Maryland Book Exchange is up for Sale.

If you have a cool $5 3/4 Million available consider picking up this gem in downtown College Park. There has been intense interest in this property from developers. Even the University is considering purchasing this 2.6 acre plot. The location connects directly to the southern end of the East Campus development.

7501 Flier

19 thoughts on “Maryland Book Exchange is up for Sale.”

  1. In the SP Update, this property is zoned 2-6 stories. That’s an enormous lot for downtown. I definitely don’t like the idea of UMD purchasing this for inclusion into east campus.

  2. Why not? Are you worried the university would develop it slower than someone else or what?

  3. Is a Barnes & Nobel too much to ask for? 🙂 One thing my wife and I noticed is that the closest major bookstore (not in a mall) is in Downtown Silver Spring. A two-story Barnes & Noble with a cafe and internet lounge would be cool. Not sure if there’s enough room for a small parking deck though.

  4. yes, they would take forever and since most of east campus will be under longterm lease by one developer, I don’t think it’s sound planning to have the whole city owned by one monopolistic entity. you get a shopping mall that emulates a city. 38 prominent acres is already pushing it.a private developer could redevelop the book exchange in far less time. gradual money, not cataclysmic money, is what makes cities interesting and gives them staying power.

  5. While a small grocery store would be nice, I find it unbelievable that there is no adequate bookstore within walking or biking distance near a major research university.

    @PGCIST and Lesley

    How would a Trader Joes on the bottom floor and a Barnes and Noble on the top floor sound? Hyattsville is getting a Yes! Organic Market and there’s the Shoppers in North College Park. I think a small grocer would do well at the current Maryland book store location. But please, can we get some books? I know educated people don’t like to read and all, but come on. 😉 There could even be a UMD section with books published and recommended by university staff.

  6. @John Euill:

    I’m not picky, I just want a clean place I can walk/bike to that sells fresh food, and *maybe* has an aisle w/ beer & wine (I know I’m dreaming about the last part). See Chevy Chase Supermarket and/or the Greenbelt Co-Op Supermarket for reference.

  7. Bookstore? Who reads actual books anymore? Maybe Tower Records can open a superstore. Maybe a Apple store with discount on iPads. 😉

    Actually College Park had a real gem of a bookstore in Vertigo Books but they closed down a few years back.

    A agree a smallish supermarket would be great but I have never seen one work in the area. I’m not sure why. I think non-union markets have a tough sell.

    It is such a prominent spot I’d like to see something very dense/urban go up there. Something at least 5 stories tall that would be mixed use and provides a nice frontage to Route 1.

  8. I agree with Clay, something dense that interacts well with the street and sidewalk. Don’t think we’re going to see a grocer or barnes and noble in CP till we get east campus. There is just not the density to support one nor the regional draw yet. Vertigo closed a couple years ago and the book exchange is closing now…. The U Book Center is monopolizing student book purchases.

  9. How about including room for a higher-end restaurant, or at least a decent, independently owned eating place, not just a burger joint or place for drinking? NOT a chain store of any kind. Have you seen another university town with such a lack of interesting medium-to-high-end eating establishments?

  10. We have a two story Barnes and Noble – it is in the Student Union

    Will be interesting to see what happens to both the Book Exchange site as well as the Ford site. Personally I would like to see a Trader Joe’s in the old Ford site. Traffic light and parking.

  11. The building is for sale but not the acutal bookstore. The bookstore still has a lease that does not expire for a number of years.

  12. The building is for sale but the actual Maryland Book Exchange has a lease that does not expire for a number of years so the sale of the building does not mean the bookstore is closing.

  13. Just additional information: the reason the Maryland Book Exchange building is for sale is that the owner (and booklover) Mrs. Cheney passed away a few months ago and the family/ estate wishes to sell it when the Bookstore lease expires. Given the slow real estate market, the proposed sale has been announced now becasuse it will probably be a while before the building is sold.

  14. I agree with Kristi, it would be nice to have a decent sit down, white tablecloth restaurant in the city of CP. I’d just like some more variety. It is also an issue with density perhaps, but I think one could make it with some agressive marketing to the whole community.

    I think Whole Foods may need a min 40-60,000 sq ft space as I recall from some earlier discussions.

    Perhaps the Maryland Book Exchange could itself change. I have never been in there as I am not a student.

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