Design plans for a new five-building, $24 million office and hotel complex in the North Springhill Lake-Greenbelt area were announced this week by Community Realty officials and developes Edward Perkins.
The Springhill Lake projects is the latest in a series of commercial developments that has already put 1.3 million square feet of office space under construction throughout Prince George's County this year. Construction of the first high-rise office building of the complex is scheduled to begin this fall in preparation for occupancy late next summer.
Perkins project director for Springhill Lake Associates, brought a mock-up of the office complex to County Executive Winfield Kelly for his approval before ground breaking begins.
"Depending on the absorption rate of occupancy," Perkins said, "we will build one building at a time with a motel and a small banquet-type convention center to follow."
The Springhill Lake project at Kenilworth Avenue and Ivy Street is just across Beltway from the Greenbelt Golden Triangle development now being built by Kenneth H. Michael Co. The Golden Triangle project also includes plans for office and medical buildings as well as the headquarters and showroom of Capital Cadillac.
"We're not worried about the competition," Perkins said. "Competition will be good for us. The complexes will attract more office users and more commercial space, like in Rosslyn and Crystal City. It becomes a self-generating thing."
Although Perkins said he has not received firm offers for rental space in the buildings, he said the project "will be very successful. We have had a lot of interest from realtors."
Development of the Springhill Lake complex began last year after the county mistakenly gave the project the go-ahead for water and sewer allocations, a requirement mandatory before construction can begin. The complex was not scheduled to receive consideration for water and sewer for at least 10 years, but George Smith, a staff member in the county's economic development section who recommends sewer allocations to the county executive, said, a "comedy of errors" led him to make the decision that the development was eligible for immediate service.
Smith said he looked at the wrong water and sewer plan when he made his decision. Under a 1976 plan, he said, the development had been in the immediate eligibility category, but in subsequent plans, the County Council had moved development back to the 10 years and beyond category.
After the County Council had approved the sewer allocation on Smith's and the county executive's recommendation, the mistake was discovered and special legislation was introduced to move the development formally up into the proper category.
"We didn't give anyone an unfair advantage," Smith said. "Most of the active development in that area was in the same sewer category already."
Perkins said the commercial buildings will be at least eight stories tall and would provide 115,000 square feet of office space per building. The H-shape design of the building will insure maximum energy conservation, Perkins said, and will allow the buildings to use solar energy when technology permits.
Perkins said the plans also call for a widening of Kenilworth Avenue from the Beltway to the Ivy Lane interchange to enhance the development. Perkins said his group would "add the lanes ourselves. We can do it much cheaper than the state."