East Campus Project on Hold. 2010 Groundbreaking “At best”

Not surprisingly the developers of East Campus are having trouble getting financing together so the project is now on hold.┬áVice President for Administrative Affairs Ann Wylie tells us “Don’t lose heart.”

Well if it took decades to tear down the Starlight Inn I guess we can wait a year or so. I for one am optimistic it will happen once credit shakes lose.

Diamondback article here


9 thoughts on “East Campus Project on Hold. 2010 Groundbreaking “At best””

  1. For the sake of the city and the university, I hope you’re optimism proves true. Too many projects have been delayed by years.

  2. In the meantime I suppose we can all look forward to other development in the area. Like Jason’s Deli. It’s good to see the glaring gap in sandwich shops filled.

  3. The University should be providing its credit for this project, alongside the developer. Many cities do this in order to get financing for projects at a lower interest rate or for “borderline” projects. With the implicit backing of the university, with its significant resources and endowment, the financing would not be difficult to secure. If they are not willing to do this, the project will languish or be built in awkward phases.

  4. There was an article in the Diamondback on March 9 discussing how delays to the East Campus development have delayed CP’s plan to redevelop its downtown City Hall property into a luxury hotel.

    Here’s the article:

    http://media.www.diamondbackonline.com/media/storage/paper873/news/2009/03/09/News/East-Campus.Delays.Will.Likely.Impact.City.Projects-3664946.shtml

    I have a few thoughts on this:

    1. How are people staying in the hotel going to sleep? Santa Fe Cafe, Cornerstone Grill & Loft, and the Thirsty Turtle are all located within a block of the planned hotel.

    2. I think it would be cool if there could be retail on the part of the hotel’s ground floor that faces Route 1. This could replace the storefronts there that are planned to be demolished for the hotel. There is surely a sizable population living in the Commons, apartment complexes and Knox Boxes along (or near) Knox Road that would at least sometimes use that retail over the future retail in the East Campus development (because it would be about 1/3 mile closer). Meanwhile, the entrance to the hotel could be to the side or opposite Route 1.

    3. What role (if any) should the new parking garage across Knox Road have in serving the hotel?

  5. Just my humble opinions, for what they are worth, with regard to Daniel’s comments above:

    1. I am sure the guest rooms will be at least 2-3 floors up (possibly higher when you read my response below to point 3) and will take noise into consideration in the design and selection of materials……think about New York City and hotels located in other urban centers along busy thoroughfares – most hotels stack the lobby, meeting facilities, business offices, parking, fitness facilities, and other common uses on the lower levels and guest rooms start a few floors up

    2. Totally agree…..the success of the revitalization of the city hinges upon our ability to create dynamic vibrant streetscapes that draw people…..think about the density of residential activity that is coming once the Knox Boxes are redeveloped. All of those residents will need retail that is more convenient than east campus…….the property we are discussing is really a key centerpiece of Downtown College Park as well as the Knox Box area (which I hope eventually becomes named something like “The Guilford District or The Guilford Run District or Guilford Valley or something drawing on the small stream – Guilford Run – and the natural topography)…..That area is prime. I hope Brian Darmody and Ann Wylie are reading this and put a lot of focus on Jane or Janet Frith or Firth and her plans for those properties. Too crucial to the city and the University. Hope it doesnt get botched.

    3. Parking. I would hope the hotel would build its own either down in the ground or on the first few floors of the property, Whereby ground level would be store fronts, the hotel lobby, etc, then the next say 5 levels are parking, then meeting space…..oh wait, Im assuming that the hotel will go way up in the air and given the historic nature of Old Town / Downtown there may be height and bulk limitations. Maybe someone (Councilman Caitlin) can comment on that. They may be limited to a certain number of stories that would impact ……sorry for thinking out loud / as I type….I dont know enough about the proposed height of the project and was just thinking “blue sky” sso to speak

  6. Thanks for the follow-up, Kevin. Yeah, as I entered my previous comment I was realizing that noise probably wouldn’t be a huge issue, because I have actually stayed in hotels in bustling downtown areas and been just fine.

    And while we’re on the subject of downtown College Park and the Knox Box area, I think a supermarket would really do well in that area. Perhaps a location between Plato’s and CVS would work.

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