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CCA Breaks Ground On Affordable Student Housing Project In S.F.

The site for California College of the Arts' new student housing building at 188 Hooper in San Francisco

The California College of the Arts held a groundbreaking ceremony for its new student housing project at 188 Hooper St. in San Francisco Thursday.

The $80M, 134K SF building will provide more than 500 students with below-market-rate, on-campus housing. It is CCA's first on-campus housing, and will be able to house about 25% of CCA's students upon its completion in 2020. The building has 280 single- and double-occupancy rooms.

For the 80,000 students in San Francisco's 30 higher learning institutions, there are fewer than 10,000 beds available, according to CCA. That is a particular challenge in the Bay Area, where the cost of housing is high and students are competing for housing where rental supply is limited.

The groundbreaking celebration for California College of the Arts' 188 Hooper student housing project

“San Francisco draws creative visionaries from all over the world and CCA is lucky to call the dynamic Bay Area home,” CCA President Stephen Beal said in a statement. “However, the well-documented housing crisis in San Francisco can be a major barrier for many of our students and prospective applicants. In breaking ground here today, CCA is helping to provide the next generation of creative professionals with an affordable place to call home, right at the heart of our expanding campus.”

This is not the first affordable housing effort by CCA. The college worked with the city to pass an ordinance that permitted student housing construction. It opened The Panoramic Residences, which houses 200 students, in 2015. In August, it opened Blattner Hall at 75 Arkansas St., which houses more than 200 students less than three blocks from CCA's main academic building.

The college plans to unify its two San Francisco campuses in the coming years.

Rendering of CCA's student housing project at 188 Hooper in San Francisco

San Francisco-based Stanley Saitowitz | Natoma Architects designed the five-story building. It will house the school's first- and second-year students and has 12K SF of common areas and social and study spaces. The ground floor will include a café, and there will be 10K SF of outdoor space with interconnected courtyards.

The project will also have rooftop solar panels and solar water-heating systems, 167 indoor bike parking spaces and floor-to-ceiling windows for natural light in all rooms. It has been designed to eventually link with campus energy systems to an independent microgrid that will manage supply and demand and store energy.

“188 Hooper St. is an important piece in the jigsaw puzzle of unifying CCA into one campus,” CCA Director of Campus Planning David Meckel said. "Having access to on-campus housing will allow students to focus on their studies, as well as free up housing for other San Franciscans. We also believe our unified campus will turn this area into a bustling community space, anchoring CCA in its new home.”