Current Issue

Sept.22, 2010

Vol. 111, No. 1


Grad-student housing may involve private developer

By W. Raymond Ollwerther '71
Published in the September22, 2010, issue

 The University plans to redevelop the site of the Hibben, above, and Magie apartments.
Office of Communications
The University plans to redevelop the site of the Hibben, above, and Magie apartments.

The University is moving ahead with redevelopment of the Hibben-Magie site along Lake Carnegie for graduate student housing, and construction and management of the new units may be turned over to a private developer.

The eight-story Hibben and Magie apartment buildings, built in the mid-1960s, have outdated mechanical systems and layouts. It has not been decided whether to retain any part of the existing structures as part of the project, which will provide 475 to 625 beds for grad students and their families.

The University is partnering with American Campus Communities of Austin, Texas, in planning the project and obtaining regulatory approvals. The company is one of the country’s largest developers of student housing.

Once that work is completed, the University will decide which roles a private developer would play — if any — in financing, constructing, and managing the new housing.

“Princeton has expertise in producing academic and research buildings, as well as dorms,” said Andrew Kane, the University’s director of housing. “Comparing the Lawrence Apartments, where we invested more in durability than in interior amenities, to the best work of firms like ACC has shown that Princeton is less industry-competitive in graduate-student housing.”

Focus groups with grad students will help plan the new housing. The University hopes that construction will begin in 2012 and be ready for occupancy in the summer of 2014. Most units will have one or two bedrooms, with some studios and three-bedroom apartments, Kane said; rents will be comparable to the Lawrence complex at the opening.

After the project opens, the University will redevelop the Butler tract for faculty and staff housing. The 60-year-old barracks-style units house about 370 grad students.
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CURRENT ISSUE: Sept.22, 2010