BY HANNAH HYAT
Students can look forward to more parking spaces, new residential halls and on-campus retailers starting in the spring of 2019.
The Salisbury University Foundation Inc. has been in the final stages of officiating a redevelopment agreement involving the Temple Hill-Court Plaza properties since Oct. 17.
The multimillion-dollar purchase will allow space for new student housing, parking spaces and commercial services at Salisbury University.
The Executive Director of the SU Foundation Jason Curtin said the foundation is in the process of completing a pre-development draft.
Curtin is optimistic about the opportunities the new development will bring to the university.
“We think students and the local community will benefit,” Curtin said. “Being more open, having more retail, people having easier parking. I think that anything we do, students are always the first and foremost thing in our mind.”
The 8.6-acre site includes over 375,000 square feet, a corner lot, more than 500 linear feet of frontage along Route 13 and easy access to multiple roads. SU purchased the development from Delcon International for $6 million last year.
The space will be renovated into an on-campus building for multiple uses similar to Sea Gull Square. The new space will create room for over 750 beds, in the style of suites and apartments.
“We have all kinds of different renderings that we’ve seen, but you know, some restaurants, some more outdoor seating,” Curtin said. “You just feel like that’s a place that we want to go to, but at the same time, making it that students live there as well.”
Curtin added the complex will include 15,000 square feet which retailers will be able to occupy.
“There are national retail owners that are interested in being there,” Curtin said. “So whether it’s from food to coffee shops to this or that, like, people want to be at these newer destinations.”
Along with an estimate of 400 new parking spaces, the new building will incorporate benefits such as accessibility and defining the south entrance of the university.
“Sea Gull Square was done in a way that didn’t have a lot of parking, and it was hard for people and the community to come see the different businesses,” Curtin said. “And we’re working with the city to just improve Wesley Drive so students don’t have to cross [Route] 13. They can just come right up through Wesley Drive and boom, they’re right here on campus.”
The foundation has been collaborating with the consulting firm Margrave Strategies of Columbia, Md.
Margrave Strategies has provided planning and economic development services to institutions such as the University of Maryland, College Park and Towson University.
The partnership has been working to create an urban-like feel at Salisbury University and believes this new building will be a step in the right direction.
“They’ve helped develop similar concepts at both Towson and College Park, so they understand the student urban feel,” Curtin said. “Even though Salisbury is not like that, with we’d like to have a place where students can easily get to, not have to drive, but also blend the being able to access it by foot and also by car.”
University Park resident Kasey Brabant was very excited about the purchase and the opportunities to come after reading the official press release.
“I knew the area would, like, obiviously bring some new building, but after hearing about the new parking spaces and walkway, I was so happy,” Brabant said.“I’m in UP too, so I was literally like, ‘Finally! An easier way to get on campus!’”
Initial planning sets the reconstruction to start in the spring of 2019. Student housing is expected to open in time for the fall 2022 academic year.
Featured photo by Salisbury University’s Office of Public Relations