ACC, UC Riverside Break Ground on Mixed-Use Student Community

The first phase of the multi-phase North District project in Riverside, Calif., will deliver about 1,500 student beds by 2021.
North District at The University of California, Riverside. Image courtesy of American Campus Communities

The University of California Riverside (UCR) and American Campus Communities have begun construction on the first phase of North District, a living-learning mixed-use community that will provide 1,500 apartment-style beds by 2021. Future phases will include new dining halls, athletic facilities and 5,000 additional student beds.


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The public-private partnership (P3) is planned for a 50-acre site on the northern part of the UCR campus in Riverside, Calif., that is bounded by Linden Street, Canyon Crest Drive and Blaine Street. Housing in the first phase will be for upper-division undergraduate students, transfer and graduate students. Residential hall housing for first-year students will be included in the second phase. Chancellor Kim Wilcox noted in a prepared statement the new housing will help the university prepare for an increase in student population. Enrollment is projected to reach 35,000 by 2035, Wilcox said. Current enrollment is about 24,000.

In addition to the student housing and dining facilities, the project will feature a NCAA Division 1 competition field, a Field House facility, functional open spaces and multi-use spaces that can serve as classrooms, meeting spaces and study areas. More than 100,000 square feet will be set aside for student support amenities provided by retail, commercial and university services. Designed by the architectural firm of Solomon Cordwell Buenz, the university and contractor are aiming for LEED Gold certification for the new buildings.

American Campus Communities, the largest owner, manager and developer of student housing in the United States, is also working with UCR on construction of the Dundee Residence Hall and Glasgow dining facility, both expected to open by fall 2020. The North District project marks ACC’s seventh P3 development within The University of California system.

Mixed-Use Campus Projects

Also in California, ACC broke ground in December on a 584-bed student housing community in San Francisco as part of a P3 development with San Francisco State University. Pacific Union Development Co. and RLR Ventures collaborated on the development. Located on the southeast edge of the SF State campus, the mixed-use community will include 14,000 square feet of amenity space, including social and recreational lounges and an Academic Success Center. The site will also have about 15,000 square feet of retail space. Scheduled for completion in 2020, the project includes a new Liberal & Creative Arts Building, a four-story structure with about 76,000 square feet.

Last month, the firm celebrated the opening of LightView, the newest student living community at Northeastern University in Boston. Another P3 project, LightView is located on the southeastern border of Northeastern’s campus and features a 20-story residential tower with 825 beds. It also has about 12,000 square feet of interior amenity and common area space, a fitness center, 24-hour Academic Success Center and 2,000 square feet of retail.

The transaction was structured under the American Campus Equity (ACE) program, a public-private partnership that provides on-campus housing to universities without using their funds or taxpayer dollars. The building is owned and operated by ACC and is not part of Northeastern’s housing lottery system. Third-, fourth-, and fifth-year students will lease units from ACC.