Town & Gown: Colleges Develop Communities

The New York Times: “Many colleges and universities are taking a leading role in revitalizing local communities, recognizing that development not only can enhance the often fraught town-and-gown relationship but also make their institutions more attractive to students and faculty … Officials at the University of Maryland are working closely with local governments to create a zone called the Discovery District in College Park … The zone will include research firms, start-ups and shops and restaurants. A new hotel on university-owned land opened recently.”

“Other large universities are also working to strengthen partnerships with local governments and developers. During the past decade, officials at Yale have bought and redeveloped several commercial properties, leading to the creation of more than 110 new stores and restaurants in New Haven.”

“Drexel University in Philadelphia has completed about $500 million in real estate development since 2010 … In 2017, Drexel and the developer Brandywine Realty Trust broke ground on the Schuylkill Yards project, a $3.5 billion, 14-acre development that will include commercial laboratories as well as residential, retail, office and academic space … The development boom near campuses is not happening just in big cities. Smaller development has been spurred by the University of Toledo in Ohio, the Brownsville campus of the University of Texas and Ball State University in Muncie, Ind.