UMD Supports Book Exchange Development

A letter we got our hands on from UMD VP of Administrative Affairs to District 3 County Councilman Eric Olson indicates that UMD supports the Book Exchange Redevelopment Plan. In the past, UMD’s support has been a make or break for student housing projects in the city. The letter, dated August 25th, doesn’t specifically cite support for the undergraduate portion of the project, but does imply support for the plan in its entirety given its inclusion of housing for graduate students and visiting faculty. They’d like to see a Fall 2013 delivery. How do you read into the contents of this letter?

—>UMD’s Letter to Eric Olson

16 thoughts on “UMD Supports Book Exchange Development”

  1. the university it seems wants to keep its open spaces intact and i think that makes sense. why not let other spaces in commercial districts take over some of their housing needs. the site you are talking about is just what is needed since its not car needy, its surrounded by commercial buildings and frats and sororities and a church parking lot.
    i also heard its going to be at least silver LEED and if the council helps aprove it will go to GOLD LEED. that is really what the environment needs. also i heard that they have to reuse the water on the site. we need new buildings that are not more sprawl and create density where its least problematic.
    yeah for the environment and yeah for this project

  2. The University is just throwing its weight around.
    Nothing new there.
    Eric Olson is an elected official who represents the views of his constituents. In my opinion this should carry more weight that a university administrator.

  3. Eric Olson isnt representing my views…or the views of anyone else who has commented on this blog so far regarding this development. Seems like Eric is the one throwing his weight around at the expense of his constituents. Unlike him, I dont think the University gets a vote on this project. The University is just smart enough to realize a smart development when they see one.

  4. It’s nice to see a project being proposed practically on campus that is tuning into the needs of graduate students. But regardless of the specific designs of the project this location is ideal for this development – at the front door of campus, at downtown, and no need for a car because I can get easily by foot to the metro. Not sure how Olson and others could support projects further up rt 1 that are not nearly as walkable (or not walkable at all) but come down hard on this project on a site 100% ideal for the use.

  5. The plan to construct an attractive building at 7501 Baltimore Avenue will benefit the corner, the retail district, the university and Old Town in numerous ways.

    First, it will provide new, attractive retail space for the Maryland Book Exchange and other retail outlets. This will be a cornerstone to elevate the appearance and quality of retail in the “downtown” area.

    Second, It will provide residential space for graduate students, visiting professors and young professionals who wish to locate at the junction of the university and services provided by the town of College Park.

    Third, it will provide residential space for responsible undergraduates who will have to conform to acceptable standards of behavior in order to maintain their lease. Access will be controlled by swipe cards and the building and surrounding area will be monitored 24/7. The movement of a portion of the student population from Old Town to 7501 may take pressure off of the overcrowded, and often rowdy, group residences in Old Town.

    Forth, the building at 7501 will provide needed tax revenue and, if passed, funds from parking waivers to the College Park community which can be used to improve security and code inspections. If the parking waivers are granted, there will be a double benefit from the immediate fee and then from increased parking revenue from the existing town parking garage which is currently underutilized.

    Finally, the building at 7501 will establish this intersection as the cornerstone for a renaissance in College Park, a renaissance in retail, housing, property values and overall “livability”. It is time that College Park assert it’s right to a brighter future and this proposed building is clearly a part of that future. I encourage residents of Old Town and the city council, to offer their support to this beneficial project.

  6. This blog is becoming a sham. It is obvious that there is no desire for an actual exchange of views. It is Daddio’s way or the highway. RCP is even censoring those whose views are “disliked” by other readers. Get a clue kids! UMD should build student housing on its own land. It has enough of it.

  7. Dear Mary Cook (aka incredulous, Dismayed),

    No one is censoring any views here. We allow every single comment though and I think have given a fair description of the facts and an even-keeled analysis of Eric’s views. Many of the contributors to this site are city residents as are most of the folks who comment these days.

    You said in another comment that the “majority of CP residents have no desire to see more high rises in their hometown.” That’s absolutely false and you have no basis for this claim. Please don’t presume that your view is the consensus view of city residents. They certainly are not.

  8. Incredulous,

    This blog does a great job of bringing important issues to light and comments represent both sides. If comments were sensored, your indedibly ignorant comment would have been sensored as well. The Universities strategy of allowing housing to be built adjacent to the University by private developers allows it to dedicate resources to build educational facilities. What gives you the right to decide where people live? Would it be right for someone to say to you “if you dont like living in a college town then move?” This is exactly what you are doing!

  9. No comment is truly being censored. WordPress just hides comments that are voted by readers as bad or useless so most people can skim past them. Those who are interested can still click to see them.

    If the readership of this blog tends to agree more with the principles of smart growth than NIMBYism and that is reflected in the comments, I can’t say I’d be really surprised?

  10. A mix of undergraduate and graduate housing on this site with retail on the ground level makes sense. In addition to the book store, I would like to see a small grocery on the first floor and basement. Trader Joe’s, MOM’s, YES, or some such grocery would be fantastic.

    Trader Joe’s has used that format–2 floors, one ground floor and one below or above–in other locations. The committment to a grocery and perhaps a slightly higher mix of graduate to undergraduate housing might be the mix that would translate to increased community and political support.

  11. Incredulous is right – RTCP is clearly the David Daddio – I Hate Dan Mote (and Dernoga) Show and dont dare challenge him or disagree with him (Daddio that is)…..its a shame – David clearly does not like to be challenged – incredulous is (unfortunately) correct. this blog is not quite what it could be.

    prove me wrong – allow this post to appear

  12. We welcome contributions from the community and always have. We’ve never blocked a comment from anyone. We’ve never denied anyone from doing a guest post. You’ll have to use your real name

    Mary Cook commented saying the “majority of CP residents have no desire to see more high rises in their hometown.” That’s patently untrue. For every local voter whom Mary Cook can find who opposes 4-6 story buildings on Route 1, RTCP can find two voters whom support such development. I think we can disagree without being disagreeable.

  13. I would have to agree with Incredulous and Agree with Incredulous that this blog is not what it could be. I’ve tried to encourage people to come to rethink after one or two visits they comment “oh that blog is one sided”
    I think your blog is a great spot to come and see what’s happening in CP even if I don’t agree with your agenda.
    It’s interesting that you “hide” commments when you don’t like them. In my current house we have 5 people who each have a laptop. Only one can like or dislike a comment because all 5 have the same IP address.
    David just curious do you still live in CP, do you plan on returning?

  14. I no longer live in the city. Again, no comments are being censored. Please feel free to contribute content if you like. This is an all volunteer site.

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