Drake University and Hubbell Realty leaders announced today plans for a $34-million housing and retail development at 30th Street and Carpenter Avenue.
The development will create 7,000 feet of retail space for street-level neighborhood businesses and upper floors for state-of-the-art student suites. The buildings will house up to 500 students.
Current design calls for a mix of one-, two- and four-bedroom units, where each student has a private bedroom and shares a common living and kitchen space. The housing will be targeted primarily at junior and senior undergraduate students and graduate students in the pharmacy program or the Drake Law School.
“We are delighted to collaborate with Hubbell Realty and their local partners in this exciting initiative,” said Drake President David Maxwell. “The project will not only bring upperclass and graduate students into the heart of the Drake experience, but add considerably to the economic and social vibrancy of the Drake neighborhood—connecting our students to the community in ways that are mutually enriching. Members of the Drake Neighborhood Association have been involved from the start in the planning for this project, and we are very appreciative of the community’s enthusiastic support.”
Hubbell Realty won the bid for project, besting 21 firms from around the country including five finalists – two local firms, two national firms and a regional firm.
“This truly is a one-of-a-kind project and we are thrilled to be partnering with Drake,” said Rick Tollakson, president and CEO of Hubbell Realty Co. “This mixed-use project is a win-win situation for the University as well as the entire neighborhood and presents a multitude of exciting, new opportunities.”
The project, designed by FEH Architects & Engineers, will be developed in a village atmosphere where students can live, work, study and socialize while the campus community and its neighbors can patronize the new businesses.
The central community area will be formed by three five-story buildings between 30th and 31st streets, adjacent to Carpenter Avenue – the main east-west pedestrian corridor between 34th Street – home of Drake’s Greek houses, other off-campus housing and Drake’s main campus. This pedestrian path will be enhanced with streetscape improvements to create an energetic and safe pedestrian mall at the edge of the village.
Hubbell Realty is actively seeking retail partners for the project that will appeal both to students and to residents of the surrounding neighborhoods. Possible businesses include a coffee shop, deli, music store and other shops.
Drake owns the land where the project is to be built. The project requires removal of 19 existing houses in the neighborhood – all of which are owned by Drake. Most of the homes are used as rental properties to house students. At an appropriate time, the University will give area neighborhood associations the opportunity to move any houses they wish to preserve.
Work on the development will begin during the coming winter with occupancy expected in a fall 2008.