By Meghan Hall
Hunting for housing within San Francisco’s city limits can be challenging for even the city’s established residents, with competition for units — and their corresponding rents — forever on the rise. The University of California Hastings College, in an effort to better accommodate its students, has officially kicked off efforts to build more than 900 units over the next several years. U.C. Hastings has partnered with Greystar, Strada and others to bring the project, which will occur over several phases, to fruition.
“U.C. Hastings recognized the growing demand for academic space, the rising housing costs for students and faculty, and UCH’s strategic position in the heart of Bay Area to be the solution,” said Mike McCone, Greystar’s senior development director overseeing the project. “U.C. Hastings was proactive in solving the problem and is creating the opportunity to expose their law students to an expanded learning environment created when students of other specialty schools co-habitat. It’s a genius strategy.”
Phase One of the Academic Village, located at 333 Golden Gate Ave., was originally announced in October 2015, after the State of California appropriated $55 million to construct the building. An additional $3 million provided by donors will aid in the completion of Phase One’s quad and sky bridge. The six-story, Platinum LEED building will be home to smart classrooms, conference rooms and shared community spaces, while the rooftop of the building will feature a sky deck with views of City Hall and the San Francisco skyline. The new academic building, which had its topping off ceremony in February of this year and is expected to cost $250 million, is slated to open to students and faculty in 2020.
“This building seeks to reposition and re-imagine UC Hastings and transform the traditional law school experience by creating teaching spaces, inspirational informal interactions and collaboration spaces among students, faculty and staff,” said Michael Duncan, partner at Skidmore, Owings, & Merrill LLP, the architect for 333 Golden Gate, in a statement. “This is a building that will celebrate UC Hastings’s unique role in San Francisco, provide a new quad as the heart of the campus, and a welcoming new face on Golden Gate Avenue.”
Phase Two will be broken into two parts: Phase 2A will feature a 405,000 square foot, 14-story building at 198 McCallister. The building will provide more than 630 units of campus housing and 80,000 square feet of academic facilities, such as a new auditorium, courtrooms, study lounges and community kitchens, and ground floor commercial uses. The expected delivery of the building will be fall of 2022. Phase 2B will renovate one of U.C. Hasting’s historic buildings, currently the university’s only on-campus housing option, at 100 McAllister. The building will include mixed-use residential amenities and close to 300 units, and will be completed by 2024.
Overall, the project is expected to deepen U.C. Hastings’ relationship with the Tenderloin neighborhood, where it is located, as well as with UCSF, whose students will also be housed at the new 198 McAllister complex.
“Every member of our team is motivated by the fact that the addition of any type of housing in San Francisco is a win for everyone in the community,” said McCone about the project’s efforts to bring much needed housing to students in the city.
The U.C. Hastings project is also Greystar’s first student housing project within the city of San Francisco. The Charleston, S.C.-based company has been working to expand its multifamily portfolio since the acquisition of EdR, a developer specializing in collegiate housing, in September of 2018 for $4.6 billion.
“U.C. Hastings’ campus goals, the specific projects and the individuals at U.C. Hastings were what initially piqued our interest,” explained McCone. “In many ways, this is a once in a lifetime opportunity to work on such a unique project with such talented people at UC Hastings. Greystar constantly seeks to adapt its specialty of multifamily development to housing needs across the Bay Area and with the acquisition of EdR, who specializes in student housing developments, it has allowed Greystar to enter new student housing deals.”
McCone is confident that with all parties involved, the project will serve as a major benefit to not just U.C. Hastings, but the greater Tenderloin community.
“U.C. Hastings will represent our first student housing project in the heart of San Francisco, and we anticipate great success for this community,” said McCone.