UC Santa Cruz Student Housing West to Ease Housing Crunch

Public-private partnership led by developer Capstone and architect HED will house more than 3,000 students.

SAN FRANCISCO, June 19, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- The University of California Board of Regents recently approved critical new student housing projects at the UC Santa Cruz (UCSC) campus. The project,  Student Housing West, is being led by national developer  Capstone Development Partners, and will create more than 3,000 new student beds on campus at two sites: the Hagar Site, located near the southeast corner of the main campus and the Heller Site, located on the western side of the main campus near the Heller Drive entry gate. The project will also include a new Early Education Center serving 140 children of UCSC's students, faculty, and staff.

Lead architect, HED, is responsible for design at the Heller Site, of approximately 800,000 square feet of undergraduate student housing across five buildings, along with a community plaza hub that includes cafe, market, and wellness amenities. HED is working with design-build contractor, DPR Construction. Walker Macy is serving as the project's lead campus planner and landscape architect for both sites. Additional design architects include Mithun and Katerra for the Graduate Student Housing building at the Heller Site. The Hagar Site design team includes Katerra for Family Student Housing and the Community Building, and SABArchitects for the Early Education Center with design-build contractor, Swinerton. Overall project cost is estimated at $713 million.

The Graduate Student Housing and Undergraduate Student Housing are a blend of apartment-style units and co-living models with shared common areas and kitchens. These were designed to achieve affordable rental rates -- a key concern among students surveyed -- and panelized components are expected to be fabricated off site and assembled on site.

"Every decision on this project is focused on quality of life outcomes for the students. Each design solution enhances and supports the unique qualities of UC Santa Cruz," said development leader and Capstone Senior Vice President Chad Izmirian.

Santa Cruz's unique coastal geography demands a highly sensitive focus on the preservation of its natural resources and the development's design has required an intimate understanding of the geological and environmental factors of the site. The Heller site contains an improved habitat on the site to ensure safe migration of the California Red-Legged Frog (intended to support species recovery). The campus's published  final environmental impact report was certified by the UC Regents this spring.

Both project sites are being designed to achieve a high level of sustainability, including focused efforts to decrease use of non-potable water (through a dedicated wastewater treatment plant on each site) and decrease the generation of carbon and waste. In addition, the development team is striving to achieve LEED Platinum certification for both sites and is engaged in an innovative partnership with Puttman Infrastructure.

HED Principal Gene McDonald, AIA, is proud to celebrate this project's advancement. "We expect that this significant public private partnership project will set a new standard for the design of affordable and sustainable student housing," he says, "and have a dramatic impact for a housing-hungry campus and region."

UC Santa Cruz currently provides on-campus housing for approximately 9,300 students, about half of its student population. However, there is a still a pressing need for affordable campus housing, especially for upper-division students who otherwise live in the surrounding community. Student Housing West is the single largest housing project underway in Santa Cruz County.

According to UC Santa Cruz Chancellor George Blumenthal, "Student Housing West is a bold attempt to help our current students, too many of whom are struggling to get by in this overheated housing market. I believe the end result is an economically prudent project that will maintain housing affordability for all students, mitigate environmental impacts to the extent they can be lessened, and minimize the displacement of students with families while construction is underway."


HED seeks creative solutions that have a positive impact for its clients, the community, and the world. Since its founding in 1908, HED has earned a reputation for excellence in all facets of the designed and built environment, including architecture, consulting, engineering, and planning services. The firm of 400+ people serves clients in a broad range of market sectors from eight U.S. offices (Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, and Sacramento).  www.hed.design

ABOUT Capstone Development Partners -- Capstone Development Partners, LLC, is a leading student housing developer in the on-campus and university-affiliated student housing market. The company is headquartered in Birmingham, Alabama. Its principals, Jeff Jones and Bruce McKee, have more than 40 years combined experience as leaders in the higher education student housing sector specializing in the development and management of on-campus student housing through Public-Private Partnerships. Since 1997, the principals of Capstone have partnered with more than 60 public and private colleges and universities and delivered more than 47,000 beds of student housing nationwide.  www.capdevpartners.com


Kira Gould
(415) 690-0182
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Review Article
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