By Dees Stribling, Contributing Editor
Boca Raton, Fla.—The Innovation Village Apartments, a new student housing development at Florida Atlantic University’s Boca Raton campus, opened recently for the beginning of the 2011-12 academic year. Construction on the $123 million project began in early 2010 by Balfour Beatty Campus Solutions L.L.C., a subsidiary of Balfour Beatty Capital Group Inc., and Capstone Cos.
The development, designed to achieve LEED silver certification, consists of a seven-story building and an eight-story building, together totaling 489,000 square feet. The two buildings are connected by a courtyard area with green spaces, an outdoor pool, sand volleyball court, barbecue grills and outdoor seating.
The housing includes a unit mix of fully furnished two- and four-bedroom/two bathroom apartments, featuring kitchens equipped with Energy Star appliances, cable TV and access to FAU’s network through wired and wireless high-speed Internet. Other community amenities include a fitness center, convenience store, computer lab, conference rooms and multipurpose meeting areas.
A JV of Capstone On-Campus Management and Balfour Beatty Campus Solutions will oversee, with FAU, management of the new property, as well as the existing student housing facilities on FAU’s Boca Raton campus. FAU is taking primary responsibility for leasing, marketing, student programming and residential life, while the joint-venture companies will be responsible for budgeting and physical operations.
To help fund project costs, Balfour Beatty Capital Inc., also a subsidiary of Balfour Beatty Capital Group, purchased $3.4 million of tax-exempt bonds issued by FAU Finance Corp., a direct service organization formed on behalf of FAU.
“Financing campus housing solutions for colleges and universities takes creativity in today’s marketplace,” Bob Shepko, division president, Balfour Beatty Campus Solutions, tells MHN. “With almost all states cutting or eliminating construction financing, campus administrators are embracing alternative financial delivery models. Listening to the client and assessing their current and long-term goals helps us establish a program that is right for each individual campus or project