Emory seeks to build large housing complex for grad students

Emory University is planning to build residential housing for graduate students near its hospital, pictured here.
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Emory University is planning to build residential housing for graduate students near its hospital, pictured here.

Credit: Jenni Girtman for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Credit: Jenni Girtman for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Emory University, facing an increasing demand from graduate and professional students who want to live on campus and a limited supply of housing, wants to build a 1,000-bed development for those students on its main campus.

The development would be located near the university’s hospital and Druid Hills High School.

Emory submitted paperwork Friday to the state’s Department of Community Affairs with details about the project since it will likely require some rezoning by local officials.

Emory would build about 800 units on the site and a 275-space parking deck. University officials said Monday the first phase of the project would begin by fall 2022 with student occupancy beginning two years later. When finished, the project will have a mix of micro-studio, studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom units. The entire project would be completed by 2027. Emory officials declined to provide a cost estimate Monday.

The project site was chosen in response to students who said they want to walk to campus, school officials said. Nearly 50% of its students, roughly 7,000, pursued graduate degrees last year, according to data on Emory’s website.

Emory, the state’s largest private university, has more than a dozen residential halls for undergraduate students. The options are more limited for graduate students. The university currently has an agreement with a private company to provide approximately 400 beds for graduate students off-campus.

“Our goal is to provide housing opportunities for approximately 1,000 graduate students who currently cannot live on campus and allow them to live walking distance to Emory’s academic programs,” David Payne, Emory’s associate vice president of planning and engagement, said in a statement. “Currently many of those students drive to campus several days a week, so we expect this project will take commuting students off the road.”