Riverside, Calif. — The University of California, Riverside (UCR) and American Campus Communities (NYSE: ACC) have broken ground on North District, a mixed-use community anchored by new student housing buildings. The project will be situated on the university’s campus in Riverside, a city located in the Inland Empire about 60 miles east of Los Angeles.
Upon full build-out, the project will feature up to 6,000 new student housing beds, new dining facilities, an NCAA Division I competition field, a field house sports facility, functional open spaces, multi-use spaces that can serve as classrooms, meeting spaces and study areas, and more than 100,000 square feet for retail, commercial and university services.
The project, a redevelopment of the former Canyon Crest Family Housing site, is part of UCR’s vision for creating a “living-learning” campus, much like other mixed-use developments seek a live-work-play environment. The university projects enrollment will rise from approximately 24,000 students today to 35,000 by 2035, necessitating the new student housing beds.
“This project will help us prepare for this tremendous growth,” says UCR Chancellor Kim Wilcox. “Part of this vision includes residential life programs that will provide a balance of privacy while embracing community to enhance the overall academic experience for our students.”
The new community’s pricing for students will be consistent with similar, older on-campus accommodations, adds Wilcox.
North District is located on a 50-acre site on the northern part of the UCR campus. By 2021, the first phase of this public-private partnership is expected to deliver 1,500 apartment-style beds for undergraduate students, transfer students and graduate students. Future phases will also provide residence hall housing for first-year students.
The university and contractor are targeting LEED Gold certification. Architects from Solomon Cordwell Buenz designed the community, which creates a new campus gateway on the north side of campus while providing pedestrian and bicycle connections to central campus.
“Public-private partnerships such as this one are important when it comes to helping universities reach their goal for quality, affordable student housing while still meeting the needs of the rising student population,” says James Wilhelm, executive vice-president of public-private transactions for American Campus Communities.
American Campus Communities is also working with UCR on construction of Dundee Hall and Glasgow Dining Hall, scheduled to open fall 2020. North District marks the company’s seventh public-private development within The University of California system.
— Jeff Shaw