University View Pictures Released

As we reported Sunday, the University View plans an absolutely massive phased expansion – 434 units (1,416 student beds) and a whopping 30,000+ S.F. of retail. The 1st phase is planned to take place by 2010 (directly in front of the University View) with the other phases (including a parking garage) materializing by 2012.

Special thanks to Councilmember Stephanie Stullich for getting ahold of these for the general public. Looks like we’re finally getting somewhere around here…

Full build out


University View elevations

Site Plan:
Street Pattern

Ground floor retail and amenity plan:

View first floor site planUniversity View Groundfloor siteplan

Existing locational charm:

Existing conditions as of 2007

16 thoughts on “University View Pictures Released”

  1. Interesting that they still show the liquor store there. Maybe they can offer the guy some cut-rate retail space in the new development in exchange for his property…

  2. Yeah, that liquor store is quite an obnoxious eye sore and pretty much exemplifies the image that College Park is trying to dispel.

    Overall, this is very exciting news that the council approved this. How many steps are left before construction can begin?

  3. Why are liquor stores so hard to git rid of? I’m not sure the community would put up much of a fight to keep a liquor store around. Or, at least like Pat says, have them relocate into something more appealing to the eye. Or at least remodel where they are.

    I for one get tired of looking at Tick Tock Liquor and the neighboring Pep Boys. There should be some code that requires a business to keep up its grounds. I’ve always dreampt of winning the lottery and buying out Tick Tock and putting a cafe/book store there. Sure it may get robbed every week, but anything is better than looking at dirt, beer cans and bottles, and afternoon drunkards laying in the grass.

  4. Yeah if they put the liquor store in one of the buildings than the students only need to go downstairs instead of across the parking lot. That helps if it’s cold or raining, or there’s only 5 minutes til close! Some people might not like it, but think if you’re a student, that’s really convenient!

  5. If only it were that easy, jeuill. The story has it that the liquor store owner is holding out for a ridiculously high price, betting that the View’s developer, Otis Warren, will eventually give in.

    Though the county has the authority to take private land for private use, it is reluctant to do so for various reasons both good and bad.

    However, the liquor store owner’s dreams of winning the lottery with his location may be dashed by the state’s plan for Route 1 reconstruction, which we wrote about a few months ago. The state’s plan calls for the partial elimination of the intersection in front of the liquor store and the creation of a signal-controlled intersection at Berwyn House Road and the View’s northern driveway. Admittedly these plans are drafts that are a few years old, but if the liquor store owner doesn’t play his cards right, it’s Otis Warren who may get the last laugh here.

  6. I do believe that this is an issue of a long term lease and that Otis Warren actually owns #1 Liquor and the land which it sits on (I could be wrong). Eric is right that the Supreme Court allows eminent domain for private reuse (Kelo v. New London). It’s important to realize that despite the willingness of the governing body to carry out the eminent domain order, eminent domain (of a lease in this instance) for private reuse can only be done in the most extreme circumstances where the developer has a comprehensive plan.

    Basically I can’t get the county to exercise eminent domain on a single family home, have them convey it to me, and then I build a 7-11 on it. Then the system would be ripe for abuse. This is a very common misunderstanding that property rights advocates exploit to their full advantage.

    Otis Warren might meet the “comprehensive” test considering the scope of this project, but it would be up to the courts decide if #1 liquors decided to make it a fight.

  7. It’s interesting how close to Route 1 they are pushing the new buildings. How would this affect the proposed road widening or expansion from four to six lanes? Would they cut out some of the tree line, shrink the sidewalk, or just take spaces away from McDonalds across the street?

  8. There is no proposed street widening… The whole principle is to build to the street and have activity centers on the sidewalks.

  9. David, what about the recommendations from the SHA design document? Although the proposed Langley Park-College Park-Greenbelt Master Plan’s six-lane divided highway has been dropped (for now), doesn’t it still call for potential widening of the street (with a divided median and larger shoulders/bike lanes) in the future?

  10. Noah, my understanding is that the current center lane will be narrowed and replaced by a median and the remaining lanes will be narrowed to accommodate controlled left turn lanes at specific intersections and a bike lane (at varying widths) along the entire roadway. The rt 1 sector plan for CP calls for basically 0 “set-back” lines meaning buildings will come up right to the street. Since the corridor is zoned mixed-use, we are talking about continuous retail along the sidewalk similar to parts of DC.

    How in the world will we deal with all the traffic from all the new development? Look up our posts about traffic demand management (TDM).

  11. Development plans that are approved for Route 1 do allow for the additional ten feet or so necessary for the proposed expanded right-of-way for Route 1. The pictures and illustrations the developers show us don’t focus on that element, which while important, would not be readily apparent given the small scale of the pictures and the drawings.

  12. Few Comments…

    RE: Eminent Domain for private use. Huge political issue these days up here in Jersey (google “Long Branch” “Pier Village” “MTOSA” ….a lot of people losing their beach houses to a developer (I suppose the FBI inquiries dont help matters much) Its not just Dirty Jersey though – lots of folks getting fed up and fighting back, driving up legal fees.

    RE: this project. Ok, looks great and I am excited and all but again, from what I can tell, we dont seem to be utilizing the creek area. Weve got a garage in the center back by the creek. While I definitely want the garage hidden from Rte 1 I do hope they do something to incorporate / leverage the creek as an asset as opposed to shunning it at the ground level/first few floors like the view.

  13. The View addition is going to be a much needed bolstering for a College Park already desperate for more housing. 1,500 beds are not just an addition but a complete overhaul in an area rife with architectural flaws. I really like the initiative the owner Otis Warren is taking by trying to provide more off-campus opportunities for students and building aesthetically pleasing buildings. But, others are not exactly mirroring his efforts in the surrounding area. Anyone who has spent more than a day in College Park can realize the potential the area has, but still organizational problems are prevalent throughout the campus area. The View expansion illustrates how the community could use “untapped” land, but without a collective effort, it could eventually turn into an eyesore.
    The plans for the View are an eye-opener for anyone familiar with the area. I am currently a resident of the View, and imagining all the free parking and business space being filled up is almost startling. The pictures posted on the Rethink site offer a few issues that should definitely be addressed. The displacing the #1 Liquor store is also complemented by the moving of the Koon’s Ford shop and the glass-paned business that currently rests next to the View. Koon’s is already taken care of through Warren’s ever-deepening pockets, but in reality the small office building will be the only casualty in the View plans.
    In actuality, the View’s plans for expansion will completely overhaul the area. The concept of the View being a building will be long lost. The +30,000 square footage to be added will give off the idea of a complex, or a View neighborhood. Is that necessarily a good way to incorporate off-campus students in the university? When the expansion is finally complete, it would be hard to say whether or not it would benefit the University of Maryland. Some would see the View as competition to the university, so it would be hard to get overall approval for all the plans.
    Whether or not the View can hash out an agreement with the #1 Liquor store is an issue that Warren will need to work on. I have heard the owner of the land is holding out for a high price. It would behoove Warren to battle this issue seeing as how the current traffic flow situation the View has now seems to be developed by a committee of 5th graders. There is really no good way to exit right onto Route-1 and the space the Liquor store occupies would offer a means of proper flow.
    While many might scrutinize the View to be obtrusive or an example of private business dominating over the current business models around the area, it is truly the only plans that would affect the university’s housing in the near future. East Campus redevelopment could come later than sooner, and the ever-increasing UMD is in dire need for a solution. Otis Warren has put a large monetary stake in the College Park area, and maybe others might mirror his efforts in the near future.

  14. The idea to expand around The View is genius. There is still a large demand for student housing (off and on campus) and an even greater demand for new and nicer apartments. I have been in The View a few times to visit some friends and i always have a good time. It is by far the cleanest and most updated place to live in the College Park area. My friends who live there enjoy it, but complain sometimes about how it is far from most things and somewhat isolated from where others live. Adding more buildings would give the area a better feel of a community that is wanted by most college students. The shortage of off campus housing would be of no debate if these plans go through.
    This development would be crucial to bring this campus together and clean up the appearance of off campus housing. Students would not complain so much about off Maryland housing so much if this type of living situation were available. On campus housing would probably not be as wanted by upperclassmen because of these units.
    I feel as if The View does not fit in with the rest of the campus when driving down Route 1, but with the cluster of buildings it would be somewhat of a nice scene when arriving near campus. The retail stores would improve campus life by a lot as well. Maybe even a legit place to eat??? probably not though. The only thing i see missing in these plans is a big private pool nestled between the tall buildings.
    Hopefully these buildings will be affordable to students. As opposed to the awful living conditions in the knox box area. If the view area gets built up in may be a hot spot to live and with the nicer apartments the rent could be expensive for the majority of students. I wonder what the reason for putting the buildings right on Rt 1 is for. I would think development would take place more behind the existing view because it would be closer to the campus and maybe even bring together that side of the campus which includes the Verizon center.
    As a college student knowing what the conditions are like at the many current off campus houses, i would strongly consider living in one of these buildings. As of now i think the view is too isolated from the rest of the people on campus and would rather pay for location rather than quality of living. If this is built, UMD would have to keep the rule of needing college credits in order to lease the units in order to keep the buildings strictly to college students.

  15. These expansion plans for the University View seem very ambitious and good in theory, yet I think that we have to consider how it would impact our lives now. As students, we will never see the results of all of this construction, yet we will be the ones who have to deal with all the negative aspects of such a large-scale construction project. There will be a ton of traffic on Route One, which will only compound the current hectic state of traffic. This will then impact the campus bus routes, which so many people, including current residents of the View and other buildings in that area, rely on. The project is supposed to be completed by 2012, four years from now. If the project even is actually completed by then, that will mean at least eight semesters where students and residents of College Park will be affected by the constant construction. In addition to the effects on all University of Maryland students, those who currently reside in the University View will encounter even more extreme difficulties, such as noise at early hours and during school days. In my opinion, however, those who will be the most harmed by the projected expansion of the University View are business owners in downtown College Park. Their livelihood and thus their wellbeing will be impacted if the new stores that are constructed in the View take business away from them. During research interviews for a class project, one downtown business owner said that chain businesses coming into College Park would be very detrimental to her shop. She felt that students would drift towards the other companies because as a large store, it is easier to offer a wider selection and at more competitive prices. As a small business owner, since she does not have the capacity to place multi-million dollar orders, she is not eligible for manufacturer discounts on her products, which then prevents her from passing on those savings to customers. In class, we learned about big box stores versus mom and pop stores, and in this situation, the big box store would certainly have the clear advantage and could easily drive mom and pop stores out of business. This phenomenon is also seen in College Park by taking a look at Route One eateries. The ones that tend to be the most successful are national chains, such as Chinese takeouts, sub shops, coffee shops, and creameries. When local restaurants try to move into the area, they often end up getting driven out because they cannot compete with these big chains, causing frequent turnovers of empty buildings. This occurrence is indicative of gentrification, another concept that I learned about during class. If more big businesses come in, they will be pushing out the smaller ones by making it impossible for them to earn enough profit. This gentrification will end up being detrimental to the city of College Park and to the University of Maryland, because these small businesses are what make the downtown area unique. Big businesses are already just a metro stop away, and personally, I see no need to bring them even closer. Now even though I have been advocating the negative aspects of this University View expansion, I suppose that I should address why it is even being proposed in the first place. Yes, the housing issue is certainly one that is pressing and needs to be dealt with, but shouldn’t we explore other ways of solving it before we dive into such an extensive and long construction process? And why is it necessary to build so much commercial space? I have yet to see any valid reasoning for all of it. There is really nothing that we need here at the University that falls under the “commercial” category. When it comes to housing, I do think that this expansion would be beneficial to future students. But why don’t we seriously explore other options first before moving forward with such a large-scale project? I think that especially as students and as a community we need to realize what effects this construction would have on our lives and use that consideration in forming our opinions. Do we really want traffic on Route One to worsen? Do we want our local shops to be driven out of the area by big box competitors? Do we want students who currently live in the University View to have their lifestyle compromised by constant noise and distractions? I think the answers are pretty clear.

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