The university announced today that it is partnering with Foulger-Pratt Companies and Argo Investment Company of Rockville, MD to redevelop East Campus. The announcement comes exactly 6 months after dozens of developers packed Ritchie Colosseum to hear about the massive 2 million square foot expansion of campus. FP-Argo is best known for their work on Downtown Silver Spring, which is widely credited with transforming that city’s downtrodden core. In a small press meeting, Interim Vice President for Administrative Affairs Frank Brewer explained to us that the university will be working with FP-Argo over the next 4-8 months to come to specific terms on the proposed 75 year ground lease. When questioned about the selection process Brewer stated that FP-Argo simply had the “most interesting concept”, most attractive combination of uses, and proposed the best financial arrangement.
Brewer also oulined a set of preliminary plans (and we emphasize preliminary):
-2300-2400 graduate student beds
-1500 market rate units
-a “large” retail center
-“Class A” office building (10 stories)
-Hotel (10 stories)
-3800 parking spaces
The project is expected to come in two phases with the first being the non-residential portion (2011 build-out) and the second being residential (2015-2016). The residential units are expected to be 4-5 stories and located on present day Old and New Leonardtown. The long time frame is primarily a result of the need to relocate existing facilities on east campus to other areas. The developer has proposed to build a 500 bed dormitory on north campus to replace the lost undergraduate beds (and some). You can be sure we’ll have more on this in the weeks and months to come. Brewer emphasized that East Campus will be a reiterative process with dozens upon dozens of meetings and ample opportunity for public input and stakeholder analysis.