RISE Breaks Ground on 3,000-Bed Student Community

The project's first phase is expected to be online in August 2025.

RISE Development has broken ground on Residence Halls, a student housing project for the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, Tenn. The development’s first phase, slated for completion in August 2025, will bring online 1,954 beds across two communities, while Phase Two will add another 1,028 beds. The university’s total housing inventory currently amounts to 8,500 beds.

The first community will rise at the intersection of Andy Holt Avenue and 20th Street and bring online 788 beds, while the second residence hall, located between Caledonia and Terrace avenues, will comprise 1,166 beds across two buildings. Phase Two, envisioned at the intersection of Lake Loudon and Volunteer boulevards, is expected to deliver in the fall of 2026, pending state approvals. Downtown Knoxville is some 2 miles away, while U.S. routes 11 and 129 are less than 1 mile away.

Tennessee’s soaring student market

The project is the result of a public-private partnership, the first at a Tennessee university, and will deliver through a ground-lease structure. Under the agreement, UT retains land ownership, while Provident Resources Group will have ownership of the facilities during the project-based bond financing. After debt maturation, the ownership of the buildings will revert to the university and RISE through a long-term shared services partnership.

The University of Tennessee had 3,961 beds under construction as of January, 48 percent of its current supply, while boasting the highest year-over-year rent increase at 18.5 percent, according to a Yardi Matrix report. This growth landed on the backdrop of a combination between high preleasing—of more than 80 percent—and a total enrollment increase of 4 percent.

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