By: Caitlyn Freeman, Editor in Chief
Towson University has received permission from the state to purchase the Armory building, home to its entrepreneurial hub, a summary from the university’s Staff Senate meeting published Monday said.
During its Oct. 26 meeting, members of the Maryland Board of Public Works approved the purchase of the building, located at 307 Washington Ave. in Downtown Towson. The University System of Maryland Board of Regents approved the acquisition on Sept. 16.
The Senate summary says Towson is currently in the final procurement stages of the purchase. The 27,416-square-foot property, according to Public Works documents, is being sold for $8.6 million.
The building was assessed at $4.5 million in July 2022, according to state property data.
“Owning the property provides annual cost savings for the university,” the summary reads.
Purchasing the building would relieve the university of 10% and 11% lease increases of 10% and 11% during years six and 11 of its current 15-year agreement, the Public Works document states. The university’s current budget of $312,000 annually for the property’s operating expenses would increase to $338,000 annually upon purchasing the building.
Greenberg Gibbons Commercial, a real estate development company in Owings Mills, currently owns the building. The company did not respond to request for comment by publication Tuesday.
The Armory, which Towson began leasing in 2019, currently houses StarTUp. The small business accelerator was recently named the top economic initiative in North America by the University Economic Development Association. Towson opened the space in September 2021.
“In just a year since opening, the StarTUp at The Armory is already an established business engagement center in downtown Towson,” a Towson spokesperson said. “It has garnered national attention as an economic driver, preeminent entrepreneurship hub and unique co-working space in support of TU’s mission as an anchor for Greater Baltimore.”
The Towson spokesperson declined to comment on the possible acquisition. Additionally, a University System spokesperson and Public Works staff deferred inquiries on the sale to the university.
In addition to the entrepreneurial programs, the space also houses free co-working space and is across the street from the university’s off-campus office space at 401 Washington Ave. The Armory also houses a Starbucks, which the university will lease upon purchase of the building.
Before Towson’s occupancy, the building was previously home to the Maryland National Guard.