LifeSci Village, Percontee's proposed community of homes, shops and research facilities in Calverton, waits for Montgomery County to give the green light. In the meantime, they're turning to Hyattsville, where they've envisioned one of the most ambitious urban redevelopment projects in the region.
The existing Belcrest Plaza is a 1960's-era garden apartment community built by the Gudelsky family. Percontee seeks to redevelop most of the 783-unit complex, located behind the Mall at Prince George's on Belcrest Road, into an urban neighborhood that Genn compares to Reston Town Center or Bethesda Row.
The surrounding area, near the Prince George's Plaza metro station, has become a nationally-recognized example of Smart Growth. A case study of the adjacent University Town Center, a mixed-use development built around a forty-year-old office park, appears in the recently-published book Retrofitting Suburbia.
Two luxury apartment complexes flank the Belcrest Plaza site. Across East-West Highway, a new hotel and an office tower are planned, while a new shopping mall atop the Metro station has been completed.
At build-out, Belcrest Plaza would have 2,750 homes, 200,000 square feet of office space, 55,000 square feet of retail, along with space set aside for a new public library and recreation center. The thirty-five acre site would have a mix of townhomes and mid- and high-rise apartment buildings, ranging from five to seventeen stories. Toledo Terrace and Toledo Road would become tree-lined boulevards.
A thirty-three story "iconic building" would sit at the corner of Belcrest Road and Toledo Road. "We want something . . . to send the signal that this is a vibrant area," says Genn of the tower, which like the rest of the complex was designed by the Vienna-based Lessard Group. "The reason is to make a signature and a statement."
"The perspective up there could just be . . . awesome," Genn says. If completed the "iconic building" would be one of the tallest towers inside the Beltway, if not region-wide.