Metro officials say they are considering the area’s potential for new riders — and their fare revenue. The 77 Kiss and Ride parking spaces would be eliminated, and a new garage would accommodate buses on the ground floor.
“What’s there today is basically a lot of parking and not a lot of anything else,” said Metro spokesman Dan Stessel. “What we’re moving toward is modern transit-oriented development that will be at the center of a vibrant community that will develop around it.”
New Carrollton is particularly ripe for growth, Metro and county officials say, because it offers an array of transportation options rivaled only by Union Station in the District.
In addition to its location off the Capital Beltway and Route 50, New Carrollton serves Amtrak trains on the busy Northeast Corridor line, MARC commuter rail between Baltimore and the District, and Greyhound buses. If construction of the light-rail Purple Line stays on its latest schedule, New Carrollton will become its eastern terminus in late 2022.
“There’s no other Metro station with that kind of transit connectivity,” said Nina Albert, Metro’s vice president of real estate and parking.
She said adding riders at New Carrollton, particularly in the reverse-commute direction, would boost fare revenue at little cost. Orange Line trains heading toward New Carrollton in the morning are mostly empty, she said, so adding jobs there would help fill those trains.
New Metro riders from the planned development are expected to add $3.3 million in fare revenue annually as the surrounding area becomes fully built out over 20 years, Albert said.
Officials in Prince George’s, a county of about 900,000 residents, have sought for years to attract the kind of dense development around its 15 Metro stations that followed stations in suburbs such as Silver Spring, Bethesda and Northern Virginia’s Rosslyn-Ballston corridor.
At New Carrollton, Metro has partnered with Bethesda-based developer Urban Atlantic and New York-based Brookfield Properties to develop its property on both sides of the station.
At full build-out in 15 to 20 years, the station is anticipated to have a dozen new buildings, each between five and 15 stories tall.
“Within a few years, this is going to be a really special place to live, work and play,” said Peter Shapiro, executive director of the Prince George’s Revenue Authority, the county’s development finance agency. “With the transit infrastructure, it’s unique in the region.”
Although Prince George’s officials have long touted New Carrollton’s potential, they say new building in the past several years has created momentum. That includes new office buildings for health-care giant Kaiser Permanente and the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development. New luxury apartments recently opened, and 281 more are under construction in another five-story building.
“We really see it as the urban center of Prince George’s County,” said David Iannucci, president of the county’s Economic Development Corporation. “I wouldn’t call it Tysons Corner yet, but it’s moving in that direction.”
Prince George’s Council member Dannielle M. Glaros (D-District 3), who represents the area, said most residents she hears from want the amenities, such as restaurants and shopping, that new development would bring.
She called Metro’s latest proposal to build atop its Kiss and Ride lot and bus loop a “major breakthrough” that will make the area more pedestrian-friendly.
“That’s really a turning point in [Metro’s] thinking,” Glaros said. “Almost every Metro station in Prince George’s has Kiss and Ride parking and a bus loop. That really gets in the way of walkability.”
Metro officials said they also hoped to spark development at the New Carrollton station by selecting it for the agency’s new Maryland offices as part of consolidating its administrative workforce. The building’s construction is scheduled to begin later this year on a station parking lot, with more than 1,000 Metro workers moving in by late 2022.
Under the New Carrollton proposal, a larger garage would replace a county garage, but it would not accommodate all of the surface parking that would be lost to development. That would leave the station with 400 fewer parking spaces. However, Albert said that many of the area’s future workers and residents will ride Metro and that demand for parking is expected to decline as autonomous vehicles come online. The Metro garage would remain.
Moreover, Metro officials say, while its location at the end of the Orange Line makes New Carrollton a destination for riders who drive in from farther out, much of the station’s parking remains unused.
However, Albert said, the station will undergo a parking crunch between this fall and late 2022, when Metro’s new building is under construction, but before the new garage opens.
About 300 motorists who usually park at New Carrollton at peak times will be directed to the Landover station, a 10-minute drive away, where there are typically 600 extra spaces available, Albert said.
Metro’s Finance and Capital Committee is scheduled to consider the proposal’s parking effects Thursday. If approved by the full board, Albert said, the plan would be aired at public hearings this spring.