Richland officials signed off on two permits totaling about $8.5 million to begin building apartments at Washington State University Tri-Cities.
The project on University Drive is the result of the partnership between the university and Pullman-based Corporate Pointe Developers. The private firm operates several commercial and residential properties in Washington and Idaho.
The university, Corporate Pointe and Chervenell Construction broke ground on the facility in October.
The 700-bed project is expected to be built in seven phases on 15 acres north of the Consolidated Information Center building. The first phase is an apartment complex able to hold 162 beds.
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The apartments will range from one-bedroom to four-bedroom units and will be available to students, faculty and staff.
“It really is a mixed-use housing development,” Chancellor Keith Moo-Young has told the Board of Regents. “It will be placed on the campus, primarily for the use of the campus, but, also has the potential for utilization by the community.”
It really is a mixed use housing development. It will be placed on the campus, primarily for the use of the campus, but, also has the potential for utilization by the community.
Chancellor Keith Moo-Young
It’s possible the university could partner with the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, as well as other institutions to house summer interns at the units.
Officials said in addition to giving current students, faculty and staff someplace to live at the North Richland campus, it makes WSU Tri-Cities more attractive to potential students from Walla Walla and Yakima.
Many of the community college students that the WSU campus tries to recruit tell them the drive is too far and housing isn’t available.
“We really see it as an opportunity to expand our footprint in those two counties and help them with their higher education experience,” he said.
Plans call for a commons area, possibly including a pool.
“There is the potential for commercial development in any of the phases,” Moo-Young said.
While initially expected to open at in August, an archeological study was delayed because by last winter’s snow. The apartments are expected to open in 2018.