UPPER MARLBORO — As excitement mounts for the new regional medical center in Largo, just down the street developers are set to break ground on a brand new Children’s National Regional Outpatient Center. The county planning board approved the detailed site plan for the center unanimously on March 22, after a discussion about the conditions […]
UPPER MARLBORO — As excitement mounts for the new regional medical center in Largo, just down the street developers are set to break ground on a brand new Children’s National Regional Outpatient Center.
The county planning board approved the detailed site plan for the center unanimously on March 22, after a discussion about the conditions for approval planning staff had laid out. The specific plan is to construct a more than 60,000 square foot medical office building in the Woodmore Towne Centre near the Wegmans and new Hampton Inn – right next to the I-495 and MD 202.
“Children’s is very adamant about making this clear on the record: this is not a hospital. This is a regional office, medical center. There will be no emergency room. There will be no ambulance deliveries of patients,” said Edward Gibbs, the attorney for the applicant. “They are office buildings where you come in and have medical procedures taken care of. It can involve surgeries, but you’re discharged right after the procedure.”
Gibbs said the lot where the outpatient center is proposed is owned directly by Petrie Richardson Ventures, without any partnerships, and they will create the new building specifically for Children’s National, who will rent the space.
Gibbs said Petrie Richardson has been developing the town center since “it was a pile of dirt in 2004.” The center currently has more than 700,000 square feet of retail, with anchors like Costco, Wegmans and Nordstroms Rack, and nearly 700 residential units.
“Children’s, of course, had looked at many sites throughout Prince George’s County for several years,” he said. “And they settled on this site, and we’re really happy to have them be part of Woodmore Towne Centre.”
The building itself, said planning board urban design section staff Henry Zhang, will be a “contemporary, institutional style” building with a porte-cochere drop-off, front entrance facing the existing town center. The other three sides of the building will have vertical windows, while parking lots will border the building on three sides.
Access to the site will be from St. Joseph’s Drive and Ruby Lockhart Blvd.
“The parking is provided on the front and both sides of the building. On-site circulation is designed to be integrated into the existing Taj Lane and shopping center parking lot,” the staff report reads. “One monument-style, freestanding, six-foot-high sign, approximately 10 square feet in area, is located at the northeast entrance into the subject site.”
The developers of the proposed building requested a departure from design standards and an “alternative compliance” for requirements from the county landscape manual. The county reviewed both, Zhang said, and found both should be approved.
The departure from design revolved around the sizes of parking spaces, of which the applicant wanted to reduce the size of the spaces from the design requirement of 9.5 feet by 19 feet to 9 feet by 18 feet. Overall the design included 235 9 by 18-foot spaces, seven ADA spaces, and two ADA van-accessible spaces.
“With the program proposed on the site plan and given the location of the subject site in relation to other users on the overall site, the sharing of parking within close proximity will be available should the need arise in (the) future,” the staff report reads.
The staff report did, however, come with several conditions for the proposal to meet to gain approval. Initially, there were three broad recommendations, with 16 sub-recommendations, but several were struck after a brief discussion with Gibbs and agreement from Zhang.
Some of the recommendations included adding a bike rack, providing square footage for an “outdoor” healing garden, and otherwise clerical corrections and work. Gibbs had two of the recommendations removed because the developer does not have the authority to make the changes, while the third broad recommendation was removed because it was redundant.
“We don’t have the authority to make commitments in the form of conditions to provide off-site sidewalks,” Gibbs said. “We’re going to endeavor to make that connection happen, but we couldn’t accept it as a condition.”
Although Zhang noted the sidewalks are required by zoning, he agreed to Gibb’s request and the detailed site plan was passed overall. The new outpatient center will be called Children’s National of Prince George’s County.