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Bay Area Universities, Developers Aiming To House Thousands Of Students

The housing crunch in the Bay Area is leaving students with few affordable options, and many universities have been pushing for more on- and off-campus housing. Building more housing has become an important recruiting and retention tool to ensure that students can afford to live and study in the costly Bay Area. Just about every local university has plans to add student housing and thousands of new beds will be built by 2020 and beyond. Many private developers also are building sizable off-campus projects.

Check out some of the newest student housing developments in the planning stages or in the works:

San Francisco Conservatory of Music

Rendering of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music student housing project

Address: 200 Van Ness Ave., San Francisco

Capacity: 420 units

Expected Completion: 2020

The San Francisco Planning Commission gave the thumbs-up in early February to the San Francisco Conservatory of Music’s planned 12-story housing project designed by Mark Cavagnero Associates Architects. The development will include new housing and relocation and replacement of 27 existing rent-controlled apartments.

The project will have 600 SF of flexible space on the top floor that could be an ensemble room lab or private event venue. Ground-floor amenities will include a café/bar, flexible space that can serve as a small ensemble/performance area and a glass-enclosed theater. 

San Jose State University

Rendering of The Graduate student housing project in San Jose

Developers: AMCAL Equities and Swenson

Address: East San Carlos Street between South Second and South Third streets, San Jose

Capacity: 260 units and 1,039 beds

Expected Completion: 2020

AMCAL and Swenson broke ground on this off-campus student housing project in October. The project will create a 19-story L-shaped building on a 1.5-acre site with 17 floors of apartments with student amenities and ground-floor retail. The development will include a three-story parking structure, an exercise center, a swimming pool with spa and sundeck, barbecues, a picnic area and landscaping. The building will offer high-speed WiFi and internet, common areas, storage for 575 bikes and a bike repair station. 

California College of the Arts

Rendering of California College of the Arts' student housing under construction at 75 Arkansas St.

Developer: CCA trustee Simon Blattner

Address: 75 Arkansas St., San Francisco

Capacity: 228 beds

Expected Completion: Fall

California College of the Arts is in the midst of a campus expansion that will combine its Oakland and San Francisco campuses into one site in San Francisco. The school’s goal is to have 1,000 beds near this campus by 2021-22. While the latest project is expected to open in the fall, another project is in the planning stages at Hooper Street, across from the main campus.

The current student housing project at Arkansas Street, designed by Leddy Maytum Stacy Architects and managed by Equity Community Builders, will offer 30 units and 7,400 SF of ground-floor retail. The school plans to redevelop its Oakland campus with the help of Equity Community Builders and Emerald Fund into an area with artist spaces and affordable and market-rate housing. 

UC Hastings

UC Hastings's campus expansion plan

Address: 198 McAllister St.

Units: 592 units

UC Hastings will begin construction on a campus renovation and expansion that will create more of an urban campus feel. In addition to new academic buildings, the law school plans to start building a 14-story residential tower in 2019. It will be shared with University of California, San Francisco and have a YMCA at the base. UC Hastings also will renovate a residential building at 100 McAllister St. 

University of California, San Francisco

Rendering of UCSF's planned Minnesota Street Graduate Student and Trainee housing project

Address: 566, 590 and 600 Minnesota St., San Francisco

Capacity:  595 units

Expected Completion: June 2019

UCSF has been building up its Mission Bay campus over the last few years and plans to include student housing as part of its expansion. It currently houses 900 students and trainees, which makes up 14% of its population. The project will create two six-story buildings of about 40K SF each. The project will include retail, community space and a parking garage. 

Find out more about the future of student housing in the Bay Area at Bisnow's NorCal University Development & Student Housing event March 13.