On Tuesday, community members joined public officials to cut the ribbon for the new Glassboro Town Square. The green space at the end of Rowan Boulevard, which spans across to the intersection of Main and High Street and where students can walk to over a dozen shops and restaurants.
“We wanted to bring the students of Rowan closer to Glassboro.” said Glassboro Mayor Leo McCabe. “With the pending completion of Rowan Boulevard and the adjacent park, I truly believe Glassboro is the quintessential college town.” McCabe exclaimed.
In recent years, the borough has been running the “Glassboro’s Got It” campaign in an effort to link students, who often complain about there not being enough to do in town, with small businesses in need of more customers. With the new park, physical infrastructure will now also help in funneling students toward the shops and businesses on High Street, according to McCabe.
“As a gathering place, when people come by they’ll see what’s here and patronize it. It’s a perfect complement for where the new downtown meets the old.” said Boro Administrator Joe Brigandi.
Notable features of the park include a veteran’s memorial, a fire pit and lawn space with artificial hills. In the second phase of the project, a fountain and pavilions will be installed, which will likely occur this summer. There are also plans to bring back the winter ice rink during the winter, although not this year.
“We’ll have a few big concerts and events, but we want this to be utilized 356 days a year,” Brigandi said. To do this, the borough formed activity committees that have already contacted a variety of demographics, from fitness groups to church choirs, about booking activities in the park.
Of all the stakeholders in the project, none will reap the benefits more than Rowan Boulevard developer Nexus Properties. “With a $300 million investment around this park, this is one of the greatest amenities that we as a developer could have.” said CFO and COO Dante Germano.
Nexus is constructing two luxury apartment buildings overlooking the park and donated labor to the borough during construction. The company has also purchased land across from the park on Poplar Street to construct townhomes. Finally, they won a bid to build a four-story Rowan theater building further up High Street.
“There’s a little bit of selfishness here that I’m gonna be up front on” joked Germano. He went on to say, however, that nothing is more satisfying than seeing volunteers work pay off for the good of the community.
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