College Park, a public-private mixed-use housing complex for West Virginia University students as well as students and employees with families, is taking shape at its location off Willey Street within easy walking distance of the Downtown Campus.
The new construction on approximately 9.6 acres of University property, replaces outdated units that had not been used since 2006 and were recently demolished.
The complex will include 224 units, or 567 beds, in one-, two-, three- and four-bedroom apartments all with individual bathrooms, a full kitchen and living area. There will be parking for about 500 cars, along with on-site laundry facilities, recreation and fitness space, a community center with an outdoor pavilion for grilling, wireless high speed internet service, air conditioning and other amenities.
Under a 40-year lease arrangement with WVU, American Campus Communities entered into a construction loan with United Bank to fund the $44.2 million development. ACC and WVU will jointly manage the facility once it’s completed, with each party receiving 50 percent of the net cash flow each year.
It is also estimated that the City will realize approximately $72,000 in B&O and fire service fees annually from the project, and that construction-related B&O taxes will generate an additional $700,000 in the initial phase.
Officials also hope the new housing complex will help revitalize the surrounding neighborhood.
Morgantown’s March-Westin is serving as the general contractor on the construction contract, and expects to complete the development for occupancy in Fall 2014.
“This project, similar to other WVU projects under development, help to centralize University students near campus and within the City of Morgantown which will hopefully lead to less traffic congestion during peak travel times,” said City Manager Jeff Mikorski. “We also appreciate the reuse of an existing WVU property that has been under-utilized for a long time.”
ACC’s Chief Executive Officer and WVU graduate Bill Bayless said the company is thrilled to be operating in Morgantown.
“Being a Mountaineer, it gives me great pleasure for American Campus to continue to provide our services and expertise for the benefit of WVU and its students,” Bayless said. “Having previously been involved with the design and development of both Lincoln Hall and Honors College, we commend WVU’s vision in the College Park project to provide quality housing for all classification of students.”
The College Park complex fits within the University’s strategic housing master plan to replace aging facilities and provide more modern accommodations and amenities to students that are close to campus.
College Park will cater to students at the graduate and professional level, along with international students, veterans and students and employees with families. Those with accessibility needs will also find it accommodating.
“When completed, this will be another walkable, accessible housing option particularly for non-traditional students and families wanting the freedom to live off-campus, but the conveniences of being close-by,” said Dean of Students Corey Farris. “It will also be University managed and supervised.”
The development differs from University Place in Sunnyside, which plans to cater to more traditional-age students, Farris said.
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