Looking For Your Ideas

As deadlines quickly approach for developers to submit their proposals for East Campus to the university, we’re working on a list of points that we think are essential to the success of the project. Please use the comment function on this post to generate discussion and ideas. We’ll be posting a preliminary list of everyone’s ideas this Thursday and our final recommendations will be sent to developers and university officials as they make major decisions about the project.

East Campus is considered the “single largest private development opportunity on Route 1” and is expected to catalyze the kind of urban development College Park has been lacking for years.

What do you think???

East Campus 1999 Arch Studio

14 thoughts on “Looking For Your Ideas”

  1. A couple things I was thinking about are:

    1. A large amount of suite and apartment style housing open to all. I think too many people are worried about where people live in College Park. I think East Campus could be attractive to a variety of people, and if a it contains a variety of types and costs of housing the market would take care of deciding who it is best for.

    2. I’d love to see some creative environmentally sensitive design like LEED certified buildings or solar arrays.

  2. Even if the buildings are not LEED certified (because of the cost and headache of the documentation process) they can still apply LEED principles in their design. Low VOC levels, daylighting, low impact vegetation are all principles that create healthy buildings and occupants whether you get the LEED certification or not.

    I would really like to see busy streets – lots of doors and small commercial spaces. Much more interesting to look at than an apartment block with only two entrances and 100 feet of nothing in between.

  3. I’d really like to see some kind of central public space, something like a park or town square type of thing. It would be nice if there were a place for outdoor concerts, rallies, etc. that was in a more lively setting than the Nyumburu amphitheater. Hopefully this could be an interesting, organic kind of space, not like the big random astroturf in Silver Spring where they occasionally set up a temporary stage. Something more like the city square in Madison. Also it would be cool if the CP Farmers’ Market relocated to a space like that.

  4. Just tried to post something but it didn’t work. I think it would be very cool if the East Campus development incorporated some kind of central public space, like a park or town square kind of thing. Compare to the city square in Madison, which is always full of vendors, street performers, etc. It would be a good place to have concerts, rallies, etc… hopefully more lively atmosphere than Nyumburu. Hopefully it could be incorporated into the framework of the “downtown” type atmosphere… not a big random field like in Silver Spring, where they occasionally set up a temporary stage.

    Also I have always thought it would be cool if the CP Farmers’ Market could relocate to a space like this, if there was one.

  5. I think it’s important to make the development biker-friendly, especially if parking will be limited. Three important things:

    1. Safe areas for bike parking.

    2. Any housing should have safe bike lockup areas (e.g. in the basement).

    3. Bike lanes.

  6. I think integrating the purple line into the development, as opposed to right down the center of Paint Branch Parkway would be a good step. That way, people at the university could use the purple line to get around campus as well as hook them up to the greater metro area. This would also make east campus more of a transit oriented development and possibly allow them to build fewer parking spaces….

  7. I think the project should minimize parking as a whole – building parking only encourages suburban-style sprawl in the region. The only parking should be limited spaces for office employees and visitors. Dense college towns are pedestrian places.

  8. I agree with J.L.: A well-done garden/park with plenty of seating would add a nice contrast to all the concrete around the area.

  9. I think its important to have a good road behind the developments so people do not clog up Route 1 any more than is needed. A road running parallel to Rt. 1 behind the developments would help alleviate some traffic.

  10. I’m personally skeptical about the whole idea of having a million purple line stops through campus and the surrounding area. This is the suburbs remember, not a real downtown major city. Stops have the potential to create new congestion problems, crime problems, and severely alter the integrity of the campus, which the whole purple line itself could do. East campus is right across the street from main campus. People have legs, they can walk.

    Anyway, I don’t think anyone has really commented on the retail aspect of East Campus yet. I think it will be important to consider where retail spots go on the site and what kind of retail goes in those spots.

  11. Everyone should remember that this project is going to have an ‘urban character’ – meaning about 9 stories in most places…. We are talking about a purple line stop and the CP metro station, one on east campus, one in front of the union, and one in front of UMUC. I agree that that might be a little excessive, but it might be useful to think of lightrail as a glorified bus (that doesn’t stop at traffic lights hopefully) – indeed it might be just that – a big fancy bus as opposed to a light rail. Reguardless, it won’t operate at all like the current metro.

    I’m thinking that CP has a lot of underutilized park space especially considering that much of the school year the weather is not conducive to being outside.Maybe the only park that they should build should be more of an urban town square style…. Good input everyone.

  12. Hey, what’s up? So East Campus…I’m thinking that is should be MIXED USE development…some sort of shops/restaurants on the first few floors, with apartments/suites about for all in College Park. One major problem in College Park is accessibility to these services, and mixed use has proven to work well in cities such as DC, Baltimore and New York.

    Other suggestions:

    More open space, i.e. a park, pavillion
    Also, in terms of parking, a way to solve this problem is to build a central core of parking for the structure, with apartments surrounding the garage. This has been done in Northern VA for years, allowing residents to park on the floor where they live. Noise is no issue, as we have the ability to buffer it and completely block it out…

    Is there any forum for this coming up?

    Markrose85 on AIM

  13. There should be a town square, on the edge of the project, so the greater community can use it. The project should also have a good number of chain stores – we shouldn’t tear out the older blocks of Downtown solely to put in an Urban Outfitters.

    As for housing – a wide variety of price points, allowing everyone from students to staff, alumni, and anyone with deep pockets to live here. This is considerably easier to do than it sounds, I feel . . .

  14. I’d like to see continuous retail/dynamic space with large windows on the ground floors of all new buildings on east campus. Blank walls and low street vitality tend to lead to dangerous conditions – something we have enough of in College Park.

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