RIVERSIDE, CA-RD Olson Development of Irvine has taken over a $40-million, 149-unit housing project that will provide 526 beds for UC Riverside students after the former developer ran into funding problems at the development, called University Village Towers. The project is at Iowa and University avenues in a City of Riverside redevelopment area.Olson reports that after acquiring the property, it paid all of the contractors and engineers on the project, including RD Olson Construction, and will now complete development of the eight-story, futuristic metal and concrete development.Bob Olson, president of RD Olson Development, reports that Mellon Bank provided a $32-million construction loan for the student housing complex, which is located in a once-blighted area that now features upscale facilities, including a movie theater, restaurants and retail establishments, Olson says. Sequoia Equities of Walnut Creek is a partner in the project. Building of the complex stalled in March because of funding issues faced by the former developer, University Village LLC, he adds. The project is now expected to be completed in July 2005 in time for fall semester students to move in. Olson points out that the project’s 149 suites are designed to house one to four bedrooms, in which most have private baths. The apartments will include shared kitchen and living areas. The University Village Towers complex will feature high-speed Internet access that is networked to the university, advanced audio-visual equipment and security systems, a computer lab, a recreation area with theater-style large screen television rigged with cable and Internet viewing capabilities, a fitness center and study rooms. Each student will be provided a parking space in a structure adjacent to the towers, which will include three buildings. One will be an eight-story, 217,000-sf building, another will be four stories, and the third will be a single-story building that will house the theater-style meeting room that will tie into the university via fiber optics so students can view lectures and seminars. RD Olson Construction, which continues to be the general contractor on the project, is working with two Pasadena-based design firms: Onyx Architect and Saiful/Boukuet Structural Engineers.

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