From left, Vice President of Real Estate Development at EdR Mark Grambergs, EdR President Tom Trubiana, Starkville Mayor Lynn Spruill, EdR CEO Randy Churchey, Mississippi State University President Mark Keenum, Mississippi State Institutions of Higher Learning board member Walter Starr and Executive Vice President and COO of EdR Chris Richards break ground on the new student housing site, College View, Monday. The housing complex and day care is expected to open in the summer of 2019. Photo by: Luisa Porter/Dispatch Staff
March 27, 2018 10:54:12 AM
Work is officially underway at Mississippi State University for a major mixed-space residential project that's the first of its kind in the state.
The university held a groundbreaking ceremony on Monday for the College View project, which will be built on a 34-acre parcel of land on the northwest edge of campus, where the former Aiken Village apartments were located before their demolition. College View is a public-private partnership between the university and Memphis-based Education Realty Trust (EdR). The State Institutions of Learning approved the $67 million project in mid-February.
During Thursday's ceremony, MSU President Mark Keenum said College View will have 656 beds, 46,000 square feet for retail and a new 7,000 square-foot day care center.
Construction is currently expected to complete in the summer of 2019.
The project will add much-needed living space for MSU upperclassmen. However, Keenum said the benefits of the project, especially with the new retail space, can be a boon for the city of Starkville. He said it can also help connect the city to the north side of campus.
"This project is a bridge, a connector if you will, from the city onto our campus," Keenum said. "It's going to benefit this university, no doubt, but it's definitely going to benefit Starkville. I always say what's good for Mississippi State is good for the city, and what's good for the city is good for Mississippi State."
EdR CEO Randy Churchey said during Monday's ceremony that he's excited for the project, and has hopes that its successes will lead to planned second and third phases that will boost its total housing capacity to around 1,800 beds.
"I can really see this area being the area where alumni come back on game days, (or) come for graduations, and really be a gathering spot for alumni and students and faculty for all those special occasions that happen on college campuses," Churchey said.
EdR will finance, build and manage the development with a 40-year lease of MSU land that comes with a 10-year renewal option, according to the release. MSU will receive a portion of that revenue as ground lease payment.
While MSU is the first university in Mississippi to pursue a project such as College View, Churchey said he expects other universities in the state to follow.
"Other institutions are looking at this endeavor with, I hope, envy and jealousy. And they're probably going to try to copy it one day," he said. "But you guys were the first to get this accomplished, and we're going to uphold our end of the bargain and get this building built. It's going to be fantastic for the students, alumni, the city and the university."
Alex Holloway was formerly a reporter with The Dispatch.
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