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University of Maryland plans faculty, staff housing

The University of Maryland, College Park Foundation, has purchased about an acre of land from a fraternity to build faculty and staff housing as part of its Greater College Park plan.

The university announced it had purchased the property, located at 4600 Norwich Road, from the Gamma Chi Chapter of the Sigma Chi Fraternity on Monday.

“The purchase of this land is a perfect next step in creating a Greater College Park for our community,” Carlo Colella, UMD’s vice president for administration and finance, said in a news release. “Located just behind Fraternity Row and adjacent to several on- and off-campus housing units, the land is a natural extension of the University of Maryland campus.”

Crystal Brown, a spokeswoman for the university, said the price the foundation paid for the property hasn’t been disclosed. There were also no details available about what kind of housing would be built on the property or when the project may break ground.

“It’s still in such early stages,” Brown said.

Earlier this summer the university announced the Greater College Park initiative. The goal is to create a “premiere college town” environment surrounding the Prince George’s County campus with the intention of creating a vibrant downtown, with amenities such as The Hotel at the University of Maryland as well as a public-private research hub.

“The University is a thriving $500 million research enterprise with the world’s best faculty, students and staff and brims with labs, makerspaces and start-ups. Greater College Park defines the vision for our collective efforts and strategic partnerships that will transform College Park into a premier college town, with public-private partnerships, innovative academic spaces and world-class amenities for our campus community,” President Wallace D. Loh said at the time of the initiative’s launch.

The initiative is a partnership between the university, the city of College Park, Prince George’s County, Maryland College Park Foundation, the College Park City-University Partnership as well as local developers. The faculty and staff housing is one of the first steps in the initiative.

“We looked at a wide range of potential buyers and were pleased to connect the seller with the University of Maryland,” said Colliers International Baltimore Vice President Colin Penoyar, who brokered the transaction on behalf of the seller. “It’s a perfect fit. The seller, as the Sigma Chi Fraternity at the University of Maryland, is loyal to the university and heavily involved. They’re excited their former home will contribute to the growth of the university.”

About Adam Bednar

Adam Bednar covers real estate and development for The Daily Record.