Is the Sun Finally Rising on East Campus?

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The on-again/off-again East Campus project that was stalled after the original developer pulled out is heating up again. The Diamondback reported on Thursday that plans for phase I of the East Campus project are being released. The City Council recently voted gave the approval for $3.3 million in state funds to be released to the University to clear off the old facilities on the site.

The first part of the plan is to include a hotel with ample conference space, grad housing and almost 60,000 square feet of retail. Stay tuned for upcoming public forums to discuss the types of retail should inhabit this new location. We seem to remember already having a series of public forums on this very topic.

 

University Drops Campus Drive Alignment Opposition

The Washington Post is reporting that University has officially dropped its long opposition to the Campus Drive alignment to the Purple Line.  The debate has raged on since 2007 but in the end University officials have agreed with the steps MTA plan on taking to address their concerns.

Frank Brewer, the university’s vice president for administrative affairs, said Wednesday that the MTA had addressed those concerns.

“We wanted to make sure the university is not in MTA’s way in any way, shape or form to make the Purple Line happen,” Brewer said. “We’ve always wanted the Purple Line to come across campus. It was just a question of where.”

After meetings with university officials over the past year, the state agreed to bury part of a light rail system’s overhead electrical wiring on campus and to install equipment that would reduce electromagnetic interference in particularly sensitive nearby labs.

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What the Next U-MD President Can Do

This is a reprint of a Op-Ed piece from the Sunday Washington Post by Eric Olson a current member of the Prince George’s County Council and former Councilman from the City of College Park.

The August departure of C.D. Mote Jr. after 12 years as president of the University of Maryland is obviously a major moment for the institution. But it means just as much to the surrounding community, and it’s important that the person who is chosen to succeed him embrace a number of ideas that will move the university and community forward together.

Local residents need a university president who truly becomes part of our Prince George’s County community and who shares in our efforts to increase opportunities at the elementary, secondary and higher education levels. We also want a partner in building an even stronger environment for job creation, energy efficiency and investment. Finally, residents seek redevelopment that would transform College Park into a more bustling “college town,” with all the unique restaurants, cafes, boutiques, and arts and culture of other major university communities.

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Next College Park Tour Event June 23rd

The next “Experience College Park Tour” event will be Wednesday June 23rd at 7pm at Plato’s Diner.  Our featured guest this time will be the State Senator  for the 21st District Jim Rosapepe. This event is open for anyone who lives, works, or plays in College Park and would like to get together to discuss local issues or just enjoy the great desserts offered up at Plato’s.

RSVP via Facebook HERE

Charrette Outlines Future Development Near Mowatt Lane

On April 30, 2010 a Charrette was held in City Hall on the Domain project and the surrounding area. This also includes the area of the Mosaic at Turtle Creek. The goal was to come up with a overall vision for the area that can guide future development and create a mixed use neighborhood with tree-lined, predestrian and bicycle-friendly streets.

This area is located at the intersection of the Campus edge (near the Smith Business School) and a residential area. This is mostly on undeveloped property. There are many religious buildings in the immediate vicinity. The Domain project is located at the intersection of Campus Drive and Mowatt Lane while the Mosaic project located off Mowatt Lane.

The comprehensive vision includes 3 primary themes.

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Food Safety Lab Coming to M Square

The Gazette is reporting on a new 5,000 square foot Food Safety lab to be in place in the Patapsco building by July of 2011. This is a  joint venture with the Waters Corp. and the University.  The Patapsco location is ideal for a lab such as this since it is directly next to the FDA Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition building.  Scientists will attend two-week training sessions at the new lab which will be called the International Food Safety Training Laboratory (IFSTL).

About 200 foreign scientists will be taught there annually by members of the Joint Institute for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, a collaborative program between the university and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The lab will have a staff of five full-time workers.

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Walkable Cities And The Commuters Paradox

Here are a few articles that might be of interest that were recommended by a few Rethink readers.

Shaping The City by Roger K. Lewis from the Washington Post writes a thought provocative column that espouses the notion of walkable cities.

The term “transit-oriented development” (TOD) paints an incomplete picture of state-of-the-art planning and urban design. The terminology should change, along with our mind-set. We should talk about and advocate multi-modal-transportation-oriented development.

Here Comes the Neighborhood by Christopher B. Leinberger from The Atlantic discusses how the conventional suburb is overbuilt and out of favor and how transit oriented development will be in demand.

Urban-style housing in walkable neighborhoods—including those in the inner suburbs—is what’s in demand today. And for a variety of reasons, that demand will intensify in the coming years. Only by serving it can the country kick-start growth in an enormous and essential part of the economy.

“It is very unlikely that new projects in sprawl areas will be financed,” says Jonathan Rose, the CEO of the national development-and-investment firm Jonathan Rose Companies, based in New York City. “Urban areas with diverse transit options and thriving universities are the choice of Baby Boomers and young people.

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