Gilbane starts construction on Wayne State University housing — part of $1.4B P3

Dive Brief:

  • Gilbane has started construction on a new 395,000-square-foot student housing complex at Wayne State University in Detroit, part of a $1.4 billion public–private partnership between the university and developer Corvias, according to Crain's Detroit Business
  • Gilbane will act as general contractor for the Anthony Wayne Drive Apartments development, which will include 841 beds, a 9,700-square-foot student health center and 17,000 square feet of retail space.
  • Corvias will manage the apartment complex for 40 years and is set to begin leasing at least 407 beds by 2018 and the rest in 2019. The entire P3 undertaking is expected to be complete by 2021.

Dive Insight:

The student housing market is expected to stay strong this year, according to a recent report by TH Real Estate. The sector generated $9 billion in investment last year, with growth driven by the trend of millennials pursuing higher education in greater numbers than previous generations.

The WSU campus is near the District Detroit development zone around the new Red Wings Arena, an area that will see at least $1.2 billion of development when complete. Olympia Development, which is owned by the Ilitch family, has spurred construction in the five-neighborhood area around the arena. The area will include a mix of retail, office, multifamily and hotel space when everything is built out.

Other universities are also trying to tap into the benefits that P3s can provide. The University of California, Merced is using the contracting method to build a $1.3 billion, 1.2-million-square-foot campus expansion. The project will see the addition of teaching space, research space, housing for 1,700 additional students, recreation areas and a competition-level swimming pool. The project is expected to take four years to complete and is projected to boost the local economy by nearly $2 billion.

Plenary Properties Merced has a 39-year contract to design, build, operate and maintain the improvements under a 39-year public-private partnership. The project is expected to create 12,000 total jobs, which includes 10,000 construction positions.

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