Chicago — Northeastern Illinois University (NEIU) will open its first residence hall, The Nest, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Aug. 19, 2016. The ceremony will be followed by the official move-in for incoming students.
Northeastern is the last public four-year university in the state to open a residence hall. The process began when residence life was added to the University’s strategic plan in 2008. What followed was eight years of committed planning and preparation by students, faculty, staff and alumni. The groundbreaking ceremony took place on May 14, 2015.
The Nest is six stories tall. It has a capacity of 440 beds (432 students and eight live-in staff). It holds 110 units (90 four-bedroom, two-bath; 20 two-bedroom with two beds per room, two-bath).
More than 250 students already have signed leases for The Nest, which exceeds the University’s first-year commitment. Final numbers for the Fall 2016 semester will not be available for several weeks.
The residence hall project is a three-way partnership among the University and two other organizations. American Campus Communities (ACC) has been responsible for planning the residence hall and overseeing its construction, and will be responsible for management and ongoing operations. ACC is the largest developer and manager of student residence halls in the nation. The Collegiate Housing Foundation (CHF) is responsible for the financing of the residence hall and is a nonprofit foundation created to provide financial support to university housing projects.
The project utilizes a ground lease arrangement, whereby ACC is leasing from the University the ground upon which the residence hall is being constructed. The University continues to own the ground, while ACC owns and operates the building for 10 years longer than the bond term. The 32-year bond issuance was $40.1 million, covering development costs, debt service reserve, capitalized interest, and bond issuance expense. The University contributed equity of $3.5 million toward cost of project. The estimated cost of construction for the residence hall is $34.2 million.
With an enrollment of about 10,000 students, Northeastern Illinois University offers more than 80 undergraduate and graduate programs in the arts, sciences, education and business.