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Construction Begins on UB's $24M Student Housing in Mount Vernon

The University of Baltimore broke ground this month on an 11-story student apartment building to open by the fall 2012 semester.

The $24 million apartment at Maryland and West Biddle Street has been dubbed the Varsity, the same name that developer Potomac Holdings of Bethesda is using for a student-housing complex at College Park.

Potomac will own and operate the 124,000-square-foot housing unit. Apartments will be available to students at the Maryland Institute College of Art and other area schools.

The 323-bed building will house a green roof jointly designed by Baltimore's Floura Teeter Landscape Architects, Inc. and Colbert Matz Rosenfelt, Inc., a civil engineering, land planning, and surveying firm. Potomac was to include 5,000 square feet of retail space, but has backed away from that, says Principal Donnie Gross. The developer thought the space would be better used for amenities such as a gym and study area.

"The amenities are more important than having a Quiznos," Gross says.

Apartments like the Varsity will get people to live closer to campus at a school historically known as a commuter college, UB spokesman Chris Hart says.

"People are moving back into Midtown. It's becoming easier to live within steps of the school."

Writer: Julekha Dash
Sources: Chris Hart, University of Baltimore; Floura Teeter; Donnie Gross, Potomac Holdings

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