved the Bowie State MARC Station Sector Plan. In that plan, the project was to be broken up into three different areas.

The first area is the Village Center that will contain a grocery store, other neighborhood-oriented retail, a hotel and conference center and a university fitness center according to Prince George’s officials. Intermingled with that will be a residential area, which will include townhomes, assisted-living facilities, live-work units, apartments and graduate/student family housing.

The next area will be North Village, which is intended to be a residential area with homes for faculty, staff, graduate and married-student housing according to the board. There will be close to 150 single family homes in this part of the plan.

The next area will be the office and research campus. The goal is to have one large or several moderately sized government agencies to inhabit the office building. The laboratory school will be in use for Bowie State students enrolled in the Department of Education and Leadership program and will provide other opportunities for learning for Prince George’s Public School students.

The board’s next meeting is schedule for Aug. 8.

 

George Barnette

Special to the AFRO