Friday, June 22, 2012

Glassboro making inroads on massive development

 by Natalie Kostelni
"Another round of construction is set to get under way this summer on Rowan Boulevard, a bold, $300 million multidimensional redevelopment project that aims to revitalize this South Jersey borough.
Work is soon to begin on a four-story, 100-room, full-service Courtyard Marriott, a 50,000-square-foot building that will house the College of Graduate and Continuing Education for Rowan University and have 17,000 square feet of retail on the ground floor as well as a 1,200-vehicle garage. Sometime this summer, a request for proposals will be issued for another phase of Rowan Boulevard that will entail constructing a four- to five-story mixed-use building that will include retail and market rate multifamily housing. Also in the works are additional RFPs for a mixed-use project with street-level retail and senior housing as well as the landscaping and design of a 1.5-acre town square.
“It’s a huge economic driver not only for Glassboro but for our region,” said Heather Simmons, a Gloucester County freeholder. “The success of this is pivotal.”
The project is the largest municipal renewal project in the works in New Jersey. It began in 2008 with a vision unveiled by borough and Rowan University officials to create a vibrant, mixed-use development on 26 acres that connected the university with the rest of the town. It has taken some time but has progressed.
Glassboro spent $22 million and about two years buying 90 properties that it assembled for the tract where Rowan Boulevard is taking shape. A partnership between Rowan and Glassboro was formed to envision what was needed such as student housing, retail that catered to the community as well as students, restaurants, open gathering spaces, a book store, hotel, market rate as well as senior housing so that multigenerational residents were part of the community bringing different buying power and cycles to keep the retail scene vibrant. Four distinct though complementary districts were demarcated.
About $100 million in projects have so far been constructed during the last four years."...
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