The DIAMONDBACK reports today that the Board of Public Works has postponed the vote for Oakland Hall for two weeks. The state is expecting a $1 billion deficit next year and there is concern about spending $88 million for this dorm. The Board would prefer the Public/Private partnership model whereby a private developer fronts the construction costs. However this model doesn’t work as well when trying to add a freshman dorm to an existing quad. The Board is scheduled to vote on the matter on October 15th. If approved construction would begin this summer, otherwise it would be delayed by at least one semester.
Oakland Hall is set to replace the beds lost from Leonardtown due to East Campus development.
File this under “Who Knew?” The City of College Park and the University of Maryland Department of Transportation Services (DOTS) have a pilot program underway that allows city residents to utilize the FREE Shuttle-UM service. This program is funded via a $5000 payment to DOTS each semester. So far only 135 residents have registered for the free service. In order to take advantage of this pilot program residents must fill out and submit this Application to city hall. Since this is a pilot program DOTS is tracking riders and therefore residents are encouraged to notify bus drivers of their presence and have them call it in to dispatch. There has been some press lately in the Diamondback about the number of riders so it is important that each rider is counted.
So if you are a City Resident please take advantage of this service. Shuttle-UM routes go pretty far and wide so ditch the gas guzzler and save a buck or two. Did we mention that the service is FREE? Who doesn’t like free?
First a little background. The Starview Plaza is a mixed-use 2.4 acre facility with 147 units and 548 beds geared towards students and It is to be located on Route 1 just south of the Jiffy Lube. Some of us may be old enough to remember the homely Starlight Inn at this location where one could take in a lovely dance show while enjoying a beverage. While we don’t know if the Starlight plans to reopen, there is close to 10,000 sq/ft of retail available in the facility. Personally I would be happy with a Starbucks. The developer is also seeking LEED Silver Certification and will incorporate a green roof on the structure.
On September 9th the District Council in a 5-4 vote approved the modified site plan for the project with a few notable modifications.
The Urban Land Institute (ULI) spent a few days in May evaluating the TDOZ warehouse district for potential development. The area of interest is identified by that big red splotch on the image. Currently a large portion of that area is for sale and could be yours for the low price of $6.2 million. This is a greatly underutilized hunk of land in a prime location close to metro and M-Square. ULI is to provide planning and design guidance as well as a strategy for moving forward with the site. The ULI plan calls for
600 Residential units at various price points,
300,000 square feet of office space.
140-180 room Hotel covering 100,000 square feet.
40,000 square feet for Retail space.
They are placing special emphasis on making connections with the Aviation Museum and respecting FAA requirements. They have even suggested that the public space be named Aviation Plaza.
The DIAMONDBACK reports today that a new dorm in North Campus called Oakland Hall is to be built for $88 Million providing 650 beds. This is to replace some of the beds that will be lost in the Leonardtown community due to East Campus construction. The expected completion date is Fall 2011. The University has had difficulty obtaining the backing from the Board of Regents for new resident hall construction which prefers public-private partnership projects. The logjam was evidently broken when Regents agreed to pay for the new dorm if the University continued to push for private housing.