West Virginia University (WVU) in the US has signed a long-term lease and development agreement with Paradigm Development to develop a $70m mixed use residential and retail complex in Morgantown’s Sunnyside district.
The agreement follows the decision of the university’s board of governors to approve a plan to invest $14.6m to buy about five acres in the neighborhood, which is two blocks away from its downtown campus.
Designed by Grimm and Parker Architects, the mixed use scheme, to be known as University Place, will be a vertical complex featuring two multi-storey buildings on three acres, and will be located within the boundaries of University Avenue, Grant Avenue, Third Street and Houston Drive.
University Place will also include an additional two acres across the street, facing University Avenue, for parking for residents and retail customers.
Upon completion, the facility will feature more than 297,000ft² of rentable space and 268,000ft² of student space, which equates to approximately 980 more beds in 265 units.
The units will include private bedrooms and bathrooms, in-unit kitchens, wireless internet access, air conditioning and laundry facilities.
Retail space of 29,650ft² will feature a grocery store, a restaurant, a fitness centre, community outdoor space and other amenities.
Plans also include building a substation for the University Police and an additional 400 parking spaces.
Brian Helmick of Paradigm Development said that University Place is a model for how the public and private sectors can work together on urban renewal projects to build brighter futures for communities like Morgantown.
"University Place will expand student housing and retail options in Sunnyside and will revitalise an unattractive dilapidated area into a beautiful, safe and affordable place for students, faculty, staff and citizens to live, work and shop," Helmick said.
Construction of the new complex is expected to complete in 2014.
Image: University Place will feature two multi-storey buildings, a grocery store, a restaurant, a fitness centre, and community outdoor space. Photo: West Virginia University.