Welcome to the Enterprise Center: New Rowan Boulevard academic building serves as home to College of Graduate & Continuing Education

Welcome to the Enterprise Center: New Rowan Boulevard academic building serves as home to College of Graduate & Continuing Education

The College of Graduate and Continuing Education has a new home on Rowan Boulevard.

The $300 million Rowan Boulevard project, a public-private partnership that is the largest municipal redevelopment project in the state, takes an enterprising approach to smart growth and economic development in the Borough of Glassboro.

Now, the boulevard has an aptly named facility—the Enterprise Center—that showcases that development and provides space to help the borough’s economy, and Rowan University, grow and thrive.

On Tuesday, Oct. 15, at 11 a.m., Rowan officials will join with borough officials and executives from developer Nexus Properties at the official grand opening of the Enterprise Center, a new mixed-use property that serves as the academic home of the University’s College of Graduate and Continuing Education (CGCE).

A ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held on the fifth floor of the building at 225 Rowan Boulevard, located between the Courtyard by Marriott Hotel and the Barnes & Noble Collegiate Superstore. Tours of the center will follow.

The $35 million, 53,000-square-foot building by developer Nexus Properties provides CGCE with space to expand Rowan’s graduate and professional development programming. Nexus owns the building, thus making it a ratable for the borough of Glassboro.

CGCE, a self-funded entity at Rowan founded in 2007, has gross revenues of approximately $24 million annually. Revenue from the college, which serves about 2,000 students each year seeking graduate degrees and professional development courses, covers salaries of staff, the lease of the building, and supports other academic programs University wide.

That’s a win-win for the borough, the University, the county and all of South Jersey, says Glassboro Mayor Leo McCabe. CGCE offers course and programs 12 months out of the year and will help the borough’s downtown economy thrive, McCabe says.

“Graduate and continuing education students are adults who have different spending patterns than their undergraduate counterparts,” McCabe says. “The Enterprise Center will build density downtown all year long. Altogether, between the retail spaces and the parking garage, 90 jobs have been added downtown. Half of those jobs are new jobs.”

The Enterprise Center includes four floors of classrooms, lecture halls, a nursing experimental room and administrative offices. The building also features 9,600 square feet of first-floor retail space and a 1,194-space, multi-level parking garage. The retail space is expected to open in early 2014, while the parking garage is the first parking structure for downtown Glassboro shoppers.

The seven-level parking garage provides parking for Rowan students, Marriott guests, CGCE students and visitors and retail patrons. The first floor of the garage is ungated and provides 137 spaces for two hours of free parking for retail patrons and short-term visitors to Rowan Boulevard.

CGCE serves about 2,000 adult students annually seeking to pursue graduate or doctoral studies, former college students who are continuing their education to acquire a baccalaureate degree, and employers seeking professional development independently or through their employer.

Typically, about 400 students, staff and visitors will use the Enterprise Center daily. The college provides the largest online education program in the State of New Jersey.

The Enterprise Center will help Rowan, the state’s newest comprehensive public research university, expand graduate programs, according to Rowan President Ali Houshmand. In 10 years, Houshmand’s goal is to increase enrollment to 25,000 students, quadruple research funding to $100 million annually, and expand academic offerings in in-demand areas such as science, technology, business, engineering and medicine.

“The growth of our University is synonymous with the growth of the South Jersey economy,” says Houshmand. “The new Enterprise Center provides the space we need to expand our graduate and doctoral programs in disciplines that will help propel the region’s economy.”

The Enterprise Center is the first property on Rowan Boulevard for Nexus Properties, but not the last. The company will break ground in the spring for a mixed-use building directly across the street.

“Nexus is thrilled to be involved in this exciting public-private partnership with the Borough of Glassboro and Rowan University,” says Dante Germano, chief operating officer of Nexus Properties. “It is especially gratifying to be able to make a positive change in my hometown.

“The Rowan Boulevard development gives Nexus Properties the opportunity to showcase our diverse development expertise in parking, office, retail and residential development.”

The opening of the Enterprise Center comes on the heels of last month’s grand opening of the Courtyard by Marriot and the ribbon cutting of new businesses along the boulevard, including Sun Bank, Ry’s @ Rowan bagels, and the Yogo Factory. Those businesses join Prime American Burger, Green Zebra and Forever Young Emporium in the Whitney Center, which opened in 2011 to provide housing for 300 students in Rowan’s Thomas N. Bantivoglio Honors Program.

The Enterprise Center also joins the Barnes & Noble and Rowan Boulevard Apartments on the boulevard. The apartment complex houses 884 students in 28 one-bedroom efficiency units and 214 four-bedroom suites.

Next on the list for Rowan Boulevard is “The Penthouses on Rowan Boulevard,” a mixed-use building to include apartments and penthouses, 25,000-square-feet of health care facilities and 25,000 square feet of retail space, including several restaurants. Nexus also is the property’s developer, which is scheduled to open in August of 2015.

A seasonal skating rink and park will open later this fall near the future Town Square.

When complete, the one-third mile boulevard is expected to include 60 new retail stores and is expected to boost the local economy by more than $48 million.