Campus plans new student housing unit between Bancroft, Dana

Rachael Garner/Staff

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The campus is soliciting a development team to build a new freshman student residential unit between Bancroft Way and Dana Street.

The new housing complex will hold approximately 500 beds and will be replacing the 26,000-square-foot Stiles Hall parking lot on the south side of campus, surrounded by Bancroft Way to the north, Dana Street to the west and Durant Avenue to the south, according to plans for the project.

UC Berkeley is soliciting public-private partnerships for the project and is looking for a development team. The campus will seek authority from the UC regents to make an agreement with a developer, who, if the agreement is approved, will finance the project. UC Berkeley will also receive market-rate ground rent for its land, as it owns the parking lot.

“(UC Berkeley) expects revenue from this,” said Christine Shaff, director of communications for the campus real estate division. “We expect the process to have little impact on the (campus’s) balance sheet.”

The campus expects the project to be built and managed by the developer. According to Shaff, this will likely be considered the first time the campus has undertaken a public-private partnership on student housing.

The new dormitory-style residential unit will be for UC Berkeley freshmen and will have rooms that are either small singles or doubles, according to the plans. There will be no dining facilities added to the unit, but building-wide shared-use space will include a kitchen. There are currently no plans yet to replace the 84 parking spaces displaced by the project.

The project is partly catalyzed by the campus’s decision to redevelop the Unit 3 site within the next several years, causing a need for replacement beds. Plans for Unit 3 currently include complete refurbishment of the four existing towers and the potential addition of two brand new towers, according to Shaff.

While the developer will ultimately be responsible for the management and operation of student housing portion of the project, a separate management entity, which will also be chosen from the shortlisted developers, will provide student services. The campus’s Residential and Student Service Program may also provide a student services proposal.

The campus has entered into talks with Stiles Hall representatives to inquire about the potential inclusion of the property in the housing development project, meaning that Stiles Hall would become part of the new residence hall. No agreement has been reached yet.

Vice chancellor for real estate Bob Lalanne announced at an ASUC Senate meeting in February that other campus real estate projects are underway, including a plan for new study spaces at Memorial Stadium. Shaff said in an email that the campus aims to open the study spaces by next fall.

The applications for the housing project developers will be due next week.

Contact Jessie Qian at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter @jessieq96.

Correction(s):
A previous version of this article stated that the new freshman student residential unit between Bancroft Way and Dana Street would likely be considered the campus’s first public-private partnership on student housing. In fact, a project to renovate Bowles Hall would likely be considered the campus’s first public-private partnership on student housing.