New BBC housing approved

Written by Camila Fernandez/BBC Managing Editor

Waiting anxiously at the Florida Board of Governors Meeting, the University finally received approval Thursday, Feb. 19 for new housing construction at the Biscayne Bay Campus.

According to Jim Wassenaar, Director of Facilities Planning and Operations at the Division of Student Affairs, construction for Bay View Hall will commence next month and is expected to be completed by fall 2016.

The approval allows the private developer, Servitas, to sell the bonds to fund the project. Servitas was chosen by housing committee last year for its affordable rental rate and it produced a product that was conducive to FIU’s culture.

“The company, in terms of its vision, understood the context of the campus and really produced a building solution that really helps students to maximize the views of this beautiful location,” Wassenaar said.

The new apartment would include fully furnished units with single bedrooms, a common living room, full kitchen and a choice of private or shared bathrooms. Study rooms, a computer lab, two classrooms and a resort style pool are just a couple of its additional features.

Construction was expected to be completed by fall of this year, but there were delays in terms of project development.

According to Wassenaar, this was due to a process of validating the financing plan of the project. A pause was need to secure the proper financing solution to provide students with better rental rates.

“The timing of the project was very tight, and instead of rushing that process forward, we took a pause, revalidated the business plan, as well as the building solution,” Wassenaar said.

Rather than providing over 600 beds, there will now be a 400 bed solution for better interest rates in terms of cost.

“Our goal was to, it’s been a number of years, but that ultimately we generate the most cost-effective solution we could,” he said.

He also said that new student housing is an opportunity to transform the image of the campus and give the campus’ academic programs the recruitment tool that would help them grow and expand.

“In order for those visions to be realized, it was important to deliver to this type of amenity so that we can attract the students that will ultimately become a part of enhancing this wonderful campus and our academic programs,” Wassenaar said.

“We had always felt that we had made an error, that we had placed the students in the background of the University’s beautiful environment and setting that we have here at the Biscayne Bay Campus. That they deserved to be living on the Bay Front and to fully enjoy the beauty of this campus.”

About the Author

Camila Fernandez
A FIU School of Journalism and Mass Communications Student - Began working with Student Media in 2013.

1 Comment on "New BBC housing approved"

  1. Robert Bridenstine | March 23, 2015 at 2:43 PM | Reply

    As someone who hopes to transfer to FIU in the near future, and knowing that my field of study is at the BBC, what on-campus housing oppotunities would be available to me if I attended?

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