McCarthy Breaks Ground on UC Riverside Housing Development

By Eric Althoff

RIVERSIDE, Calif.—Architect Solomon Cordwell Buenz and general contractor McCarthy Building Companies, Inc. are pressing forward on the $285 million North District Phase 2 Student Housing Development at the University of California, Riverside (UCR). The 424,000-square-foot project is meant to address a dearth of affordable housing at both UCR and the nearby Riverside Community College District (RCCD), which collectively have seen a tremendous increases in recent enrollment.

“We can’t solve all the problems that are challenges for students, but we can solve those two by bringing students to the campus, letting them live here, wear their UCR or RCC T-shirt, and just be part of the campus,” Kim Wilcox, chancellor of UCR, said of the project work. “It breaks down a barrier and, aside from the housing, it provides [students] with a different sense of themselves.”

The development will offer 429 single- and double-occupancy apartments ranging from one to four bedrooms. Each living unit will offer a kitchen and living room space, high-speed Wi-Fi and air conditioning. Communal spaces will include dedicated study areas as well as a café/market, recreational fields and a public park.

The project, funded partially by the State Higher Education Student Housing Grant Program, increases the number of available student beds at UCR and RCC to 1,568.

“The McCarthy team is proud to be part of this revolutionary project, which helps bridge the gap between larger universities and community colleges,” said Sarah Carr, vice president of McCarthy. “This housing development will provide affordable options that will enhance graduation rates not only for UCR students, but for Riverside City College students as well—a benefit to the entire community.”

Wolde-Ab Isaac, RCCD chancellor, added that this joint housing project “is meticulously and intentionally designed to break persistent cultural and psychological barriers that many of our first-generation and low-income students experience through a process of total immersion into the UC system.

“My hope is this unique partnership and innovative approach will serve as a model for others to emulate around the state.”

The first students are anticipated to commence moving into the North District Phase 2 Student Housing Development sometime in 2025.

McCarthy Building Companies, Inc., the oldest privately held national construction company in the United States. Based in St. Louis, the general contracting firm operates from California locations including Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Jose, San Diego, Newport Beach and San Francisco. The firm, which is 100-percent employee-owned, is ranked the country’s 19th largest domestic building by ENR, and employs over 6,000 people.