Gilbane Breaks Ground On College Park Student Housing Project
A new development is under construction in College Park that could house nearly 1,000 Terrapins.
Gilbane Development Co. announced Tuesday it began construction on Tempo, a student housing project just off the University of Maryland's campus with 296 units and 978 total beds.
The project is being built at 8430 Baltimore Ave. on a 2-acre site that formerly housed a Burger King and a vacant retail building. The site is directly east of campus and north of student housing buildings The Varsity and University View.
The Tempo building is scheduled to welcome its first students in August 2022. It received approval from the College Park City Council in January. The developer declined to comment on the project's financing structure.
The building's units range from studios to five-bedrooms and come with televisions, stainless steel appliances and high-speed internet. The project will lease by the bed and each bedroom will have private locks. It is planned to include amenities such as a swimming pool, a fitness center, a bocce court, a multi-sport simulator, a sun deck, a fire pit and a study lounge.
The University of Maryland delayed its fall semester by two weeks, but then it resumed in-person classes Sept. 14, and its provost confirmed last week it would proceed with the remainder of the semester as scheduled.
The groundbreaking comes at a tumultuous time for the student housing industry, as many universities have not fully brought students back to campus during the coronavirus pandemic.
The Urban Land Institute last week released a survey of over 1,600 real estate professionals that ranked student housing among the worst property types. It ranked No. 22 out of 24 property types for investment prospects, ahead of only urban retail and regional malls. And it ranked No. 20 out of 24 for development prospects.
The ULI report also cited supply pressures as a challenge for student housing, and Gilbane's new project will face competition from several new multifamily buildings in College Park.
Across the street from the Tempo project, Wood Partners' 275-unit Alloy by Alta building opened last year after a five-alarm fire delayed it by two years. One mile south on Route 1, Bozzuto Development Co. in April broke ground on a 400-unit apartment project. Greystar is planning a 343-unit project at the intersection of Baltimore Avenue and Knox Road.
Gilbane also has two additional College Park projects of its own in the works. The developer is planning 300 units of graduate housing and 81 townhouses on the western edge of campus, and its website says it expects to deliver the project in 2023.
It has an even larger project near the College Park Metro station, though it sits a mile from campus and does not appear to be student-focused housing. WMATA selected the developer to build the 440-unit project on a 6-acre parking lot site. The Diamondback reported in June 2019 Gilbane expected to start construction by the end of last year on that project, but the developer hasn't provided an update.