Developer Dives into Student Housing with $70M Project
What should a mixed-use, residential developer do when he owns land directly across the street from a university? Do some studying and dive into student housing. (And maybe sell T-shirts making fun of rival schools.) That’s what Seal Beach, CA-based J.R. Watson & Associates Development Corp did with its 520-unit The Glen at Cal State San Bernardino, slated to open this fall. Company president James Watson (center, in the gray suit at the groundbreaking for The Glen) owned the land directly across from the university and spent three years researching the student housing industry before going forward. It also helps that he's had a 10-year relationship with university officials after serving as chairman of the philanthropic foundation.
The $70M project faced some hurdles with zoning, grading, and some significant on- and off-site work, James tells us. But, that’s not unusual for a development and especially for complex developments. James says the location, at 1831 W Northpark Blvd in San Bernardino, is across the street from campus and is in the midst of pre-leasing for the summer completion. James says the company hired Asset Campus Housing to manage the property because of its long history in the industry. Capstone Development Partners is serving as program manager by providing construction, student housing and operations management oversight.
One of the cool factors of the three-story townhomes is that the bedrooms, kitchens and living rooms are significantly larger than most student housing, James tells us. There is also an 18k SF restaurant and retail space adjacent to the housing, which James says fills in the need for more food and retail in the immediate area. Other features include an open recreational lawn, game room, multimedia lounge, fitness and yoga center, resort style pool and spa, with an outdoor kitchen and BBQ stations.