What’s New in CP

As many are well aware, RTCP is in semi-hibernation mode at the moment. We’re planning on a kickoff meeting to discuss the future of the site sometime in May. Until then there are a couple tid-bits to report despite the dampened state of the real estate market. Thanks to everyone who continues to email and post comments about all the great changes coming to the city….

-> Starview Plaza – The Diamondback reports that Starview Plaza is progressing through the early stages of the approval process. The project, which sits just north of College Park Carwash, has languished for years (at least 5?) and the underlying land is owned jointly by the City and University. Originally planned as a hotel, the developer now plans a 500-Beleagured Starview Projectbed mixed use student housing project with an impressive LEED Silver rating. As the Diamondback reports, there has been much debate over exactly what materials should be used on the facade. The Sector Plan requires 75% brick and as the Mazza Grandmarc debate showed us, the city and the county in particular hold tightly to that standard regardless of how visible certain parts of the building are. The choice is between hardyplank – a composite of recycled materials which helps a buildings LEED rating – and brick (an energy-intensive material) on the least visible parts of the building. Let’s hope the county council departs from its absolutist ways by avoiding unneccessary delays…

southwest district phasing-> Campus Construction – The University has released an updated campus construction map, which shows progress on several different projects we’ve blogged about over time. The new journalism building is progressing, the Tyser Tower expansion at Byrd Stadium is underway, and improvements to the Southwest quad and in front of the business school are coming to a close. Also, North Gate Park, a project mired in bureaucracy, funding constraints, and development SNAFUS for the better part of four years is scheduled to start construction this summer. North Gate Park is a joint venture between the city and university and was designed by undergraduate students. 

-> Parking – Recognizing the serious burden that parking requirement place on private developers of student housing, UMD-DOTS via the university’s strategic plan has agreed that students at select off-campus housing complexes can park on-campus. This is a smart move that we think could pay serious dividends by encouraging more student housing. Building lots on Route 1 are small and shallow, thus making the provision of suburban-style parking ratios extremely difficult for dense mixed-use projects. Hopefully the city/county can capitalize on this new policy to implement their Transportation Demand Management plans.

-> Purple Line – There are signs that Campus Drive advocates are making serious inroads. More to come shortly.

Byrd Stadium Expansion Details Released

Tyser Tower

Byrd Stadium

We first heard about the expansion of Byrd Stadium back in August and a concurrent naming rights sale to Chevy Chase Bank. We’re now getting word on the specifics of the project from a press release:

Phase I (August 2010 delivery – pictured above):

* Dramatic expansion of Tyser Tower
* Addition of 64 luxury suites featuring indoor and outdoor seating
* Addition of 500 mezzanine-level seats featuring heated and covered seating
* New Presidential Suite with seating for 200
* New work areas for television, radio and print media
* New work areas for coaches and game-day operations staff
* New team store
* Enhanced seating for disabled customers
* Installation of a new state-of-the-art video board above the west end zone.

Phase II and beyond (Undetermined delivery):

* Installation of railings on stairways to enhance fan safety and comfort
* Installation of chairback seating in the 200 level of the north side
* New restrooms and concessions on the south side
* Lowering of the playing field to improve sight lines for the first 10 rows
* Painting of roofs along the concourse
* Expansion of the Gossett Team House to improve athletic training and locker room facilities
* Addition of nearly 8,000 seats in the west end zone, bringing capacity to about 60,000.

Byrd Stadium

The end of tailgating?

The football schedule is winding down, but the excitement around a successful season is just getting started. As the Terps take on Wake Forest next weekend for a potential berth to the ACC Championship Game (vs. Georgia Tech), we here at Rethink College Park wanted to give the year’s last tailgaters something to chew on. Football fans should take not of proposed designs for the funded as well as planned expansions to Byrd Stadium. All images are from the Campus Master Plan.

The future of lot 1

(View looking over lot 1)

Comcast with a relocated Ludwig Field and Parking Garage

(Looking over the new “sports district”)

A more clear perspective of the proposed changes to lot 1

(Click these images for clarification)

Future of the Comcast District

Byrd Stadium Naming Rights Sold

Chevy Chase Bank has purchased, in a 25-year $20 million deal, the naming rights to the field at Byrd Stadium. The money, combined with $35 million from the Board of Regents will herald in a 2,000 to 3,000 luxury seat expansion on the Tyser Tower side of the stadium as well as roughly 500 Mezzanine-level seats. Signs conveying the new name: Chevy Chase Bank Field at Byrd Stadium were immediately spotted on I-95. Expected Completion: 2009-2010 season.