Construction Starts on ISU Student Housing

Construction Starts on ISU Student Housing
AUSTIN, TX - American Campus Communities, Inc, one of the largest owners, managers and developers of high-quality student housing properties in the U.S., announced today the start of construction on a third-party development project on the campus of Illinois State University in Normal, Illinois. The 896-bed apartment-style community was awarded through a competitive procurement process and is anticipated to open for occupancy in August 2012.

Located at the northwest edge of campus, the Cardinal Court project is the result of an innovative approach for ISU to begin replacing its aging housing stock. The University's first-ever public private housing initiative was approved by the ISU Board of Trustees last June and cleared the way for the University to provide students apartment-style accommodations with modern living amenities on campus.

"We are excited about the nature of this project – the first-of-its-kind at Illinois State – and look forward to providing the University excellent service as they bring online high-quality housing with the modern amenities that today's students look for in a residential community," said Bill Bayless, American Campus president and CEO.

In replacing outdated housing built in the 1950s, the Cardinal Court project consists of five, four-story residential buildings that are configured around a 16,400-square-foot community center and creates a large, central lawn that ties the community together. The project consists of 228 apartment-style units with accommodations ranging from private-bedroom/private-bathroom apartments with washers and dryers to shared-bedroom/shared-bathroom apartments with floor laundry rooms. The apartments include two-, three-, and four-bedroom units with options within each for private or shared accommodations and bathrooms. All units will be fully furnished with living areas and kitchen facilities and will include connections for high‐speed Internet access, telephone, and cable television.

The community center will primarily provide for student recreation, limited food service and residence life programming, but will also function as the property's visitor and administrative center. Student amenities provided within the community center include a large fitness center with indoor half‐court basketball court, theater, meeting/study rooms, café, mail center, and social lounge with gaming area. Outdoor amenities include a sand volleyball court, basketball court, high‐quality tables with seating and approximately 64 bicycle racks. The development also includes 677 surface parking spaces.

"The new Cardinal Court Apartments will serve our current and next generation of students with new standards of design, construction, amenities and services," said Illinois State University President Al Bowman. "These high standards are reflective of the vision, mission and goals found in the Campus Master Plan and our University's strategic plan, Educating Illinois. The project also places Illinois State at the national forefront of universities that create innovative projects to serve it constituents without saddling the institution or the state with additional debt." Financing for Cardinal Court was provided through a fixed-rate bond issuance by Collegiate Housing Foundation, an Alabama-based non-profit organization that owns the project through a 40-year ground lease from ISU. ACC developed the project and successfully coordinated closing of the $59.6 million finance package. ACC also serves as construction manager.

American Campus Communities, Inc. is one of the largest developers, owners and managers of high-quality student housing communities in the United States. The company is a fully integrated, self-managed and self-administered equity real estate investment trust (REIT) with expertise in the design, finance, development, construction management, and operational management of student housing properties. American Campus Communities owns 103 student housing properties containing approximately 64,600 beds. Including its owned, joint venture and third-party managed properties, ACC's total managed portfolio consists of 138 properties with approximately 89,400 beds.
Source: American Campus Communities

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