NEW CARROLLTON – In an effort to consolidate the amount of properties they own and provide a new primary facility for its employees, Metro announced that it has selected the City of New Carrollton in Prince George’s County as one of two locations that will host some of their new central offices.
Along with Alexandria, Va., the New Carrollton location will be newly constructed and built on property the agency’s it already owns. The new building will also be located within a five-minute walk to the metro station and will be a part of a new Downtown New Carrollton area that is currently being developed.
The move is part of the transit organization’s plans of consolidating their central offices into four major locations instead of 10 locations scatted all over the Metropolitan Region.
According to Vice President of Real Estate Nina Albert, several of the buildings that Metro staff are currently housed in a “state of disrepair or require significant investment.”
“And so, as we started to look at the cost of renovating our major facilities as well as evaluating leasing space, we determined that it made a lot more sense, in the long run, to invest in new buildings and get out of current leases,” Albert said.
In selecting New Carrollton, Albert said that the agency wanted to make sure that they were working with a developer who was already working nearby and was willing to establish a “sense of place” for their employees. The developer, Urban Atlantic, recently constructed the new Kaiser Permanente office building that opened in April in New Carrollton and will be working on new live-in spaces throughout the downtown area of the city.
Also, the city’s transit hub atmosphere made it easier for Metro officials to consider the city as their staff will have easier access to get to work. Along with Metro, MARC, the county’s The Bus, Amtrak and Greyhound currently use the site to pick up passengers as well. Also, the Maryland MTA Purple Line will use New Carrollton as the end station on the route of its light rail system.
“New Carrollton has unmatched transportation options bringing customers, clients and residents from around the region to Prince George’s County,” said Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks. “WMATA’s decision to place its Maryland headquarters in New Carrollton is the spark that will make that location a dynamic 24-hour community.”
The 275,000 square-foot location will be home of several of Metro’s operational staff that already work in office spaces, like accountants, customer service staff and human resources. However, the final decision will not be made until the building plans are set, according to Albert.
Urban Atlantic Project Manager Vicki Davis said the office building will be one of a three-part plan with Metro which will include a hotel and a “multi-family unit” as well. She estimates a project of this magnitude to hire about 1,000 construction workers as well as design professional and administrative staff.
According to Davis, Metro officials would like to start housing their staff in the building in the third quarter of 2022.
“This development can be transformational for Prince George’s County and a real economic hub (for everyone involved),” Davis said.
By shirking the amount of locations and placing everyone in four key areas, the agency hopes to save an estimated $130 million over the next 20 years. Last fall, Metro announced the selection of L’Enfant Plaza as the location of its new Washington, D.C. headquarters to replace the Jackson Graham Building near Gallery Place. Albert said that their offices in Greenbelt will be the fourth central office center.
Metro will terminate the leases on the current buildings that they have staff housed in once the New Carrollton offices are open. Properties that they do own will go on, but the hope is that they go towards “transit needs,” Albert said.
Once the final details on the height of the structure and amount of materials needed for the project, the price of the costs will be determined and released. Officials said that they hope to have the final plans for the building ready by the fall to start construction in late 2019 or early 2020.
“In the future, in about three years, you are going to be able to step out on the south side of the New Carrollton Metro Station and really see a place and start to create that Downtown is part of the county executive’s vision for Prince George’s County,” Albert said.