The UM student housing project will
replace the Maryland Book Exchange.

COLLEGE PARK, MD-R&J Co. LLC has secured entitlement rights to build a student housing project at the University of Maryland after two years of working with university and county officials. It is the New York City development company’s first project in the DC area and the company hopes to expand its footprint here, managing member Josef Mittlemann tells

The first order of business, however, will be to get the University of Maryland project off the ground, he says. “These are complex projects and student housing is management intensive,” Mittlemann says.

The project calls for the development of 285 units of student housing for a total of 855 beds. The building will be located where the current Maryland Book Exchange is, at 7501 Baltimore Ave., in College Park. Development costs will pencil in around $85 million to $90 million, Mittlemann says. The site will also have 13,000 square feet of retail and a 460,000-square-foot parking garage. It will be at least LEED Silver, if not Gold, according to Mittlemann.

The company still has to finalize the construction drawings and get permitting, he says. Given that, it is unclear when the project will break ground, although it will likely be within two to three years.

“With student housing, especially, if you miss a window of opportunity you have to wait another year,” says Mittlemann. R&J has a local partner, Ilya Zusin. It has not yet been determined who the manager will be.