Raising the Profile of East Campus Redevelopment

East Campus

The University Senate is the latest body to raise concerns about the lack of public input in the East Campus Redevelopment Initiative. In response to his concern that there “wasn’t enough consciousness on the campus” about the potential impact of the East Campus project, University Senate Chair James Gates asked University Vice President John Porcari to give a presentation to the group last week, the Diamondback reported last Thursday.

University administrators have assured us that the design would be subject to a full and comprehensive public input process both on campus, in the community, and in the region — once a development partner has been selected. However, we think much can be done now to raise the public awareness about the project and involve student input. Students should serve on the decision-making subcommittee and evaluation committees, not just the seemingly powerless “steering” committee.

The university could place a prominent link on the UMD.edu homepage to more information about the project, and begin to improve the East Campus website to serve to educate not just developers but members of the general public. As it is currently designed much of the text of this page appears as an image — meaning it will not appear highly in web searches. Lastly, perhaps the best way to prepare the ground for both public input and the public approval process is to install signs on the actual site itself. We are confident raising awareness now will improve the quality of public input and could speed approval for the project.

The photo is taken from the Facilities Master Plan Aesthetic Guidelines

4 thoughts on “Raising the Profile of East Campus Redevelopment”

  1. I’m a 30 something Unix Engineer that attends UMUC and is a homeowner in Cool Spring. I’m very much interested in the redevelopement in the area and have been tracking it for some time now. I’ve even tried to contact some developers every now and then.

    What I would like in the College Park area is exclusivity and music. What I mean is, I don’t what this area to become filled with chains. But we should have venues, shops, and restaurants that you will only find in College Park. WIth a few chains sprinkled in of course. That would give College Park it’s own personality. Something that it’s known for.

    When I go traveling to places I’ve never been, I always ask friends to take me somewhere that you can only experience in that area. I’d never go eat at the Olive Garden in another state because I can get that experience right at home. Just like who would want to eat at Three Brothers in College Park when there’s one in Greenbelt?

    Let us make a name for ourselves. Not for the ability to live and play, but for being unique.

  2. That is why the City is looking hard at keeping control of the 6,000 square feet of retail that would be on the south side of Knox in the parking garage and the 10,000-15,000 square feet of retail that would be part of the City Hall redevelpment proposal on the other side of Knox. We can’t count on private property owners to do anything other than lease to those willing to pay the highest rents. I know how revitalization has played out across the country to squeeze out local businesses.

  3. It seems to me that: 1) the highest rents will be on retail in newly constructed buildings on which loans are just beginning to get paid and 2) more retail means that builing owners can’t charge outrageous rents. Looking at the big picture I would think the existing “downtown CP” would become the affordable commercial rent district once some of this development comes to fruition.

  4. Thanks for the website links and info. I would love to have another music venue, as well as more sit down and hang out type places (coffee shops). Something that isn’t isolating and work-oriented like starbucks, but something where people can socialize. Such a place could also have music. That is my huge request for College Park right now. College Perk is somewhat like what I have in mind, but too far away to safely get to without a car. No good.

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