Irving-based student housing developer Servitas, Texas A&M University, and the Texas A&M University System celebrated the Park West grand opening on July 28 in College Station.
Largest Student Housing P3 in country, Park West, opens with rooftop party
Following two years of development and construction, Irving-based student housing developer Servitas, Texas A&M University, and the Texas A&M System celebrated the Park West grand opening with a swanky nighttime party July 28 in College Station. Texas A&M University struck a deal with Servitas in 2015 to develop the $368 million, mixed-use luxury student housing community on campus land in College Station using a Public-Private Partnership (P3) financing structure. With 3,406 new beds in 1,320 units spread over the complex’s 15 buildings, Park West is the largest student housing ever developed under a P3 structure in the United States.
“Park West is a crowning achievement for Servitas. We are incredibly proud of this amazing property, and our grand opening celebration gave us the long-awaited opportunity to share Park West with hundreds of people. Our guests’ overwhelmingly positive response to Park West proves we’ve done something unique and special here. As the sun set and the party began, our guests celebrated on Park West’s stunning eighth-floor Amenity Deck, looking out over College Station and Texas A&M’s legendary Kyle Field,” said Rafael Figueroa, CEO of Servitas. “We’re pleased the P3 financing we helped the Texas A&M University System secure gave them the ability to meet growing student housing demand. What we’ve accomplished here will provide students with much more than just a place to live, though – from top to bottom, Park West is 100 percent student-focused, with every inch designed to foster success.”
The long-awaited grand opening was attended by local and college dignitaries, the entire Servitas staff, and guests from Park West development partners – underwriter Raymond James, PGAL Architects, Weitz Construction – and even international guests such as A&M VIP Piotr Calbecki, a Polish politician, and many guests from Servitas CEO’s home of Puerto Rico.
The ribbon-cutting ceremony with the Bryan-College Station Chamber of Commerce took place in The Tower’s spacious lobby and was preceded by speeches from key players: Rafael Figueroa, Servitas CEO; A&M Board of Regents Chairman Michael Schwartz; Texas A&M System Chancellor John Sharp; Texas A&M Vice Chancellor Phillip Ray, and Glen Brewer, President & CEO of the Chamber. Following the ribbon cutting, the more than 450 guests moved the nighttime celebration to the rooftop amenity deck eight stories high. The 50,000-square-feet amenity deck is Park West’s crown jewel, with a resort-style pool and spa, cabanas, a fitness center, numerous grills, a juice bar, and a stunning view of A&M’s revered Kyle Field and main campus.
Guests were treated to gourmet food and drink stations provided by Global Catering, the music of two-time Super Bowl performer Mango Punch, and cake to celebrate the birthday of Texas A&M Chancellor John Sharp. Sharp and Phillip Ray, vice chancellor for Business Affairs, worked closely with Servitas in the planning and execution of the 50-acre, amenity-rich development.
Guests took a break from dancing the night away to tour the masterfully planned, fully-furnished Park West units, all of which include full kitchens with marble countertops, private bedrooms with full-sized beds and private bathrooms, and washers and dryers.
“Park West offers something for every student, and seeing the smiles on their faces as they toured it for the first time brings immense pride to all of us at Servitas,” said Angel Rivera, Servitas vice president of development. “Alumni, parents, and guests at the grand opening regaled us with stories about how they wish they could come back to college to live here. We are thrilled to have residents experiencing Park West, and look forward to hearing about the great memories made during their time living and learning here.”
Between The Tower – the property’s central and tallest building – the two Hillside buildings that flank The Tower, and two bordering rows called The Flats, Park West residents have an abundance of floor plans and living options. The property’s more than 140 study and communal areas, wealth of amenities, game room, three fitness centers, three resort-style pools and green spaces represent the student living experience modern students and their parents seek.
“I am often asked what makes Park West special. The answer is simple: it has all a student needs to be successful. From its state-of-the-art fitness centers and outdoor running path that promote physical health, numerous study areas that encourage academic success, to the community spaces that provide social opportunities, we’ve accounted for everything a student needs for a positive university experience,” said Brian Sellen, senior vice president of management services for Servitas Management Group.
Park West strikes the perfect balance between study and social by providing its residents with the privacy and quiet space needed for studying and the communal, social spaces students need to unwind, enjoy their free time, and make lasting memories. Convenience is built in at Park West with an on-site convenience store and coffee shop and Aggie Spirit bus stops.
“Park West is not just any apartment building or residence hall. Every aspect of this incredible property was created to help residents grow both academically and personally. Park West is truly a one-of-a-kind community. I’m so excited that my Servitas Management Group team will continue to be involved at Park West by providing all aspects of management, including residence life and programming. We’re going to see great things happen here,” Sellen said.
“Servitas is extremely proud of what’s been accomplished at Park West. This exceptional property is the largest student housing ever developed under a P3, and after two years of construction, we delivered this massive project on time,” said Aaron Docsa, vice president of construction for Servitas. “Due to aggressive and efficient building, we brought some of The Flats online in August 2016, allowing 144 residents to move into Park West a full year before the Park West grand opening. Providing tours to our grand opening guests was a long-awaited opportunity to showcase Park West’s many superior features. We’re excited to begin the move-in process this month for Park West’s new residents, and we can’t wait to hear how Park West is working out for them. We truly made something great happen in College Station.”
Park West made news early on with nearly 1,000 construction workers on site daily and an estimated $300 million added to the local and state economy through labor, vendors, and materials. Due to aggressive construction, 144 students moved into The Flats a year ahead of schedule in August 2016.
“The reactions we heard from our grand opening guests tell me Park West is the watershed project Servitas, our partners, and Texas A&M hoped it would be,” said Matt Myllykangas, Servitas senior vice president for pre-construction and construction services. “I’m pleased our construction and development approaches allowed us to successfully deliver this project on time, both for the grand opening celebration and for the students moving in this month. Seeing our guests tour Park West’s model units and enjoy the fantastic Amenity Deck was a great moment for us. It gave us the opportunity to see how people interact with this incredible property, and seeing their excitement about Park West confirmed that the space we’ve developed will provide residents a once-in-a-lifetime, holistic living and learning experience.”
Under the terms of the 30-year partnership between Servitas and Texas A&M, Servitas will manage and provide long-term maintenance for the property and its residents. The Servitas Management Group will provide everything from facilities maintenance to residence life and programming at Park West. Financing for Park West was provided by Raymond James, which served as the sole manager for two series of Revenue Bonds issued by New Hope Cultural Educational Facilities Corporation. The two firms structured self-supporting financing and achieved an investment grade credit rating.
With growing enrollments across the country and tightened state budgets, P3 financing requests have become more common among public higher education institutions like Texas A&M, which currently has the most Public-Private Partnerships than any other university in the nation. The revenue generated from Park West will go toward core building construction at Texas A&M.
Park West offers individual leases and is still accepting applications for the 2017-2018 academic year, starting at a special rate of $449 per month. Rents range from $449 to $979 depending on view, building, and number of bedrooms per unit. Students and parents can view floor plans, take a virtual tour, and apply at www.parkwestlife.com.
Servitas, LLC is a privately-owned company focused exclusively on student housing development and property management. At the forefront of the privatized collegiate housing industry since its earliest days, Servitas is a leader in the full spectrum of student housing and student-centric mixed-use developments. Focused on providing the highest level of service to its higher education clients, Servitas has served more than 45 schools across the United States with projects ranging from $7M to $370M in total cost. The firm provides its clients with the full suite of development services: market and demand research, financial structuring (including public-private partnerships), program development, construction administration, and property management. Servitas believes that each project is special, and so its senior leadership dedicates significant hands-on time to each and every one. Servitas’ corporate offices are located in Dallas and Houston. Visit www.servitas.com.