TU President Kim Schatzel announced Together Towson in 2018 to strengthen and support connections between Towson University and the greater Towson community through development, engaging experiences and core commitments.
Part of this commitment are two building development projects in the heart of uptown, or downtown, Towson, depending on your perspective. Through these investments, TU continues to build on its role as a major anchor institution and economic-driver in Great Baltimore.
The former Maryland National Guard Armory building, located at 307 Washington Avenue, has been transformed into the StarTUp at the Armory—TU’s front door for start-ups, small businesses, as well as our region’s largest corporations. This vibrant, public-focused space will create new engagement opportunities for regional leaders to connect, convene, and collaborate alongside TU’s faculty, staff, and students.
The building features 25,000 square feet of space and is adjacent to Baltimore County government headquarters in Towson’s central business district. The building adjoins more than 1 million square feet of new development at Towson Row, the $350 million mixed-use destination and new gateway into Towson.
Resources for entrepreneurs
When the StarTUp at the Armory officially opens in September 2021, it will be the home for a number of programs and offices focused on entrepreneurship and workforce development. Small businesses and entrepreneurs will have access to programming and the resources located in the Armory, including:
- StarTUp Accelerator: jump-starting ventures in an intensive eight-week, cohort-based fellowship
- ATHENAPowerLink® Baltimore: assisting women entrepreneurs with their business in a yearlong mentorship program
- TEDCO: providing funding, resources and connections that early-stage technology and life sciences companies need to thrive in Maryland
- Baltimore County Small Business Resource Center: helping prospective entrepreneurs start a business
Public programming related to business development and venture creation is being planned and a national coffee chain will anchor the first floor when it opens later this fall.
Along with revitalizing the historic Armory building, TU purchased the office building at 401 Washington Avenue in 2019. The building sits across the street from the Armory. Since then, TU has been renovating spaces and moving administrative staff from the main campus to Towson’s central business district.
The Office of Technology Services (OTS) and the Division of Strategic Partners & Applied Research (SPAR) now occupy several floors of the building. University Advancement will be moving to 401 Washington Avenue as well.
Resources for businesses and community members
The Division of Strategic Partnerships and Applied Research is a key regional asset that works with businesses, nonprofits, government agencies and community members to provide solutions to critical issues facing Maryland’s workforce, communities, and economy. SPAR offices located at 401 Washington Avenue include:
- BTU—Partnerships for Greater Baltimore: elevating partnerships and engagements to better address regional needs
- Center for GIS (CGIS): supporting clients with the development and application of geospatial technologies
- Continuing & Professional Studies: providing educational opportunities for Greater Baltimore’s workforce and employers
- The Dr. Nancy Grasmick Leadership Institute: supporting leadership development and recruitment for individuals and organizations
- Osher Lifelong Learning Institute: providing academic and cultural programs for lifelong learners
- Regional Economic Studies Institute (RESI): empowering public, private, and nonprofit organizational decision-making with economic and policy analysis services
- Office of Partnerships & Outreach: planning and communications support for on-campus discussions and dialogue
Continued growth around campus
TU’s impact on the uptown district is significant, with more than $1 billion in public and private investment underway in within a quarter-mile of campus. Those projects include Towson Row—housing, retail and restaurant space between York Road and Towsontown Boulevard, north of campus—and Circle East, a project on York Road that is bringing in new retail and restaurants, including the recently opened Shake Shack.