East Campus Decision Imminent

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).

10 thoughts on “East Campus Decision Imminent”

  1. The East Campus project is the best opportunity to really create the core of a modern, progressive, walkable college town. Central to that vision has to be transit in the form of the Purple Line. By creating a true transit oriented development, this project will go beyond the retail surrounding tarted-up massive parking garages that is a clear alternative and passes for “town centers across the nation.

    It is traggic that the University administration seems to be getting cold feet about this while apparently embracing the highway link to I-95. If the East Campus project is screwed up, the University might as well get used to mediocrity and stop looking at peers like U Michigan, U Wisconsin and UNC Chapel Hill. As for College Park residents – they should be rightfully outraged.

  2. The University doesn’t appear to have cold feet at all. The University’s goal is dense, mixed-use development and there was no indication today that it had changed its plan in any way.

  3. I dont understand why there is “outrage” over the link to I-95. The right type of road, positioned in the right place would be a tremendous improvement to the quality of life in College Park.

    Case In point: Sat. 2/10 around 4:30 pm – it took me longer to go North on Rte 1 from Guilford Rd to the Beltway than it took me to get from the I495 / 95 interchange to Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. No accidents, just pure volume ON A SATURDAY AFTERNOON WITHOUT A U of MD SPORTING EVENT.

    That is simply pathetic. I can not imagine what weekdays are like (I live in NJ now and come to campus for various alumni committees / projects.) but all those cars sitting in that congestion are spoiling the air that residents must breathe. I would think creating something to alleviate the mess would excite residents.

    A gated controlled access greenway (40 mph) – only open 7-7 M-F and after football and basketball games – placed WEST of the powerlines (google the area and look at an aerial view and you will see the roadbeds that were poured for the ill fated extension of 95 south into the DC Mall area that continue south of the park and ride) that then cuts across the northern fringe of the golf course to meet up with Terrapin Trail @ Univ Blvd would be a nice “win-win-win” for all. We could even build a visitor center up there that would serve PG Cty, U of Md, and even the state.

    I DO NOT think an 8 lane superhighway across the USDA lands is a good idea.

    Its time to stop getting “outraged” and time to end this “us versus that evil empire and Darth Mote” kind of attitude if we want to become more like Ann Arbor or Chapel Hill. We will only get there through cooperation and partnership. I donate enough $ to UMCP to get Mote’s administration’s attention on CP redevelopment issues and trust me, I leverage it.

    Without that evil empire the garbage that exists a few miles south down route 1 would probably continue all the way past the beltway. I wish residents would see the value and the potential and become more partnership oriented. If you meet a Univ Administrator who does not embrace those values, I would like to know about it so I can make some noise. The Univ is coming after us donors hard with this “Great Expectations” campaign and we can leverage that to make progress on redevelopment.

    CP redevelopment is simply too important to the future of the University. The residents stand to gain tremendously. But it will take too long if we dont move beyond the past.

  4. Weekend traffic on Route 1 is often much worse than weekday traffic, even when the University is in session.

  5. There are other options to getting to the I495/95 interchange than driving north on Rte 1. Leaving from Guilford Road a good option is to travel South on Rte 1 than East on East West Highway to Kenilworth Ave. Follow Kenilworth Ave North to I495.
    (Traveling to Baltimore I would opt to follow Kenilworth to the Baltimore-Washington Parkway.) Another option is to travel North to Paint Branch Pkwy than East to Kenilworth. Go North on Kenilworth to I495.

    Do you honestly believe the University is willing to make any sacrifices for the Terrapin Club Road? There is no way they will allow the Golf Course to be negatively impacted. Can you explain how you see this road traveling west of the power lines than connecting to Univ Blvd without cutting through the golf course?

    How long do you think a gated controlled access greenway would remain a gated controlled access greenway?

    If you lived in College Park Woods, Crystal Springs, Buck Lodge or Adelphi would you want to see the Terrapin Club Road negatively impact your neighborhood? Let’s work together to make the University great without having a negative imact on the surrounding communities.

    I DO NOT think an 8, 6, OR 4 lane superhighway anywhere in this area is a good idea.Use the funds to improve Route 1!

  6. I donate enough $ to UMCP to get Mote’s administration’s attention on CP redevelopment issues and trust me, I leverage it.

    The residents stand to gain tremendously.

    And thank God we have condescending big spenders from New Jersey to show us the error of our ways.

    Believe it or not, we have elected officials we work with — and no large bribes required, at least not yet.

    Without that evil empire the garbage that exists a few miles south down route 1 would probably continue

    Here’s an idea. Why don’t you lobbby the Mote administration for relocation to Chevy Chase or Potomac?

  7. Saturday traffic without any UMD event (notice the missing word athletic – the campus hosts many events) is bad, worse than on some weekdays – so how would a road only open at certain times help?

    there are traffic problems w/ route 1 and the surrounding areas that are NOT university related. There are also limitations of what can be done with route 1 based on the cables running beneath it. (or so I have been told)

    the connector road is not the answer.

  8. Dont confuse my passion and love for the University with “condescension” (sorry if it came across that way – I was trying to make a point) – its frustrating to see the city continue to shoot itself in the foot and not achieve all the potential that exists because of close mindedness and an unwillingness to work with the University.

    It amazes me how people are quick to jump to conclusions and form judgements of the University as evil or the enemy. Last time I checked, it has been there since what the mid 1800’s (1856?) so unless you are – what 150 years old, I think it was there first, so not quite sure why people chose to live in CP (and choose to stay there) if it is such an awful entity looking to plow the community asunder

    Wake up to the reality that you have a growing crime problem and you need to act quickly. Redevelopment is critical. I think the road can help. Not to mention the environmental benefits. Sure, I hate new roads as much as the next person (I seethe with anger over suburban sprawl) but if you want to play the environmental card, ok lets go there: tell me what all the traffic on 1 is doing to the air we breathe? how about the fuel consumed while sitting in bumper to bumper traffic. Look at the other negative impacts on health and well being: how do you feel when you sit at the top of the hill at 1/Cherry Hill and look south to an endless stream of cars? Happy? or Stressed and angry? Is that a high quality of life?

    Nothing irks me more than the Montgomery and Howard County folks looking down on “Pee Gee Cow-nee” saying – Oh College Park will always be a dump because its PG County”

    I cant tell you how many times people tell us “Give up on cleaning up College Park – It will never happen, its PG County – people there are too stupid to get it done”

    I hate that crap. We all know better and some of us are determined to make it happen. Im with YOU. Thats why (unlike some other posters) I have the courage to put my name on my posts and make it a point to try to meet as amny of you as possible in person.

  9. There is something to be said for roads encouraging a dispersed pattern of land use. Whatever you might think of the road, the hurdles for the project are absolutely immense (an act of congress?) and we are still 2 years away from an Environmental Impact Statement and several more from potential funding and the design/build phase. I’ve also been made aware of some trip numbers that show that the road won’t reduce that high of a percentage of traffic on Route 1.

    Is this a panacea for CP development? Probably not. I’m willing to wait for the final EIS, but unfortunately that will be $2.5 million and 3 years later with absolutely no limited access measures taken on Route 1. Roads don’t improve schools, help the environment, nor encourage a vibrant urban character. Indeed, roads are a necessary prerequisite for suburbia and road expansion is a continued commitment to a suburban land-use pattern.

  10. certainly not a panacea but here is the way i see it:

    any proposals to develop higher density projects along Rt1 (specifically the Knox Box area) are likely to be met with tremndous opposition that will cite “traffic concerns” –

    You and I both (meaning the collective “we” on this board – not just Kevin and David) know that more urban land use in the Knox Box area will bring more people affiliated w/ the Univ (students, teachers, etc) closer to campus and instead of driving in from an apartment in Howard County they could live on the southern fringe and walk (whereby reducing or at least off-setting the increases in traffic created by an increase in density)

    But the opposition will fight hard on “traffic” – so Im not thinking it is a “panacea” but more of “relief” that will soften the soil so to speak to help promote higher density projects in the corridor

    It is nearly impossible to have a “continued commitment to a suburban land use pattern” at this point – that damage is already done and CP is fairly (not completely) “built out” – I dont see toll brothers coming in anytime soon to develop a single family sibdivision like CP Woods (funny how residents of a classic sprawl development are suddenly leaning on “urban land use patterns”) – so now we have to look for ways to alleviate the insanity. Unfortunately, absent a massive fuel crisis (I mean massive beyond current comprehension) that would force SUV driving Montgomery Countians into a more European mindset I dont see a large scale shift in behavior that would lead to less reliance on the auto for people coming into CP.

    Is the assumption that all of the new M-Square employees over the next few years will use Kenilworth?

    Has there ever been a study to see just who IS using Rte 1? Id be curious to see what % is not somehow accessing UMCP

    I often thought about sitting at the Cherry Hill Rd intersection and polling people: “Why are you on Rte 1? Does it have to do with The University?” or creating a web registry then placing a sign up there asking people to log on and click a radio button citing why they use Rte 1

    Speaking of signs – can we do a story on that god-awful looking green SHA sign for the Univ just north of the Comfort Inn (over the southbond lanes of 1 near 193) – what a joke – looks like they cobbled some scraps from a SHA yard somewhere and stuck a light on it.

    keep up the good work

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