New graduate student resident facility at UH Mānoa to begin construction

The $170-million complex will have 316 residential units for graduate students.

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Dan Meisenzahl, (808) 348-4936
Director, UH Communications
Posted: Sep 21, 2023

Exterior render of Residences for Graduate Students at UH Mānoa
Exterior render of Residences for Graduate Students at UH Mānoa
Exterior render of Residences for Graduate Students at UH Mānoa
Exterior render of Residences for Graduate Students at UH Mānoa

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The funding for a $170-million housing facility for graduate students at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa has been secured from investors paving the way for construction to begin in October. The project is UH’s second public-private partnership (P3) to build modern student housing facilities on the Mānoa campus using minimal public funds. The Residences for Graduate Students at UH Mānoa is scheduled to be completed in fall 2025.

The facility will consist of two buildings (18 stories and 12 stories) with 316 units (studios, two-, three- and four-bedroom units), 558 beds, a childcare facility, retail space, bike storage, study rooms, laundry facility, mail and package room, outdoor amenity decks and on-site management. It will be located on Dole Street between the East-West Center and the Mānoa stream, across the street from Frear Hall. As a P3 project, the facility is being constructed by private partners with external financing and will be privately operated for UH students. 

UH participated in its first P3 student housing project, the Residences for Innovative Student Entrepreneurs (RISE) at UH Mānoa, which opened in August 2023. For this second P3 project, Collegiate Housing Foundation (CHF), a non-profit tax exempt organization that owns student housing on campuses throughout the country, will be the owner and operator of the Residences for Graduate Students at UH Mānoa. 

“The ability to execute a second P3 on the heels of RISE is proof of UH’s commitment to finding alternative ways to modernize facilities with minimal cost to the taxpayer and our students and their families,” said UH President David Lassner. “This project is also enhancing the student experience for our graduate students who play an important role in making UH Mānoa one of the best universities in the country.”

CHF secured the financing through tax-exempt bonds that will be repaid with the rental income of residing students at the facility. CHF has arranged for Greystar Real Estate Partners to develop and manage the facility. Greystar has contracted Swinerton Builders to construct the facility, completed the project design, and obtained discretionary approvals to begin construction.

UH is providing $8 million for pre-development and pre-construction work, $2 million a year towards rent abatement towards keeping rents more affordable, and a 45-year property lease.  The State of Hawaiʻi School Facilities Authority (SFA) has contributed $10 million of public funds towards the construction of the childcare center to be located in the facility.

“The University of Hawaiʻi is very proud to demonstrate its capability to develop partnerships and projects that improve services and opportunities for our students, campuses, and our broader community,” said UH Vice President for Budget and Finance and CFO Kalbert Young. “This project helps provide quality living spaces and opportunities for students and is a tremendous example of how partnering with other state agencies can address multiple statewide missions. To that end, I am very happy that we were also able to partner with the Hawaiʻi State School Facilities Authority and expand access to preschool for families with young children.”

SFA’s mission is to fund and construct facilities that expand access to pre-kindergarten in Hawaiʻi. The childcare center in the facility will be operated by UH Mānoa Children’s Center, which will relocate from its current home at Castle Memorial Hall. After the move, it will be able to serve more students—from its present 90 children to about 130 children.

The Residences for Graduate Students at UH Manoa is being designed to meet Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver Certification to help the 10-campus system reach its goal of net-zero energy by 2035.