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  • Writer's pictureBarbara Curran

University of Michigan Signs P3 for $631M Student Housing Project

Reposted from ENR Midwest, written by James Leggate

The University of Michigan is advancing its plan for a $631-million central campus housing project in Ann Arbor. University officials recently signed a public-private partnership with American Campus Communities to lead development of the project.

The partners hired The Christman Co. as construction manager. Robert A. M. Stern Architects designed the buildings with Elkus Manfredi Architects. SDI Structures is the structural engineer, along with McClure Engineering which is working on an Eisen Joist system design.

The plan calls for construction of five residence halls totaling 2,300 student beds plus a 900-seat dining facility

The buildings are designed to incorporate all-electric, energy-efficient heating and cooling systems, a high-performance building envelope and rooftop solar panels, according to the university. The dining hall is planned to use geothermal exchange systems for heating and cooling. The project was designed with the goal of earning LEED platinum certification.

To make room for the new residences and dining hall, U-M’s Elbel Field recreation space is being rebuilt one block north. The new Elbel Field is planned to include facilities for the university’s marching band. The new development will sit on Elbel’s original site.

The project would be the largest third-party development in the student housing sector to date, according to James Wilhelm, executive vice president of P3 partnership at American Campus Communities. Developing it with the project’s design team “allows us to tap into broad experience of combining modern amenities conducive to student residents’ academic and personal success with the highest green building standards,” he said in a statement.

The university’s board of regents approved the project in September. 

These dorms would be the first residence halls built for first-year U-M students on its central campus in Ann Arbor since 1963. The project is planned to help alleviate a shortage of on-campus student housing, according to the university. Its student-to-bed ratio has dropped from 40% in 2004 to 28% today.

Early site work, including the drilling of geothermal wells, started last summer. The university plans for construction to complete in summer 2026.

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