Youngstown State University, along with Hallmark Campus Communities and Fortress Real Estate Co., announced today the start of construction of a new 162-bed student apartment building on the west side of campus.
“This project reflects YSU’s continued efforts to provide our students with the finest housing options and the most comprehensive student experience for their collegiate careers,” said Jim Tressel, YSU president.
The four-story apartment building, called University Edge, will be constructed on 3.4 acres of university-owned land along Rayen Avenue between Fifth and Belmont avenues. The YSU Board of Trustees and the state of Ohio approved a 40-year lease of the land earlier this year. The agreement allows for up to two additional buildings in the future.
Hallmark, which has developed student housing at universities across Ohio, including the University of Akron, University of Cincinnati, Kent State University and Ohio University, will pay for the construction and manage the apartments.
The project is expected to be completed and open for the start of the Fall semester in August 2016.
“We are excited to be a part of YSU’s future,” said Jack Tzagournis, president of Fortress Real Estate Co.
The apartments are the first new student housing at YSU since 2010, when the 112-bed, privately-owned Flats at Wick complex opened on Madison Avenue, across from Cafaro House residence hall.
With the new project, YSU will have nearly 1,700 student beds available in five university residence halls, the university-owned Courtyard Apartments and three private apartment complexes. The number of students living on campus is up 14 percent this Fall semester, and residence halls are at capacity.
The construction starts as YSU’s student numbers are taking a turn for the better. For the first time in more than four years, university officials say they expect to see enrollment begin to increase as early as next spring.
The project also gets underway as YSU expands is geographic footprint, attracting more students from outside the immediate Youngstown area. For instance, this year’s freshmen class includes increased numbers of out-of-state students (+64 percent), as well as students from 421 high schools (up from 303 last year) and 54 Ohio counties (up from 37 last year).