EdR Starts Construction on $110M Hawaii Student Housing

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The development at the University of Hawaii will include 599 beds, along with 13,000 square feet of ground-floor retail and structured parking.

Hawaii renderingMemphis, Tenn.—Collegiate housing developer, owner and manager EdR has started construction on a new $110 million student housing development at the University of Hawaii in Honolulu. In a joint venture with Laconia Development, Memphis-based EdR will own 90 percent of the student housing development, and will manage the housing.

“[The site’s] location next to the Hawaii campus was in line with our development criteria,” EdR Senior Vice President of Western Development Steve Schnoor told MHN.

“There is also high demand for modern student housing options that close to campus and little to no supply to fit that demand. We were able to acquire the site fee-simple which is unusual in Hawaii.”

Featured will be 599 beds in a blend of one-, two-, three- and four-bedroom configurations, along with 13,000 square feet of ground-floor retail and structured parking. A rooftop amenity area will offer a fitness center, outdoor terrace lounge, community kitchen, study lounges and gaming areas. All will provide dramatic views of Waikiki, Diamond Head and Manoa Valley.

“This is a great opportunity to add to our development pipeline, which is driving significant growth for EdR,” said Randy Churchey, the company’s Chief Executive Officer. “Assembling land with our partner, Laconia, in such a prime location in the city of Honolulu that the joint venture will own fee simple is a major feat. [It] will allow us to bring modern off-campus living options to University of Hawaii students.”

In addition to limited student housing options in the area, the barriers to entry are elevated. The new student housing will address a pent-up demand for up-to-date collegiate residences to serve University of Hawaii students. All entitlements have been obtained. Construction has commenced, and the development is on pace to welcome students in the summer of either 2018 or 2019, depending on how quickly early phases of construction can be completed.

“Acquiring land and building in Hawaii is a completely different undertaking than construction in the continental U.S.,” Schnoor said. “It brings its own set of challenges, but with the help of our partner we expect to overcome those hurdles . . . The biggest challenge here was estimating the time required to receive the necessary entitlements.” Students come from around the globe seeking the University of Hawaii’s nationally acclaimed academic programs in disciplines ranging from cancer research and genetics to astronomy, education and oceanography. The university has an enrollment of 19,000 students, was ranked in the Top 50 U.S. public universities in 2014 for research and development opportunities and is 89th in U.S. News and World Report’s latest rankings of public universities. About 35 percent of the student body is from out of state.

“We are very pleased to be partnering with EdR to bring a modern housing option to students at the Manoa Campus of the University of Hawaii,” said Laconia Chief Executive Officer Paul Menzies. “From the very beginning, we have been very impressed by EdR’s professionalism and history of outstanding accomplishment in collegiate housing.”

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