EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWSMORGANTOWN COMPLEX PLANNED
from Eyewitness News Online
WVU Partnering With Private Firm To Develop $70 Million Residential, Retail Complex
Reported by: Jeff Morris
Web Producer: Jeff Morris
Reported: Oct. 26, 2012 4:43 PM EDT
Morgantown, Monongalia , West Virginia
West Virginia University entered into a long-term lease and development agreement Thursday with a private firm, Paradigm Development Group, to develop a $70 million mixed use residential and retail complex in the heart of Morgantown's Sunnyside district.
The agreement follows Tuesday's Board of Governors decision to approve the five-plus acre property acquisition - just two blocks from the downtown campus - for $14.6 million, according to school officials.
University Place, as it will be known, will be a vertical complex (two multi-story buildings) on three acres, and will sit within the boundaries of University Avenue, Grant Avenue, Third Street and Houston Drive. It will also include an additional two acres across the street - facing University Avenue - for parking for residents and retail customers.
Foremost, university officials say, the project will help fulfill the university's strategic housing master plan, which addresses the need for additional beds for international, professional and veteran students, plus the growth it has experienced the past few years in the freshmen and sophomore classes.
The initiative also fulfills parent and student requests for more modern, private living space close to campus, and faculty and staff requests for transitional family housing.
The developers anticipate the facility and related amenities will cost about $70 million, with more than 297,000 square-feet of rentable space and almost 268,000 square-feet of student space - or approximately 980 more beds in 265 units. The units will also have private bedrooms and bathrooms, in-unit kitchens, wireless high speed internet access, air conditioning and laundry facilities.
In addition, retail space of 29,650 square-feet is expected to include a full service grocery store, a restaurant, fitness center, community outdoor space and other amenities. A substation for the University Police is also planned, plus 195,000 square feet of parking, or an additional 400 parking spaces.
Townhomes are also planned as part of the development, with a pedestrian-only streetscape between them and the main two buildings.
Grimm and Parker Architects of Calverton, Md., were selected by the developers to design this mixed use development, based on their experience with other higher education and student housing initiatives.
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