Draft Principles Released for Last East Campus Meeting

The University has released this statement of principles, significantly more detailed than the last, for the Community Review Steering Committee to debate at the last East Campus meeting tomorrow night. Click here (or “read the rest of the post” below) to review the full text and provide your feedback.

Tomorrow’s meeting will be held at 7:30 p.m. in the Prince George’s Room of Stamp Union.

Also, the presentations from the last meeting, about parking, the Purple Line, and transportation have been posted.

Jan14_Presentation (48 pages)

The University of Maryland (“University”) and Foulger-Pratt/Argo (“Developer”) are committed to creating a vibrant mixed-use town center (“Project”) on the East Campus to help the University attract top-notch students, faculty and staff, revitalize the physical environment, and enhance the quality of life in College Park and along the Route 1 Corridor.

To that end, after receiving input from the East Campus Steering Committee (“Committee”) representing the University, College Park and surrounding communities, the University and the Developer:

➢ embrace the key principles listed below as a guide in developing the Project;
➢ commit to exploring the list of specific strategies bulleted below, incorporating these where feasible, and returning to meet with the Committee at various stages of Project planning and design for further consultation;
➢ pledge to effectively utilize public and private financial tools and programs to finance the Project, and that public investment funds, paid for out of Project revenues or tax revenues, will be used to help pay for utilities, infrastructure, parking, public amenities, public art, and environmental enhancements; and,
➢ will submit the Project to all applicable local, state and federal laws and regulations, as well as to a University review process.

Category: Design

Key Principle: Create an outstanding architectural and urban design character that complements the surrounding environment by achieving a standard of excellence in the evolving area of environmental design and inspiring creativity and an appropriate development character for the architecture, landscape and urban places within the Project.

Proposed Strategies:
• Provide a model that will encourage higher standards for quality real estate design and development along the Route 1 corridor.

• Reflect an authentic architectural character that is distinct from, but compatible with, that of the campus and College Park, and which incorporates: a) design principles for creating public urban spaces that are safe, well-maintained and attractive to residents and surrounding communities; and, b) the Environmental Stewardship and Sustainability strategies outlined below. The University’s School of Architecture and Architectural Design Standards Board will assist the Developer in achieving the Project goals through regular consultation.

• Provide a variety of public and accessible urban spaces and corridors that encourage a walkable and safe 24-hour environment.

• Develop design guidelines specific to the Project. These guidelines will address topics, such as circulation and architectural character.

• Take advantage of the Maryland Public Art Fund to incorporate public art as appropriate in the Project.

Category: Environmental Stewardship and Sustainability

Key Principle: Promote the responsible use of renewable and non-renewable resources in the construction and operation of the Project.

Proposed Strategies:
• Benchmark all Project design and construction to achieve a LEED Silver status or equivalent standard for the Project (such as those developed by Enterprise Green Communities or Energy Star).

• Respect the environmental sensitivity of the Anacostia River watershed and its tributaries, including the Paint Branch sub-watershed, the nearby connections with Indian Creek and the Northwest Branch.

• Provide effective stormwater management that reduces pollutant loading from stormwater discharge and reduces peak stream flow rates to minimize channel erosion and help maintain the biological integrity of downstream waterways.

• Institute measures to minimize noise pollution within the Project.

• The University shall include the Project in the campus-wide Green House Gas emissions inventory (as conducted by the Center for Integrative Environmental Research) to help promote climate neutrality.

• Utilize appropriate landscape types, including native plant species, and design innovative irrigation strategies, to the extent feasible.

• Employ strategies to encourage water conservation and reduce the burden on municipal water supply and wastewater systems.

• Institute measures to minimize spillover light as a source of pollution.

• Promote indoor environmental quality control through appropriate design and materials to ensure thermal comfort, systems controllability, and natural day lighting that promotes improved occupant comfort, well-being and productivity.

• Ensure that the Project’s energy-related systems are properly installed and commissioned.

• Implement construction waste management strategies to minimize impact on landfills.

• Use appliances, fixtures and materials that are energy efficient, conserve natural resources (e.g., water), minimize toxics (e.g., paints, flooring, cabinetry), reduce indoor air pollution, and contain recycled content, to the extent feasible.

• Promote energy conservation through separate metering of leased space, as appropriate within the Project.

• Service contracts and/or associated University and East Campus activities with janitorial, landscaping, operation and maintenance functions will contain conditions that require and encourage the use of environmentally preferable products and/or services that protect workers and promote residential health, and facilitate source reduction, the conservation of resources, recycling, waste management and environmentally sound disposal.

Category: Smart Growth, Transportation and Parking

Key Principle: Promote smart growth through a mix of uses and emphasis on public transportation, bike and pedestrian connections, reduction of automobile use and appropriate parking strategies.

Proposed Strategies:
• Reduce automobile traffic by:
o emphasizing and designing for other transportation modes, such as transit (Shuttle-UM, local bus and transit services, car sharing programs and the future Purple Line), walking and bicycling;
o providing direct, safe and attractive routes through the Project to enhance connections to the College Park Metro Station, M Square, Main Campus and surrounding areas;
o locating housing, retail and jobs closer to the University and to the College Park Metro Station; and
o redistributing traffic away from Route 1 and toward Paint Branch Parkway and Kenilworth Avenue.

• Make improvements to Route 1 along the frontage of the Project in conformance with SHA plans for the Route 1 corridor.

• Include bike lanes and/or facilitate bike usage throughout the Project.

• Assess transportation impacts of East Campus in accordance with County requirements and in coordination with the Sector Plan and SHA transportation studies, accounting, as required, for background traffic associated with other approved developments.

• Plan for effective integration of the Purple Line and an alignment through East Campus that facilitates and encourages ridership for communities, East Campus, University students, employees and visitors.

• Consider participation in regional solutions through University initiatives, such as:
o institutionalized campaigns, policies and facilities at East Campus that facilitate the regular use of mass or alternative forms of transit, e.g., Metro checks, transit to connect developments and communities to the University and vice versa;
o service contracts for alternative fuel and/or hybrid vehicles;
o coordinated mass transit; and
o bus routes that link and extend beyond the Project site, connecting students, visitors, residents and communities to area attractions, events, history, etc. (e.g., Bladensburg waterfront, Hyattsville Arts District, Riversdale Mansion, the University).

• Employ transportation demand management strategies, as appropriate.

• Reserve parking spaces for disabled persons, hybrid vehicles, flex/zip cars, other related service providers and car pools where appropriate (office parking).

• Institute lease policies to require service delivery vehicles to access the Project from major arterials.

• Enhance the safety of crossings between the East Campus and main campus, as approved by SHA and between East Campus and areas north of Paint Branch Parkway, as approved by Prince George’s County.

• Provide the optimum amount of parking to make this a successful, high-quality Project, balancing factors such as the goal of encouraging other forms of transportation and the fact that most residents will have and want to store their cars.

• Meet FAA and APA regulations which provide for airport operations and public safety associated with the College Park Airport.

Category: Uses

Key Principle: Incorporate and maintain a mix of high-quality retail, office, residential, restaurant, hotel and entertainment options attractive to the students, faculty and staff of the University, citizens of College Park and surrounding communities, and visitors.

Proposed Strategies:
• Restrict “big box” retail uses (stores larger than 40,000 square feet), other than entertainment venues and grocery, clothing and fitness/gym uses.

• To cultivate a college town atmosphere, make special efforts to include small, unique, specialty and/or locally-owned businesses. Methods for attracting these types of tenants should include:
o Targeting at least 30% of the number of retail stores in the Project for these types of tenants with no more than six locations of same brand stores in the greater Washington / Baltimore area at the time of lease execution.
o Instituting tenant education and allowance programs to attract interest by these types of tenants.

• Provide housing types targeted to help meet the graduate student demand as well as to provide market rate units for faculty, staff and others desiring to live, long term, in an upscale community near the University.

• Explore the creation of a College Park Partnership (“CPP”) whose goal would be to link downtown College Park and East Campus into a single, attractive retail, arts and entertainment area.

• Explore the use of a part of the Pocomoke Building as the “Pocomoke Market” that would create a gathering spot, possibly including such uses as the University Dairy and a bakery, strengthening connections between the existing downtown and the East Campus.

• Use federal funds to undertake redevelopment initiatives such as installing wireless networks (Wi-Fi and/or Wi-MAX) throughout the Project and downtown College Park, and for façade improvements in downtown College Park.

Category: Project Initiatives and Resources

Key Principle: Explore opportunities for creating community awareness, involvement and excitement for the Project.

Proposed Strategies:
• The University will consider ways in which to:
o integrate learning opportunities for students, faculty and community in the design, planning and implementation of the Project.
o encourage collaborative, ongoing relationships with organizations, both public (e.g., agencies, school systems) and private (e.g., corporations, “green” businesses), outside of the University which would benefit from contact with development.
o tap the advice and expertise of the University’s additional resources and knowledge on such matters from, among other sources, the National Center for Smart Growth Research and Education, the Center for Integrative Environmental Research, and the example of interdisciplinary teams such as the exemplary 2007 Solar Decathlon team, to inform the Project and further enhance student and faculty input.

• East Campus constitutes an open, public forum and the First Amendment’s protection of free speech is fully applicable.

• Work together to structure a relationship between East Campus security and University police with input from the community.

• Developer will conform to state goals of 25% or such other goal as may be established by state law for MDOT certified MBE participation on all contracts for architect-engineer services and construction of the Project.

4 thoughts on “Draft Principles Released for Last East Campus Meeting”

  1. Unfortunately I have class at 7pm, therefore I won’t be able to make the meeting. I will add this opinion. I think it would help to have a structure facing Route 1 that draws people into the development who wouldn’t otherwise go. It would have to be visually innovative, creative, and eye-catching. So, when people drive down Route 1, they may say, “Wow! What’s that over there? Let’s check it out.” Case in point, you don’t know Downtown Silver Spring (DTSS) exists until you turn down one of the two streets where the restaurants and movie theater sit. If you’re not on those streets, you miss it. DTSS is hidden. I don’t want East Campus to be hidden. At least one structure facing RT 1 and possibly Paint Branch should draw people in and say, East Campus is the place to be and can back it up. The rest of the architecture doesn’t have to be as bold, but should be able to maintain visual interest.

    Another example is University Town Center (UTC). The most eye-catching piece in the whole development is the Plaza 22 Lofts. But it’s hidden. It can’t draw people from East West Highway. You have to physically turn into America Blvd to know the town center exists. Unless they create a visually stunning Safeway or hotel on 410. Otherwise, people drive by and don’t know what UTC may have to offer.

    One idea may be to design the Birchmere in such a way like the Strathmore. Or design a book store (borders or Barnes & Noble, Etc) with an all glass facade with angles and curves and multicolored lighting that is visually stunning and draws people in. I’m not saying it has to be Disney World or Universal Studios. But something that says, you want to be here and when you come, you won’t be disappointed. That draws customers who may otherwise feel it’s just another drab town center. East Campus should move away from being business and even business casual and be more relaxed and fun. After all, the main customer base will be between the ages of 16 and 35. If we want business casual, we can go to DTSS or UTC. East Campus should be the “Hip” shopping and entertainment center. I guarantee the people will come and it will place College Park on the map. This is our chance to make an impression and to break away from the mediocre “town Center” mold that prevails in most of the country today.

    Speaking of Universal Studios, for those who have been, I really think the video displays in the night club area as you come into the park were so cool. Perhaps the Birchmere could have something like that that shows music videos or something of the acts that are appearing. Or, that could be a central part of the center that may show UM football or basketball games while people shopped or whatever. It would be much more interesting than hearing elevator music on speakers. While I’m waiting for my wife or children to come out of a store, I could sit on a bench eating my ice cream while watching a music video on the big screens or being able to catch part of e UM basketball of football game on.

    If I were at the meeting, that’s what I would say. 🙂

  2. These principles look reasonable although long-winded. I agree with jeuill about the face on Rt 1 and am very concerned about the plan showing structure parking there – hopefully this will be screened from the Engineering Fields so that you won’t be looking across a beautiful green space at a 6 or 8 story garage.

  3. i am pretty sure that the plan is to have building fronts / facades (not parking decks) along the East side of Rte 1 opposite campus (across from the engineering fields) ……If you imagine driving south down Rte 1 – as you approach the intersection w/ Paint Branch Pkwy (PBP) and the main gate – the first thing you will see on your left is the hotel on the corner (where the mail facility is located today)

    then after the hotel on your left will be a series of building facades facing Rte 1 (imagine having second or third floor office space and looking out your window across to the engineering fields and the gorgeous red brick / whilte columns…..very cool) – i thought the parking would be behind the hotel and all of the buildings – it will be the “inner core” if you will of the structures (a parking deck with offices / a gym / a hotel / etc wrapped around its exterior)

    i could be wrong but i thought that was where we are headed. i just hope whatever we build that it is not all synthetic stucco and glass. i see this addressed at a very high level in the principles and think its a great start.

    My favorite part : “The College Park Partnership (CPP)” – this is huge. This is our golden opportunity to put the past behind us and look to a great future for the city by having a highly functioning relationship between the City, the County, the MNCPPC, the state, and of course last but not least – The Campus!!!!! This is it folks, our chance to realize the dream. I sincerely hope we can all work well together and put aside the mistrust. I think the CPP should be for the entire city, it should be the oversight entity for the Greater College Park area – “The Greater College Park Rivatlization Commission” if you will – the board of directors would have city, county, state, univ representation (including undergrad and grad students and faculty / staff from the schools of Architecture & HP, The RH Smith Business School, The Calrk Engineering School, etc.)

    Partnership is key. Must have solid, healthy, productive relationships. The time is now.

  4. Wow, this is very impressive! I can look at these principles and see the tangible benefits of these steering committee meetings!

    I remember at the beginning the developers were hesitant to commit to a specific LEED standard or a solid percentage of local retailers. I am very pleased with the way this has developed and I give credit to the committee members for their suggestions and the developers for listening!

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