There are other considerations, as well, to the current discussions about the proposed Maryland Book Exchange student housing development. Even if the project were compatible with the town, does College Park require more undergraduate housing? Anderson Strickler, LLC of Gaithersburg, conducted a student housing Market Analysis for the University in November 2011.
“In College Park, since 2006, over 5,000 new student beds have entered the market both on and off campus. Much of this growth has taken place in new, high-end, individual-lease properties near the University and serving only college students. By (study) estimation based on fall 2011 research, the five individual lease properties close to the campus with almost 4,400 beds have over 630 vacancies, the equivalent of a 14% vacancy rate.”
Even more student housing and a new $7.2 million dollar event center for the President does not a “world class” University make. A balance between “town” AND “gown” will always be essential to an appealing College Park.