Fundamentals of CP Student Housing Still Strong

Street Pattern

Of the seven active construction projects (listed on our area projects by number page) in College Park right now, five of them are student housing. The other two are University-led office buildings in M-Square. Indeed, there is an unprecedented amount of dirt moving on Route 1 right now; proving that while the national economy may still be floundering, CP student housing fundamentals are still strong. If you include South Campus Commons #7 (which was just completed near Van Munching Hall) we’re witnessing the completion of about 3,600 public, private, and public-private (partnership) student beds over the course of about 3-4 years. That’s an incredible number when you consider that the first six Commons buildings and the first phase of University View only amounted to 2,925 beds.

This surge in construction has led some to speculate that perhaps we’ll witness a student housing bubble since all of these units are dedicated student housing and totally separate from the larger area rental market. These developers who are breaking ground don’t seem to think so. We think it’s too early to tell, but a bubble wouldn’t be such a bad thing for student rents. Otis Warren’s planned University View phase III (8350-8400 Baltimore Ave. in image above) which will house about 1000 beds is apparently stalled because of market conditions (they leased out their 8400 Baltimore Ave office building for another year). UMD is also holding tight on Commons #8. If either of these projects get moving again in 2011 or soon thereafter, it will be a clear indication that developers and financiers still see profit potential in student high rises.

Here is a construction rundown: Continue reading Fundamentals of CP Student Housing Still Strong

Public Works Punts On Vote for Oakland Hall

The DIAMONDBACK reports today that the Board of Public Works has postponed the vote for Oakland Hall for two weeks. The state is expecting a $1 billion deficit next year and there is concern about spending $88 million for this dorm. The Board would prefer the Public/Private partnership model whereby a private developer fronts the construction costs. However this model doesn’t work as well when trying to add a freshman dorm to an existing quad. The Board is scheduled to vote on the matter on October 15th. If approved construction would begin this summer, otherwise it would be delayed by at least one semester.

Oakland Hall is set to replace the beds lost from Leonardtown due to East Campus development.

See our previous post regarding Oakland Hall

New Dorm Approved for North Campus

The DIAMONDBACK reports today that a new dorm in North Campus called Oakland Hall is to be built for $88 Million providing 650 beds. This is to replace some of the beds that will be lost in the Leonardtown community due to East Campus construction. The expected completion date is Fall 2011. The University has had difficulty obtaining the backing from the Board of Regents for new resident hall construction which prefers public-private partnership projects. The logjam was evidently broken when Regents agreed to pay for the new dorm if the University continued to push for private housing.

Oakland Hall Mock UP