Date: December 6-11, 2015
Location: Largo Town Center, Maryland
Sponsor: Prince George’s County Planning Department
Subject Area: Transit/Downtown Development
Panel Chair: David Leininger, Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART), Dallas, TX
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Background and Panel Assignment
Located in Prince George’s County, five miles east of Washington, D.C., the mixed-use Largo Town Center is highly accessible by automobile, intesecting several regionally important highways and roadways. The area contains approximately 800 acres of land, more than 200 acres of which are vacant or undeveloped. The center is focused round the Largo Town Center Metro Station, which is the terminal station for the Blue Line and Silver Line in Prince George’s County, and offers direct rapid transit access to the rest of the Washington metropolitan region.
The study area for the panel consists of the half-mile radius around the Largo Town Center Metro Station. This half-mile radius covers 502 acres and represents a 15-minute walk for the average person. The approved sector plan emphasizes that the County, its residents, and business owners must recognize that the properties within a quarter-mile of the Metro station, an area bounded by Arena Drive, Lottsford Road, and I-495/I-95 (Capital Beltway) are “unquietly situated” and, therefore appropriate for dense development as well as community-centric uses that should not be promoted in other areas.
The assignment for the panel was to provide input and offer recommendations to help Prince George’s County stimulate private sector investment at Largo Town Center. The panel is asked by the sponsor to help facilitate the vision of the 2013 Largo Town Center Sector Plan and Plan 2035.
Summary of Recommendations
After reviewing the briefing material, stakeholder interviews, and site visits, the panel makes the following recommendations to the study area:
- Relocate the county government. For this move, the panel ultimately suggests the development of a purpose-built county office complex located in or near the Metro station. This building should also include a one-stop services center. The consolidation of employees can be both cost-effective and more efficient in operation.
- Address the opportunities and challenges of achieving highest and best use in Inglewood Business Park. To achieve this goal, the panel recommends a comprehensive asset management procedure for the study area.
- Direct attention to placemaking. This can come in the form of rebranding the central business district or other community enhancement elements such as an event center and an active urban park.
- Improve access of different modes of transportation and road connections. Ranging from implementing a road diet to improving parking facilities, Largo Town Center has great potential of becoming a key transportation hub in the county. The panel recommends capitalizing on this strength and expanding on it through various projects.
- Implement effective housing principles and policies for current stock and future development.
- Use available management tools. Work through the implications and choices associated with catalytic versus organic development strategy adoption.