Detroit’s WSU Opens $308M Student Housing Complex, Partners with Rhode Island’s Corvias to Run Housing, Retail Space

Wayne State University in Detroit has opened its Anthony Wayne Drive Apartments through a $307.5 million partnership with Rhode Island’s Corvias. The complex includes 841 new beds, more than 17,000 square feet of new retail space, and the recently opened 9,000-square-foot Campus Health Center. A ribbon cutting ceremony took place on Wednesday.
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Anthony Wayne Drive Apartments
WSU has opened its Anthony Wayne Drive Apartments. // Photo courtesy of Wayne State University

Wayne State University in Detroit has opened its Anthony Wayne Drive Apartments through a $307.5 million partnership with Rhode Island’s Corvias. The complex includes 841 new beds, more than 17,000 square feet of new retail space, and the recently opened 9,000-square-foot Campus Health Center. A ribbon cutting ceremony took place on Wednesday.

The new complex is located at 5235 Anthony Wayne Drive. To make way for a green space, the Helen L. DeRoy Apartments were demolished, and an additional 370 renovated beds will be added to the Chatsworth Residence Hall.

Corvias is a privately owned company that partners with higher education and government institutions to solve systemic problems and create long-term solutions. It will manage all 2,654 beds on campus moving forward.

“We are beyond thrilled that our partnership with Corvias has enabled us to provide quality facilities and resources for our students, while also allowing us to advance financially,” says M. Roy Wilson, president of WSU. “Wayne State has always aimed to create a positive economic impact on the greater Detroit community. With Corvias’ investment, we continue to increase job growth and support local and small businesses.”

Retailers in the complex include 1000 Degrees Pizza, Uncle Joe’s Chicken Fingers, Beyond Juice, Tubby’s Sub Shop, Just Baked Cupcakes, Leo’s Coney Island, Warriors Pharmacy, and a new 7-Eleven concept that doesn’t sell alcohol or tobacco.

Corvias’ partnership structure with the school provides a financing solution totaling more than $907 million in total compensation over the partnership term, including the defeasance of $102 million in existing debt; $151 million in initial development and renovation scope with the establishment of long-term reserve accounts in the first 10 years; and $38.8 million in capital repair and replacement over 40 years to ensure facilities are returned in like-new condition at the end of the program term.

“Our partnership structure provides Wayne State University with an innovative financing solution that meets student housing and related infrastructure needs in the short-term while simultaneously improving Wayne State’s financial strength and the sustainability of the program over the long-term,” says Michael De La Rosa, principal at Corvias.

Through the partnership, Corvias will continue to engage with local and small businesses in an effort to create economic contribution to Detroit. Corvias relies on local businesses to develop and fulfill retail facilities within residential spaces, providing a revenue stream for the university while also meeting the needs of the student residents. The development of retail space in student housing in partnership with local and small businesses is part of a rising trend. Corvias expects 90 percent of retail partners will be with local and small businesses during the course of the partnership.

WSU offers nearly 350 academic programs through 13 schools and colleges to more than 27,000 students.

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