Officially, Wednesday was groundbreaking day for Auden Upstate, a $28 million off-campus housing complex built specifically to accommodate USC Upstate students and their lifestyles. Even as university, county and development company representatives shoveled some ceremonial soil, however, six buildings were already rising behind them.
DMG Investments, of New York City, is developing 94,000 square feet of space for the project, which includes a pool, basketball and volleyball courts, hammock garden, dog-washing station, study rooms and 170 apartments. According to DMG Investments COO Jeffrey Amengual, they measure space by beds, not apartments, because they are designed for students. Billed as a “student lifestyle community,” Auden Upstate will have beds for 486 students.
Each bed is in a private bedroom with a bathroom and walk-in closet, according to Michael Hartnett, a partner in the project and CEO of Kensington Property Group LLC.
“Private developers like us partnering with universities to create housing options right off campus is the future of this industry,” Amengual said. “That’s where things are going so we couldn’t be happier and more delighted to be part of the future growth that Dr. Kelly is bringing to this campus.”
USC Upstate Chancellor Brendan Kelly said that kind of student housing — built right off the Spartanburg campus and designed for students — helps the university focus on its academic priorities.
“This helps us to do our core business which is to create great opportunities for students,” he said. “Being able to have a partnership like this and have facilities like this adjacent to campus, the University of South Carolina Upstate becomes a greater destination for students. It changes everything.”
The project will create about 100 construction jobs and is expected to be complete by next summer. They are leasing apartments now for the fall of 2020.
The contractor is Presidia General Contracting of Greensboro, N.C.