November 7, 2013
by Canadian Architect
Forum Equity Partners Inc., a leading Canadian infrastructure development and investment firm, and Campus Suites Inc., an international student housing development company, have formed a consortium, the Forum York Development Corporation (FYDC), that has concluded a definitive agreement with York University to design, build, finance, maintain and operate (DBFMO) a new student housing and mixed-use project on the Keele Campus of Toronto’s York University.
Known as “The Quad” – this new project, when complete, will be comprised of four separate buildings, each including student residential space with retail at grade. The plans include approximately 800 beds in suite-style units, with a full amenity and student-life package. The student housing units will be made available only to York University and Seneca@York students. The Quad boasts central courtyards, landscaped plazas, and pedestrian-friendly walkways, all right next to the academic core of York’s Keele Campus. York University will lease the development site, which is currently an underutilized parking lot, to FYDC.
“We are excited to take our extensive development experience and bring it to the Canadian marketplace,” said Henry Morton, President of Campus Suites and a York University alumnus. “The Quad will be one of the pre-eminent, purpose-built student-housing sites in the country. We have developed a relationship with York University and its community that ensures that the needs of all stakeholders were heard and incorporated in the final designs.”
“It is our expectation that many of the units will have ensuites as well as attractive and modern furniture,” said Morton. “The buildings will have management staff on-duty 24/7, a full amenity package including cardio and workout centres, multi-purpose rooms, electronic and physical gaming centres, business facilities and study rooms. Safety-conscious design, including access control, will also be incorporated into all facets of the building. ”
“We welcome the opportunity to work with one of Canada’s leading universities, York University, and the surrounding community on this new and exciting project. We believe this project with York University will become a model for other leading universities across Canada seeking to provide a top-quality student experience that complements and supports the universities’ core academic mission,” said Richard Abboud, President and CEO of Forum Equity Partners. “The Forum-Campus Suites team is confident we will create an exceptional student community that will enhance the student experience at York by providing a superb and safe student living space.”
“The Quad student housing community will benefit York’s students, and is part of our broader housing strategy of reinvesting in our existing residences and working with experienced private firms to deliver new beds,” said Gary Brewer, Vice-President Finance and Administration of York University. “This project will deliver high-quality new housing on the doorstep of our classrooms.”
York University is Canada’s third-largest university and is a leading interdisciplinary research and teaching institution. With two campuses located in the heart of the Greater Toronto Area, the University serves 55,000 students.
vari hall at york university in toronto, august 2008. photograph by andrei sedoff.