WVU to Build $90 Million Housing and Retail With Private Developers

by Katie Sloan

Morgantown, W.V. — Multiple acquisitions make up the parcel. University Park will be complete in 2015.

A rendering of the preliminary conceptual plan of the University Park Project at WVU.Morgantown, W.V. — West Virginia University is partnering with a group of private developers to build University Park, a $90 million development on the Evansdale campus. The buildings will include approximately 1,100 beds as well as retail space and university and food services. The project, which is the third and final phase of the student housing master plan, is expected to be complete by fall 2015.

WVU is acquiring the property from MJR Evansdale Development LLC and various related entities. The developers began acquiring options in late 2010, and over the course of the past two years, have worked with 12 property owners to acquire 21 parcels totaling approximately 7 acres. The land has been acquired by WVU as part of the contractual public-private relationship between the parties. MJR Evansdale Development LLC, the private developer, consists of M&J Property Holdings LLC and RCL Evansdale Holdings LLC.

WVU acquired 5.7 acres on March 28, 2013, for $12.2 million. A previous acquisition, plus some smaller additional anticipated acquisitions, will bring the total property acquisition cost to about $14.7 million. The WVU Board of Governors approved the purchase and financing in a special meeting on March 27. The University’s property costs will be covered by proceeds from the development; the developers are responsible for privately financing the construction costs. The project will revert to the university in 40 years.

A motel currently located on the property will continue to operate until at least December. Other leases will continue to be honored, and site development will not begin until those leases expire.

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