GLASSBORO, NJ-The next wave of construction on masterredeveloper Sora Holding's $300-million Rowan Boulevardrevitalization project is about to get underway as a MarriottCourtyard hotel and conference center and the first two mixed-useretail buildings begin construction in early September.

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The five-story hotel will offer 100 rooms, including eightsuites and a total of 2,654 square feet of meeting space. Therewill also be an adjacent 6,000-square-foot restaurant. Constructionis expected to wrap up by winter 2011. The first mixed-use buildingwill have 22,000 square feet of retail space on its ground floorand housing and multipurpose space for Rowan University honorsstudents on its upper floors, while the second building will have10,000 square feet of retail and a 1,218-square-foot multi-levelparking garage serving the hotel, retail shops and universitystudents.

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In August 2009, construction was completed on Rowan Boulevard’sPhase I, with new Rowan University student housing, andconstruction is currently underway on a 36,000-square-foot Barnes& Noble Collegiate Superstore--which should be completed byNovember 2010--and Phase II of student housing for another 324students--which will wrap up in early August. "The boulevard isdestined to be a new retail hub for thousands of Rowan Universitystudents and hundreds of thousands of residents in Glassboro andthe surrounding region," says Greg Filipek, a principal withSora.

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Along with projects currently underway, Rowan Boulevard willfeature an additional three mixed-use retail buildings: a38,000-square-foot space with market rate housing above; a40,000-square-foot asset with senior housing; and a22,000-square-foot building, also with residential space.Construction will begin in late 2010 or early 2011. When complete,the boulevard will offer a total of 185,000 square feet of retailspace, 40,000 square feet of office and 307,000 square feet ofresidential.

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Rowan Boulevard is expected to attract as many as 60 new retailstores, boosting the local economy by more than $48 millionannually when it wraps up in 2012. More than 70,000 square feet ofretail space has already been reserved.

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In addition to Sora's $300 million investment in RowanBoulevard, an additional $3 million worth of roadway constructionwas funded by NJDOT and federal sources as well as a $1-millionRowan University grant provided to the Borough of Glassboro forplanning and preconstruction expenses.

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Rowan Boulevard is the cornerstone of a much largerrevitalization encompassing a total of 81 acres in severaladjoining neighborhoods in Glassboro’s downtown. Overall, theproject is expected to feature more than 125 new retail stores withthe potential of infusing the local economy with $225 million inannual sales when fully completed.

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