Wayne State Approves $1.4B Housing Partnership, Will Add 842 Rooms


The Wayne State Board of Governors has approved a 40-year campus housing partnership with Corvias Campus Living, a Rhode Island-based financial management and real estate development company. The university says the deal is worth $1.4 billion in value and compensation.

Through the partnership, which will allow the university to fulfill the demand for more on-campus housing while maintaining affordability for students and strengthening its finances, Corvias will be responsible for all aspects of property and asset management, including maintenance, janitorial, and repair and replacement services.

Under the deal, the university will continue to maintain ownership of the land and all facilities used for campus housing, and will provide all residence life staffing and programming.

“The Board of Governors took part in a comprehensive two-year review of the university’s housing needs and determined that there is a strong demand for approximately 800 additional on-campus beds,” says Gary Pollard, board chair. “Creating a campus housing partnership with Corvias is the most fiscally responsible way for Wayne State to meet that demand while offering high-quality, affordable housing options to its students.”

An initial investment of $300 million will be used to pay off $102 million of existing housing debt and fund the construction of the university’s new Anthony Wayne Apartments, demolition of the Helen L. DeRoy Apartments, and renovations to Chatsworth Apartments. The projects, scheduled to be completed by 2021, will make space for an additional 842 beds on campus.

Throughout the term of the partnership, Corvias will reinvest $803.6 million into renovation projects outlined in the university’s master plan for all of its new and existing housing facilities.

The new partnership will begin with Phase I of construction on the Anthony Wayne Drive Apartments in spring 2017.

In related news… The Wayne State University Board of Governors has approved a new 15-credit undergraduate certificate in entrepreneurship and innovation. Designed by the Mike Ilitch School of Business to provide students with the knowledge and skills to develop and launch startup ventures, courses will be available to students of all majors beginning in January 2017.

“Entrepreneurs and innovators are critical to the long-term health and prosperity of Detroit’s economy, and students are significantly and increasingly interested in avenues that will help them launch their own businesses,” says Jeff Stoltman, associate professor of marketing who is coordinating the certificate program.

The certificate’s first required course, Introduction to Entrepreneurship and Innovation, will serve as a prerequisite for full admission to the certificate program.

Following the introductory course, students will tailor nine credits of entrepreneurship-focused electives to match their interests and goals. Electives are offered through the Ilitch School, the College of Fine, Performing and Communication Arts, and the College of Engineering. A three-credit capstone course tops off the certificate program.