Florida Poly Taps Vestcor to Build Student Housing

Florida Polytechnic University in Lakeland has awarded Vestcor Communities, a subsidiary of the multifamily developer Vestcor Cos., a contract to build the school’s first student residence hall.

Lakeland, Fla.—Florida Polytechnic University in Lakeland has awarded Vestcor Communities, a subsidiary of the multifamily developer Vestcor Cos., a contract to build the school’s first student residence hall. The 216-bed structure will be completed by the time classes start in the fall of 2014.

Florida Poly began as a branch of the University of South Florida, becoming an independent university only last year. As the newest member of the State University System, the school began a procurement process in September with the goal of establishing a public-private partnership to fund its student housing. Vestcor Cos was selected over six other companies responding to the university’s RFP.

Under the terms of the deal, the university will issue a 50-year land lease to Vestcor Cos., which will be responsible for financing, building, operating and maintaining the facility. It will also furnish the housing. Vestcor will then earn a return through the collection of student rents.

According to Jacksonville-based Vestcor, the arrangement allows the university to provide its inaugural class the option of living on-campus. According to surveys of prospective students, nearly 70 percent have expressed interest in on-campus housing.

Vestcor Communities specializes in student housing. In addition to student housing projects in Charlotte and Jacksonville, the company recently completed its fourth student housing property, “The Flats” at Carrs Hill, a 316-bed community within walking distance of the University of Georgia’s campus in Athens, Ga. The Florida Poly project is the company’s first on-campus student housing development.