University of Maryland Signs Deal for ‘Discovery Center’ in Crystal City, Va. 

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The University of Maryland (UMD) has signed a deal with JBG Smith to lease 8,000 square feet in Crystal City, Va., in a plan to build relationships between UMD students, faculty and alumni, and residents and businesses in the area, which is expected to become a tech hub with the arrival of Amazon’s HQ2.

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Dubbed the “Discovery Center,” the space will be located at 241 18th Street South, according to Mike Sullivan of JLL, who led the team that represented the university in the transaction.

The building is one of several that JBG Smith is leasing to Amazon, as Commercial Observer previously reported.

“This new space will help connect our flagship researchers and students with this emerging technology hub, fostering innovation in our growing Cyber Valley,” Wallace D. Loh, president of UMD, said in prepared remarks.

Several of the university’s STEM colleges plan to host “symposia, lectures and learning events in the new center on topics like cybersecurity, machine learning, supply chain management, engineering and human-computer interaction,” according to a statement from UMD.

The center will also provide space for local businesses and community residents to interact, “a strategic planning and creative problem-solving center,” and rooms for students to meet with business owners about internships and employment opportunities, the statement said.

UMD’s lease is for 10 years, according to Sullivan, who would not provide the asking rent at the space. JBG Smith was represented in-house and did not return a request for comment.