University-Based Retirement Community - The Next Step For Edenwald and Goucher College?

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Credit: Van Fisher/Patch

Edenwald retirement community in Towson is making plans for a new set of buildings on land leased from Goucher College. The new development would include three high-rise towers that overlook Goucher's campus and an indoor walkway connecting Edenwald to the new towers.

To facilitate this development, Edenwald plans to become a University-based retirement community (UBRC). UBRCs are a new trend among universities with a nearby retirement community, with colleges such as Lasell University, Notre Dame, Wake Forest, Stanford, and the University of Florida all partnering with UBRCs.

Edenwald and Goucher would be the first in Maryland to adopt this concept.

Combining a university and a retirement community may seem strange, but Edenwald President Mark Beggs believes this is the future that retirees want.

"What they used to get, which was being cared for in a retirement home, they don't want that anymore. They want to be engaged in the community, they want to take classes, they want to go to cultural events, they don't want to be segregated from the rest of society."

These two Towson institutions already share a strong bond, with Edenwald residents frequently using the campus's walking paths and attending university events. According to Beggs, residents regularly support the university's theatre productions.

"It's not unusual for our residents to be the bulk of the audience or at least a significant portion of it. "

Goucher President Kent Devereaux also notes the connection to Edenwald.

"In recent years, Edenwald has become a great neighbor to us, with many of our alumni and faculty choosing to reside there and call Edenwald home."

Goucher plans to create classes developed specifically for lifelong learners and intensive course abroad trips tailored to students of all ages.

Edenwald resident Sally Kinecht expressed her excitement about the possibility of living in a UBRC

"You have to look ahead to the future," she said. "keeping things the way they are is no way to make people happy."

The next phase in this project is a series of board meetings to vote on whether or not to move forward. Edenwald's board of directors is scheduled to vote on becoming a UBRC next week, and Goucher's board of directors will be voting at the end of September. The zoning application process can begin if both parties vote in favor of this development.

This process is moving quickly, and according to Beggs, the goal is to have shovels in the ground by 2025.

A view overlooking the proposed site of Edenwald's three new towers. This land is currently owned by Goucher college and would be leased to Edenwald for this project.
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