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RIVERSIDE, CA-Irvine-based R.D. Olson Development has completed work on its three-building, $44-million University Village Towers complex and has opened the doors to the first student residents. The project, which Olson took over last year, is at Iowa and University avenues near the 215 Freeway.The eight-story metal and concrete complex comprises 149 units. It provides high-speed Internet access that is networked to the university, advanced audio-visual equipment and other features designed especially for college students.For example, the complex houses a computer lab, a recreation area, a theater-style THX room with a large-screen television rigged with cable and Internet viewing capabilities, a fitness center and study rooms. Laundry areas designed to facilitate socializing are on six floors of each structure.Outdoor features include a pool, an adjacent Jacuzzi and inset barbeque pit. In addition, the complex provides a parking space for each student in the new parking structure immediately adjacent to the towers.University Village Towers consists of three structures: The Towers is an eight-story 217,000-sf post-tension concrete building; the Garden is a four-story all-metal structure with 10 single-story apartments and five two-story units; the third building is a single-story metal frame structure that houses a theater-style meeting room that ties into the university via fiber optics so students can view lectures and seminars.Olson took over the project last year, as reported at the time on GlobeSt.com, when the former developer ran into funding problems. Olson then paid all of the contractors and engineers on the project, including R.D. Olson Construction, and completed the building at the end of August.Olson Construction continued as the general contractor on the project, working with two Pasadena-based design firms, Onyx Architects and Saiful/Boukuet Structural Engineers. Mellon Bank provided a $32-million construction loan for the student housing complex, which is in a once-blighted area that now features new retail and entertainment developments including a movie theater, restaurants and retail space. Sequoia Equities of Walnut Creek is a partner in the project.

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