The University’s interim V.P. of Administrative Affairs, Frank Brewer, spoke about the East Campus Development Initiative today at the Graduate Student Government meeting. So far, the university has received several proposals from numerous developers on how to redevelop the thirty-eight acre site. If all goes well, he expects the evaluation committee to recommend a development partner next week. Following the assent of the university administration and the Board of Regents, the University will spend three to four months negotiating a terms sheet with the developer specifying the financial details of the project. Then after all this, the university will open a public review and input process, the form of which has yet to be determined .
Though state procurement laws prevented Brewer from divulging too many details, he assured the audience that final East Campus product would have activity 24/7 and would be “a great place, a place we don’t have right now.”
Non-student housing and graduate student housing continue to be the major focus of the project. When asked about undergraduate housing, Brewer responded that some space may be available for undergraduates to rent, but repeated earlier university sentiment that it is not their “goal to create undergraduate housing in that location.”
Brewer did reveal a few details about the submitted proposals in general:
- Proposals include a range between 1.8 million and 2.6 million square feet of floor space (UMD currently has 13 million square feet of floor space campus-wide).
- Of that total space, proposals include a range between 225,000 and 400,000 square feet of retail space. (For comparison, the McKeldin Library’s seven floors and basement add up to about 200,000 sq. ft. total).
- All proposals include more graduate housing than is provided in both Graduate Hills and Graduate Gardens combined. Proposed rents for graduate housing range from $600 to $650 per month (in current dollars) for one room in a four-bedroom apartment, as required by the university’s request for proposals.
In case you’re ready to reserve an apartment on East Campus, just know that Brewer estimates the earliest possible move-in date will be in four years (an optimistic target, he admitted).