North District project
October 7, 2019

UCR breaks ground on largest-ever expansion

The North District project is part of a UC-wide effort to increase on-campus student housing

Author: UCR News
October 7, 2019

North District groundbreaking
Friday, Oct. 4, officials representing the University of California and American Campus Communities helped break ground on the North District project, which will ultimately add 6,500 beds to the UC Riverside campus. From left, From left, Brian Haynes, vice chancellor for Student Affairs; Thomas Smith, interim provost; Kim Wilcox, chancellor; Jacqueline Norman, campus architect; Janet Napolitano, University of California president; Christopher Nam, Residence Halls Association president; Jamie Wilhelm, executive vice president, American Campus Communities.

RIVERSIDE, Calif. ( - The University of California, Riverside and American Campus Communities held an official groundbreaking ceremony today for the first phase of the North District, a new living-learning, mixed-use community.

The North District is a multiphase redevelopment project of the former Canyon Crest Family Housing site that will provide about 6,500 new student housing beds upon completion of the final phase of development.


The project is planned on a 50-acre site on the northern part of the UCR campus, just north of Linden Street. By 2021, the first phase of this public-private partnership between UCR and American Campus Communities is expected to deliver 1,500 apartment-style beds for upper division undergraduate students, transfer students, and graduate students. Future phases will also provide residence hall housing for first-year students, new dining facilities, and mixed-use residential and athletic facilities.


The new community’s pricing for students will be consistent with similar, older on-campus accommodations. UCR Chancellor Kim Wilcox noted the importance of the housing development, given projected student enrollment of 35,000 by 2035.


“This project will help us prepare for this tremendous growth,” Wilcox said. “In partnering with ACC, it is exciting to see how this new student housing project brings fresh, affordable housing specifically designed to create a sense of place and belonging for students. Part of this vision includes residential life programs that will provide a balance of privacy while embracing community to enhance the overall academic experience for our students.”


The North District project will include new dining facilities, a NCAA Division I competition field, a Field House facility, functional open spaces, and multi-use spaces that can serve as classrooms, meeting spaces and study areas. More than 100,000 square feet will be dedicated to student support amenities provided by retail, commercial and University services. The university and contractor are targeting LEED Gold certification — a rating that spotlights a building’s “green” features — from the U.S. Green Building Council.

Architects from Solomon Cordwell Buenz designed the community, which creates a new campus “gateway” on the north side of campus while providing pedestrian and bicycle connections to central campus.


“Public-private partnerships such as this one are important when it comes to helping universities reach their goal for quality affordable student housing while still meeting the needs of the rising student population,” said Jamie Wilhelm, executive vice-president of American Campus Communities. “We are glad to continue this partnership with UCR to develop living spaces and resources in order for students to achieve academic success and individual well being.”


American Campus Communities is also working with UCR on construction of Dundee Hall and Glasgow Dining Hall, scheduled to open fall 2020. North District marks the company’s seventh P3 development within The University of California system.


About American Campus Communities

American Campus Communities, Inc. is the largest owner, manager and developer of high-quality student housing communities in the United States. The company is a fully integrated, self-managed and self-administered equity real estate investment trust (REIT) with expertise in the design, finance, development, construction management and operational management of student housing properties. As of June 30, 2019, American Campus Communities owned 169 student housing properties containing approximately 108,800 beds. Including its owned and third-party managed properties, ACC's total managed portfolio consisted of 203 properties with approximately 133,100 beds. Visit


About University of California, Riverside

The University of California, Riverside is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to Inland Southern California, the state, and communities around the world. Reflecting California’s diverse culture, UCR’s enrollment is more than 24,000 students. The campus opened a medical school in 2013 and has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Center. The campus has an annual statewide economic impact of almost $2 billion.

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