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University of Maryland leases several properties

A private foundation operated by University of Maryland officials has leased several pieces of commercial real estate in College Park. UMD plans to use the commercial properties, which are valued at over $20 million, to open a string of restaurants, shops and apartments. The university foundation reportedly worked with the city to come up with a plan for the commercial real estate transactions.

Although UMD is ranked relatively highly for its academic offerings, the campus life is often criticized for being nonexistent. Both the campus itself and the city of College Park are said to be seriously lacking in amenities. In fact, many people believe that the absence of businesses in College Park is the reason only 3 percent of the faculty live there, and students rarely stay after they graduate.

A member of the Prince George's County Council commented that it is an exciting time for College Park with the recent real estate moves by the university. According to reports, the plan by UMD is similar to other commercial property redevelopment projects that have been undertaken by Yale University and the University of Pennsylvania. Real estate projects by these other schools have been used to mitigate safety and transportation problems and improve campus-area entertainment offerings.

A large-scale real estate project like the leasing transactions going on in College Park takes a significant amount of planning and resources. During the planning and execution phases of this type of project, legal guidance from a commercial real estate attorney may be essential. An attorney can assist in helping the project to move forward by reviewing zoning laws, property management agreements and other issues.

Source: The Bay Net, "UMD makes mad grab for real estate," March 18, 2015

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