Developer Scott Plank plans to turn an old auto repair garage near the University of Maryland College Park campus into an arts and entertainment hub focused on nurturing academic and entrepreneurial innovation.
The 15,000-square-foot project will have a restaurant with an indoor-outdoor stage and courtyard, as well as a teaching kitchen, performance spaces for aspiring artists, meeting spaces for academic partnerships, and other features intended to drive start-up culture at the state's flagship campus.
Plank's development company, War Horse, partnered with the university on the project with the goal of encouraging "impactful collaboration and the commercialization of ideas among students, young professionals, entrepreneurs, and the community through food, arts and innovation," according to a university release.
Plank has an ownership stake in the Northeast Baltimore shopping center Belvedere Square and is the brother of Under Armour founder Kevin Plank.
The garage is adjacent to a new 4-star hotel and conference space currently under construction. A University System of Maryland Board of Regents committee will vote Thursday on a proposal to lease the property to War Horse for at least 20 percent of the company's operating income annually.
Ken Ulman, the former Howard County executive who is now overseeing economic development in College Park, said the project "will really become the heart of our innovation district" on that land. Plank is investing $6 million in the project, he said.