College Park, Md. — The University of Maryland has issued a request for proposals (RFP) for its East Campus redevelopment project. The university envisions the project as a pedestrian-friendly, mixed-use town center. Specific plans include the construction of affordable housing for graduate students, additional residential units over ground-floor retail space, dedicated retail buildings, a Class A office building, and a hotel and conference center. The university is also in discussions to build a new music venue at East Campus for The Birchmere, which is currently located in Alexandria, Va.
The RFP focuses on 22 acres of the 38-acre project, comprising Phase I of a potential three-phase project. The land is bounded by U.S. Route 1 to the west and Paint Branch Parkway to the north and east. There are currently several buildings on the site, including the university’s physical plant, service operations and undergraduate housing facilities. As part of the planned redevelopment, the university recently purchased the Washington Post’s former production facility in a $12 million deal. The approximately 300,000-square-foot building will be used in the near-term for temporary relocations related to the project.
The university originally partnered with Foulger Pratt and Argo Investment in 2007 for the project, but the recession caused them to dissolve the partnership last November after the university deemed it fiscally unrealistic to proceed with development at that time. However, much of the predevelopment work had already been completed by the joint venture prior to its termination (an early concept drawing of the project is pictured left).
Proposals are due on June 3. The university expects to select a developer by July 26. To read the complete RFP, visit the university’s East Campus website.
— Coleman Wood