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The newspaper of The Johns Hopkins University November 14, 2005 | Vol. 35 No. 11
Relocations Set for Retail in Gilman

An artist's conceptual drawing of the new Johns Hopkins bookstore, which will anchor Charles Commons, shows the first floor with a periodicals section and a widely expanded general reading department. The second floor will house course books, school supplies and a dorm shop.

Credit union, M&T branch, bookstore to reopen by fall 2006 semester

By Greg Rienzi
The Gazette

Bigger, better and more visible is the theme for the relocation of the retail services currently located on the ground floor of Homewood's Gilman Hall, a 90-year-old building that is on tap for a significant interior renovation.

Earlier this fall, the board of trustees' Building and Grounds Committee authorized the formation of a Design Review Committee to select an architect and construction manager for Gilman. The preliminary plans call for modernizing much of the facility and adding new classroom, office and study space. Safety improvements and the renovation of the majority of the ground floor to house the departments of Near Eastern Studies, Classics and History of Art, and an archaeology museum, will be done first, with construction expected to begin in May 2007.

To make way for renovation crews, the Johns Hopkins Federal Credit Union has signed a lease for an expanded Homewood branch to be located in Charles Commons, the university-owned mixed-use complex that is scheduled for completion by summer 2006. The 3,000-square-foot branch, which is expected to open in the fall, will feature more staff, six remote teller stations and a street-accessible ATM.

A new M&T Bank branch will open in the immediate vicinity of campus. M&T is currently evaluating its options in terms of location and size of the new branch, which, according to a spokesman for the bank, would open concurrently with the closing of the Gilman branch so as to minimize disruption to its customers.

To help offset the move of the banks and provide convenience to their customers, more ATMs will be installed in university buildings. Some sites under consideration are Levering Hall, the Milton S. Eisenhower Library and Charles Commons. The ATMs located in Gilman Hall and Wolman Hall will remain.

Charles Commons, located on the corner of North Charles and 33rd streets, will be anchored by a substantially expanded campus bookstore, to replace the 9,000-square-foot store currently in Gilman. Barnes and Noble College Booksellers, which has operated the Johns Hopkins store since 1981, will also operate the new store.

The two-story, 29,000-square-foot facility will function both as the university bookstore and retail store for the community. It will feature a greatly expanded general reading and academic reference department, a mixture of seating options and wireless Internet access throughout the store. The first floor will contain a periodicals section and a cafe serving Starbucks coffee and a variety of soups, salads, sandwiches and baked goods. The second floor will house Johns Hopkins curriculum course books, school supplies and a dorm shop. The store, whose decor will celebrate Hopkins' history, will also offer an enhanced selection of JHU insignia clothing, gifts, greeting cards and other sundries.

David McDonough, senior director of development oversight for Johns Hopkins Real Estate, said that the bookstore will be clearly branded Johns Hopkins, right down to exterior signage and use of the Hopkins Blue Jay. McDonough said the expectation is that the new store will not only serve the university and local communities but in time will become a destination for those visiting Baltimore, with an appeal similar to that of the Harvard Coop and the Yale Bookstore.

The new Johns Hopkins bookstore is scheduled to open in fall 2006, but the Gilman Hall store will handle the sale of academic books for 2006-2007 to avoid complications during that critical time.

The U.S. Post Office branch in Gilman Hall will cease operation in June. A UPS store providing the same services is planned for the west side of Village Commons, a residential-commercial development currently under construction on both sides of the 3200 block of St. Paul Street. Village Commons, a Struever Bros. Eccles and Rouse project, is scheduled to open in fall 2007. Within the development will be condominiums and space for retail, restaurants and a 500-space parking garage.


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