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UMD Acquires Land, Building in Discovery District

Space, Surrounding Area Will Foster Continued Growth of Academic, Research Missions

By Maryland Today Staff

Blocky white building surrounded by trees

A new UMD purchase expands the university's footprint in the Discovery District, a public-private partnership dedicated to research and innovation.

Photo courtesy of American Center for Physics

The University of Maryland announced on Thursday a significant addition to its Discovery District: the purchase of 22 acres of land and the office building it sits on, representing a $35 million investment.

The university bought the property from the American Center for Physics (ACP); the consortium of three physics societies plans to lease back a portion of the 107,274-square-foot building, offering the potential for continued collaborations between ACP and UMD.

It’s located just off River Road in the 150-acre Discovery District, a public-private partnership between the university and leading research organizations, corporate partners, government researchers and entrepreneurs, and is dedicated to research and innovation. The property is adjacent to The Station at Riverdale Park, minutes from the College Park Metro Station and forthcoming Purple Line, and only a mile from UMD’s main campus.

“Growing our footprint in the Discovery District opens new opportunities for the University of Maryland to deepen its relationships with public and private partners that share our vision for building a strong, socially engaged and environmentally aware workforce,” said UMD President Darryll J. Pines. “With collaborators like the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and National Quantum Lab at Maryland, we will continue to be leaders in key areas like quantum computing, climate science and artificial intelligence.”

The property acquisition was approved by the Maryland Board of Public Works on June 21, and the sale closed on Sept. 15.

The ACP will continue to manage the Niels Bohr Library & Archives of the American Institute of Physics (one of the ACP member organizations), a repository and clearinghouse for information in the history of physics, astronomy, geophysics and allied fields, located inside the building.

“This partnership allows ACP to make the best use of our resources, but we also know that the University of Maryland shares our commitment to moving the physical sciences forward by fostering discovery and collaboration,” said Beth Cunningham, president of the ACP Board of Directors. “We’re excited to see what’s next for this property and building, and thrilled researchers will continue to experience the priceless collections inside the Niels Bohr Library and Archives for years to come.”

This acquisition comes on the heels of the university’s continued work on campus to create cutting-edge facilities for its prestigious programs in chemistry, engineering and public policy. No other occupants for the building have been identified.

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