MDL Group Breaks Ground on 30-Story Icon Student Housing Tower at UT Austin

by Katie Sloan

Austin, Texas — MDL Group has broken ground on Icon, a 30-story student housing tower in the West Campus neighborhood by the University of Texas at Austin. Hoar Construction is the general contractor for the project, which is set for completion in summer 2025.

Icon will house 555 beds across 216 units ranging from one- to five-bedroom layouts. Amenities will include a rooftop pool, fitness center, game and lounge rooms, podcast studio and student workspaces. The project will also feature four levels of below-ground parking.

Once completed, Icon will be one of the tallest buildings in the surrounding area, according to the general contractor.

The project marks the first partnership between Hoar and MDL Group, a New York-based developer, owner and operator of student housing communities. The project team also includes Rhode Partners as architect, DCI Engineers as structural engineer and Blum Engineering as the MEP (mechanical, electrical and plumbing) engineer.

The student housing sector is outperforming other real estate verticals during challenging economic conditions, according to the latest national student housing report from Yardi Matrix. Rents increased 7 percent year-over-year in March to an average of $829 per bedroom, a record high.

UT Austin has the highest bed count in the nation for student housing projects currently under construction, according to Berkadia’s 2023 student housing market report. Hoar recently built Inspire on 22nd, an 18-story student housing property also located in Austin’s West Campus neighborhood.

— Kristin Harlow

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