Clark Forges Ahead with $134M Contract for Student Housing Project in L.A.

Clark Construction Group-California has commenced work on University Gateway, a 421-unit mixed-use student housing development in Los Angeles, just across from the University of Southern California. Operating under a $134 million contract, Clark is building the project on behalf of Urban Partners L.L.C., which, along with equity associates Real Estate Capital Partners and Blackstone Real Estate Advisors, secured a construction loan and joint venture equity for the upscale project totaling $167.5 million in late July. Commercial real estate and capital markets services provider Holliday Fenoglio Fowler L.P. orchestrated the financing deal, securing the fully underwritten construction loan from Wells Fargo’s Merchant Banking Group and the equity from RCG Longview Equity Fund L.P. With Clark at the helm of construction activity, a parcel not far from the heart of Downtown Los Angeles at the corner of Figueroa and Jefferson boulevards will sprout an eight-story structure (pictured) containing not only student residences, but 78,000 square feet of ground-level retail, 11,000 square feet of student facility space and a nine-story parking facility, as well. Togawa Smith Martin Residential Inc. is behind the design of University Gateway, the concept of which has been in place for a few years. The ground lease was signed in 2005 but issues with a competitor interfered with progress until the developers prevailed in a legal battle earlier this year. Clark is no stranger to the USC campus area. In 2006, it completed the school’s Galen Event Center, a project that encompassed the construction of 210,000 square feet including a locker room complex with support spaces and the 75,000-square-foot Athletic Pavilion office building. The company presently has another college project on its plate; it is in the midst of building the $239 million Student Housing North, a complex of nine residential buildings and two parking structures at California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo. Clark is on target to wrap up construction of University Gateway in summer 2010. Clark Construction Group-California is a division of Bethesda, Md.-based Clark Construction Group, a century-old company focusing on general contracting, design/build, pre-construction and construction management for a broad range of real estate projects. The construction services provider has over $4 billion in annual revenue and manor projects across the U.S. Based in Los Angeles, Urban Partners is a real estate investment, development and management company involved in residential and mixed-use endeavors in urban core and high population growth areas in the western United States.