TU’s Placemaking & Anchor Strategy for Greater Baltimore
Towson University is developing a comprehensive placemaking strategy that will support
its academic mission and strengthen its connections to the Towson and Greater Baltimore
TU is situated within a vibrant community and is one of the best places in the country
to live, work, learn, and raise a family. In order to best leverage Towson’s assets,
the university is partnering with Margrave Strategies and U3 Advisors to study and
develop a comprehensive strategy focused on strengthening the connectivity between
communities, core institutions and emerging businesses.
Goals of the Project
Strengthen the connectivity between communities, core institutions and emerging businesses.
Support the implementation of the president’s priorities, including BTU: Partnerships at Work for Greater Baltimore. Leverage the existing understanding of philanthropic and business communities in the
Greater Baltimore region in order to enhance partnerships for TU.
Manage future institutional demand, and make better use of campus “edges,” to create more vibrant walkable spaces that
better connect the university with the Greater Towson community.
Key Research Takeaways
The Margrave team analyzed and synthesized Towson University and community data to identify
how the “inputs” of the university—students, employees, real estate, investment—align
with the outcomes of marking the university and its surroundings a desirable place
to live, work and study. In addition, Margrave engaged with internal and external
stakeholders through public events and roundtables. Here is what Margrave learned:
ABOUT TU EMPLOYEES
Millennial Employment Trends: Towson University has a lower percentage of Millennial employees compared to other
Towson employers. However, the percentage of full-time hires in the last year has
grown. There were 950+ new hires (full-time and part-time) last year.
Younger Employees Live Closer: Employees who live closer to campus tend to be younger than their counterparts. Approximately
13% of all TU employees live in Towson, and 49% live in Baltimore County.
WORKING IN TOWSON
Educated Workforce: Healthcare, education and public administration are the three primary industries
in Towson. Almost 1/3 of all occupations require at least a bachelor’s degree.
Leveraging Towson University's Incubator: Many of the needs of Towson University’s Incubator align with efforts of place-based
economic development including: creation of new facilities, connections to student
and faculty research, and co-leveraging services provided by the university or other
DEMAND FOR STUDENT HOUSING
More Upper-Division Housing: The vast majority of juniors, seniors, transfers and graduate students live off campus.Apartment-style living on campus is in high demand.
Apartments vs. Homes: The majority of off-campus students live in apartment complexes, but with a limited
supply some still share single family homes.
ATTRACTIVE AMENITIES & OPPORTUNITIES
Accessibility & Urbanism: Presently, the only areas within Towson that a resident, student or employee could
meet all daily necessities with a variety of options are Uptown and the areas just
south of the Towson Circle.
Transportation & Walkability: There is increased support for better walkability and a bike-friendly Towson. Towson
University’s shuttle provides good access around Towson and service to popular apartment
Desired Retail & Amenities: The most desired amenities and retail opportunities identified by students and other
stakeholders include higher quality restaurants, performance spaces and an independent
Our Placemaking Partners
Margrave Strategies: Launched by former Howard County Executive Ken Ulman, the firm provides a comprehensive
array of economic development, planning and visioning services to institutions, businesses
and other groups throughout Maryland and the mid-Atlantic.
U3 Advisors: This Philadelphia-based firm provides real estate and economic development solutions
to the universities, medical centers, foundations and non-profits that anchor our
We Need to Hear from You!
Have ideas on how we can make Towson a more dynamic and thriving place to live, learn,
work and play? Please fill out this form to share your thoughts.