The City of Coral Gables Development Review Committee heard a presentation Friday from the University of Miami to put in motion the development and construction of a new housing project on the Coral Gables campus. The new Student Housing Village, presently slated to begin operation in Fall 2019, is estimated to cost $193 million and is planned to sit on more than 8 acres of land on the southeastern corner of Lake Osceola. The proposed site stretches from the campus lake southward to Ponce de Leon Boulevard and westward to Merrick Drive.
The planned 600,000-plus-square-foot project is comprised of 25 interconnected buildings and a multitude of outdoor spaces including a grand courtyard, study spots, recreational spaces and outdoor patios overlooking the courtyard. In addition to five floors of student housing for more than 1,000 students, the first floor and mezzanine level of the main structure are planned to serve as retail, event and office spaces. In an effort to activate the space surrounding Lake Osceola, proposed amenities include a curated warehouse space for dynamic programming and other meeting spaces such as an auditorium, classrooms and training rooms.
“As the institution continues to attract brighter and more talented students, the living space in this new facility is being designed to meet the needs and expectations of the next generation of University of Miami students,” says Jim Smart, executive director of the Department of Housing and Residential Life. “By adding programming space to the lower levels, the village will serve as a gathering place for the greater UM community.”
Designed by Miami architecture firm, Arquitectonica, this new village is the first step in the University of Miami’s multi-year Housing Facilities Strategic Plan. Future phases of construction are not yet finalized, but include remodeling and re-tooling of the University’s current housing facilities.
“Nothing impacts the quality of life for students who live on campus more than the quality of their on-campus housing,” says Dr. Patricia Whitely, vice president for student affairs. “As the University of Miami continues to rise as a top-tier research institution, so too do students’ expectations for a comfortable, secure and supportive living and learning environment.”Final plans for the Student Housing Village, as well as additional phases of the strategic plan, are still awaiting final approval from the Coral Gables Board of Architects and the University of Miami Board of Trustees. Additional information about the new Student Housing Village will be released once it has been approved and the permitting process is complete.