The number of businesses has recently increased in the Temple area, with the additions of a Chipotle Mexican Grill at the base of The View at Montgomery, Tropical Smoothie Cafe at Avenue North and a Pizza Hut at 15th Street and Cecil B. Moore Avenue.
Adding businesses to the Main Campus area is one small part of Visualize Temple, a university-wide initiative which outlines the “master plan” for Temple’s campuses. This long-term plan is a comprehensive overview for the university to build a framework for future growth and renovations.
“They’re services that haven’t been there before,” Rich Rumer, associate vice president for Business Services, said of the new businesses. “We work closely with City Council and the community to try and do anything that enhances the campus and, at the same time, enhances the community in which we live.”
Senior Vice President for Construction, Facilities and Operations Jim Creedon said Visualize Temple is “slowly filling all [Temple’s] spaces on campus.”
New businesses like Chipotle create “a certain dynamic at street level,” Creedon said.
“[They help] with safety and [make] campus more vibrant,” he added.
Creedon said Cosi in Pearson-McGonigle Halls is a product of Visualize Temple.
There are also two retail spaces in Montgomery Avenue Garage on 11th Street. One of the two is leased to a private company and will become a Sage Cafe. Creedon said there are plans to add a sportswear store to the second retail space.
Rumer said he was one of the senior administrators responsible for bringing retail locations like Barnes & Noble, Saxbys Coffee and 7-Eleven to campus.
“I think it’s important that we have certain amenities that both our students, faculty, staff, visitors, and folks from the community can expect,” Rumer said.
Rumer also said during the past 20 years, Temple has shifted from being a commuter school to a more residential campus.
“What that’s done is created a need for a lot of these types of amenities,” Rumer said.
With increased retail options on Main Campus comes greater variety. Ray Smeriglio, student body president, said more options will be attractive to prospective students as well as current students.
“[It will] create more of a town atmosphere around campus and encourage students to stay on campus throughout the weekend,” Smeriglio said.
A Chipotle representative could not be reached for comment on the expansion of businesses on or near campus, but Rumer said a goal is to employ people mostly from near Main Campus.
“We’ve had an emphasis on trying to employ people in the five zip code areas around the campus for quite some time,” Rumer said. “We’re trying to continue that endeavor.”
New businesses in the Temple area will also be part of and in close proximity to the surrounding communities. However, Smeriglio believes infringing on the community is not a potential issue.
“Where the businesses are going, they’re already in areas where Temple has a strong hold,” Smeriglio said. “I don’t see businesses … taking away space from the community – rather, filling in space we already need to fill here.”
Lian Parsons can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on twitter @Lian_Parsons