CU Boulder has begun design on the first of two new on-campus apartment-style residential buildings slated for the area of Main Campus north of Boulder Creek. The two buildings would house approximately 400 students each and allow for existing aging residence halls to undergo renovations while also targeting graduate and upper-division undergraduate students.
These two buildings represent the first steps in a longer-term strategy laid out in the Campus Master Plan to increase the on-campus housing inventory by 4,400 to 6,000 beds over the next 15 to 30 years.
“We recognize the housing pressures facing our students, employees and the broader Boulder community,” CU Boulder Chancellor Philip DiStefano said. “The university is committed to helping address these needs through the development of additional on-campus housing options in the coming years.”
Pending Board of Regents approval in 2023, construction of the first building would begin later that year; preliminary program plans went to the Board of Regents and were approved via consent agenda in March 2021. Residence One is currently slated to be completed and ready for students to move in beginning in August 2026. Occupancy of Residence Two is currently targeted for one year later in 2027.
Several of CU Boulder’s existing residence halls are in need of significant renovations. This includes Farrand Hall, Cheyenne Arapaho and Libby Hall, which have been prioritized by the campus for capital renewal and renovation.
Residence One will provide housing primarily for undergraduate students—as well as some graduate students the first year it opens—as the aging residence halls are renovated so that the overall number of campus beds does not decline during renovations. Long-term, Residence One will be targeted specifically to upper-division undergraduates. Residence Two will be targeted toward graduate students when it opens in 2027.
The focus on upper-division and graduate students helps to address demand from non-freshman students for more on-campus student housing options amid a tight Boulder housing market with increasing rents. An additional goal is to help with student retention by creating a more engaging on-campus experience for more students.
Another goal of these new apartment-style buildings is to meet the preferences of students. They will provide diversity in space and unit style that is currently needed, including ADA-compliant units. The project will also align with campus sustainability initiatives by achieving LEED Gold certification.
“We are designing buildings and units to meet the needs of a more independent level of living, including upper-division and grad students' needs,” said Dan Gette, Assistant Vice Chancellor of Student Operations for Student Affairs.
In addition to new living units, the two new buildings will include dining and retail amenities that could serve both CU Boulder affiliates and community members who live in the area north of Boulder Creek. The buildings will have strong pedestrian connections to campus considering their proximity to the recently completed ADA-accessible pedestrian bridges.
Preliminary estimated cost for each building is about $116 million. Their construction will not impact student tuition or require increases to student fees.