“A-3” opens on Rowan Boulevard

“A-3” opens on Rowan Boulevard

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Craig Terry

The latest and largest phase on Rowan Boulevard opened Aug. 23, another piece in the $400 million project that extends the University’s presence downtown, supports Glassboro economically and furthers the borough’s draw as a regional destination.

The four-building complex, built by Nexus Properties of Lawrenceville and Glassboro, provides classrooms and offices for the College of Communication & Creative Arts (CCCA), luxury student and market rate housing, vast amounts of ground floor retail space, Rowan Boulevard’s second parking garage and much more.

The complex contains seven classrooms for the CCCA at 260 Victoria Street where it will house the departments of Writing Arts and Communication Studies, further integrating CCCA into Glassboro’s downtown following the 2015 relocation of the dean’s office, the departments of Journalism and Public Relations & Advertising, and the Rowan University Art Gallery into neighboring properties.

One of several speakers featured ahead of a formal ribbon cutting, President Ali Houshmand was credited with not only supporting the project but with proving the vision to drive its success. He noted that A-3 adds to a project that’s redefining Glassboro as a true college community, a physical joining of town-gown that provides greater opportunities for learning, living, dining and shopping just off campus.

“This town is going to be glorious,” he said, looking about, cranes overhead for the next phase shadowing the celebration. “And, despite all this beauty, you ain’t seen nothing yet.”

Construction of Rowan Boulevard began in 2008. Since then, numerous buildings have opened along the one-third mile corridor, a public-private-public partnership between Rowan, private developers and the Borough of Glassboro.

The A-3 portion includes four buildings, “230 Victoria,” a six-story structure with 413 student beds, the 18,000 square-foot Rowan fitness center, 30,000 square feet of office and classroom space, and 14,600 square feet of ground-floor retail space; “223 West High Street,” a four-story, 70,000-square-foot building with 144 student beds and 14,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space; “Park Place South,” a four-story, 70,000-square-foot building with 37 luxury apartments for non-students and 14,400 square feet of ground-floor retail space; and “Mick Drive Parking Garage,” a 934-space structure adjacent to 230 Victoria, 223 West High Street, and Park Place South.

The new Rowan University fitness center at 232 Victoria Street features banks of cardio equipment, high-end Precor resistance machines and a wide variety of free weights, benches and other exercise gear.

Since construction of Rowan Boulevard began, Rowan has added its two medical schools, built numerous buildings on its Glassboro and Camden campuses, and roughly doubled enrollment from about 9,000 students to about 18,000.

“We are now one of the fastest growing institutions, if not the fastest, in the nation,” Houshmand said.

Nexus Chief Operations Officer Dante Germano, a Glassboro native, said his involvement with the Rowan Boulevard project is especially rewarding because it is redefining his hometown.

He said the A-3 project alone was a $110 million investment. Rowan Boulevard is expected to be complete next year with the opening of the neighboring A-4 parcel but additional construction planned for downtown includes a theater building with classes for the CCCA, additional student housing and retail space.

“There’s plenty more to come,” Germano said.