flexiblefullpage -
billboard - default
interstitial1 - interstitial
catfish1 - bottom
Currently Reading

Massive student housing project in Texas will be ready this Fall

University Buildings

Massive student housing project in Texas will be ready this Fall

Developers hope the early opening of some units sets the tone for the community and future rentals.

By John Caulfield, Senior Editor | January 9, 2017

Park West, a 3,400-plus bed student housing complex at Texas A&M, is the university system's fifth public-private parternship in the county. Image: Weitz Company, courtesy of Servitas

Park West is the biggest student housing project under development in the country. Located within 47 acres on the campus of Texas A&M University in College Station, the project will encompass 15 buildings, 2.2 million sf and 3,406 beds. Nearly 1,000 construction workers have been this jobsite daily, and another 100-plus offsite designers, managers and engineers have worked on this project, whose developer, Servitas, with its design-builder and joint-venture partner Weitz Company, have pumped $300 million into the local and state economy.

Last August, Weitz delivered the first 144 beds at Park West, a year ahead of the project’s August 2017 completion date. “On a project of this size, having beds open early can be a tremendous asset,” Michael Short, Servitas’ COO, explains to BD+C. “It starts to set the culture for what it will feel like to live at Park West, and builds awareness and interest among the student body. 

“When Weitz came to us,” he continues, “and said that by moving a few things around, we could have these beds ready earlier than planned, of course we were excited.”

The one- to- four-bedroom studio, apartment, and garden-style units are renting for between $600 to $1,000 per month.

But Short acknowledges that opening part of a student housing project that early is risky because “if we pre-leased these beds and then construction slipped by even a day, it could ruin the reputation of the entire project.”

When a student housing project can’t open when the school year begins, it loses the opportunity to lease those apartments for at least another seminar, or more.

Aside from Weitz, the Building Team includes the Boca Raton, Fla., and Houston offices of PGAL (design partner); Power Design Inc., Kilgore Mechanical, Coleman & Associates Landscape Design, Moss Construction, and Godfrey Construction. Subcontractors include Larry Young Paving and RSL Contractors Ltd.

Park West is the university system’s fifth student housing public-private partnership in Brazos County, joining White Creek Apartments, U Centre at Northgate, Easterwood Airport and Century Square.

Its $368 million development and construction cost—which Short believes is the largest single new-build student housing P3 to this point—was financed upfront with tax-exempt bonds. The project is expected to generate $600 million for the university system of the life of its 30-year ground lease to its owner, the nonprofit National Campus and Community Development-College Station, which paid $18.5 million upfront, and will give back $20 million in revenue per year to the system.

Servitas’ initial management contract is for five years. But Short hopes his company will prove itself to the university so that the service contract would be extended at least the life of the ground lease, and possibly beyond.



Part of the amenities-rich Park West opened a year early, with the goal of drumming up interest in this project among students and the community. Image: Weitz Company, courtesy of Servitas



Related Stories

Student Housing | Feb 21, 2024

Student housing preleasing continues to grow at record pace

Student housing preleasing continues to be robust even as rent growth has decelerated, according to the latest Yardi Matrix National Student Housing Report.

University Buildings | Feb 21, 2024

University design to help meet the demand for health professionals

Virginia Commonwealth University is a Page client, and the Dean of the College of Health Professions took time to talk about a pressing healthcare industry need that schools—and architects—can help address.

Higher Education | Feb 9, 2024

Disability and architecture: ADA and universal design at college campuses

To help people with disabilities feel part of the campus community, higher education institutions and architects must strive to create settings that not only adhere to but also exceed ADA guidelines.

Laboratories | Jan 25, 2024

Tactical issues for renovating university research buildings

Matthew Plecity, AIA, ASLA, Principal, GBBN, highlights the connection between the built environment and laboratory research, and weighs the benefits of renovation vs. new construction.

University Buildings | Jan 18, 2024

Houston’s Rice University opens the largest research facility on its core campus

Designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM), the 251,400-sf building provides students and researchers with state-of-the-art laboratories, classrooms, offices, and a cafe, in addition to multiple gathering spaces.

Sponsored | BD+C University Course | Jan 17, 2024

Waterproofing deep foundations for new construction

This continuing education course, by Walter P Moore's Amos Chan, P.E., BECxP, CxA+BE, covers design considerations for below-grade waterproofing for new construction, the types of below-grade systems available, and specific concerns associated with waterproofing deep foundations.

University Buildings | Jan 15, 2024

The death of single-use university buildings

As institutions aim to improve the lives of their students and the spaces they inhabit, flexible university buildings may provide an all-in-one solution.

University Buildings | Dec 8, 2023

Yale University breaks ground on nation's largest Living Building student housing complex

A groundbreaking on Oct. 11 kicked off a project aiming to construct the largest Living Building Challenge-certified residence on a university campus. The Living Village, a 45,000 sf home for Yale University Divinity School graduate students, “will make an ecological statement about the need to build in harmony with the natural world while training students to become ‘apostles of the environment’,” according to Bruner/Cott, which is leading the design team that includes Höweler + Yoon Architecture and Andropogon Associates.

University Buildings | Dec 5, 2023

The University of Cincinnati builds its largest classroom building to serve its largest college

The University of Cincinnati’s recently completed Clifton Court Hall unifies the school’s social science programs into a multidisciplinary research and education facility. The 185,400-sf structure is the university’s largest classroom building, serving its largest college, the College of Arts and Sciences.

Products and Materials | Nov 30, 2023

Top building products for November 2023

BD+C Editors break down 15 of the top building products this month, from horizontal sliding windows to discreet indoor air infusers.

boombox1 - default
boombox2 -
native1 -

More In Category

halfpage1 -

Most Popular Content

  1. 2021 Giants 400 Report
  2. Top 150 Architecture Firms for 2019
  3. 13 projects that represent the future of affordable housing
  4. Sagrada Familia completion date pushed back due to coronavirus
  5. Top 160 Architecture Firms 2021