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[IMGCAP(1)]IRVINE, CA-The University of California at Irvine has kicked off construction of a new $221 million, 1,763-bed project that is being developed for the university by American Campus Communities of Austin, TX. The new development “will allow UC Irvine to lead the University of California system in the percentage of student population housed on campus,” according to a statement by the university. The project, which is scheduled to open in the fall of 2010 will enable UCI to move closer to its 50% on-campus housing goal.

The new housing is the third project at UCI for American Campus Communities, which developed and now manages two phases of housing totaling 3,052 beds. One project is Vista del Campo, which opened in 2004; the other is Vista del Campo Norte, which opened in 2006.

Wendell Brase, administrative and business services vice chancellor for UCI, says that the university believes the three combined phases of UCI’s student housing “represent the largest privatized student housing project in the US whether measured by residents, dollars or square feet.” A chief goal of the projects is “transforming commuters into residents,” Brase says.

The project was designed to meet Gold LEED certification and to promote the use of public transportation, bicycles and walkways. The project will be a part of UCI’s green building education program that includes sustainable curriculum and building tours.

[IMGCAP(2)]KTGY Group Inc. Architecture and Planning of Irvine is the architect for the new project, as well as for the Vista del Campo and Vista del Campo Norte projects, according to a previous GlobeSt.com report on the student housing. Dan McAllister, a KTGY principal and lead designer on the project, noted in the previous report that KTGY has considerable experience in designing for college campuses as well as for green buildings in general and LEED-certified buildings specifically.

The new 1,763-bed project is composed of a 1,198-bed undergraduate complex and a 562-bed graduate complex. The undergraduate housing features three-story townhome units of two and four bedrooms, with private bedrooms throughout.

The 562-bed graduate complex features studios as well as units of one and two bedrooms. Both the graduate and the undergraduate housing features a host of amenities. The project will accommodate occasional student residential car use, although the university is emphasizing an on-campus transportation system comprising shuttles, personal and rental bicycles, a car-sharing program and walking.

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