Capstone and Harrison Street Awarded Best Public-Private Partnership Development by Student Housing Business for the Woodlawn Residential and Dining Commons at University of Chicago

Marks Capstone and Harrison Street’s third win for Best P3 Development at the Student Housing Business 11th Annual Innovator Awards Ceremony

BIRMINGHAM, AL & CHICAGO, ILUniversity of ChicagoCapstone Development Partners (“Capstone”) and Harrison Street today announced that Woodlawn Residential and Dining Commons at the University of Chicago was awarded the Best Public-Private Partnership (P3) Development at Student Housing Business’ 11th Annual Innovator Awards event held July 14, 2021  during the Interface Student Housing conference in Austin, TX.

The P3 project was selected among 140 student housing developments submitted for a total of 25 award categories. The awards were judged on multiple criteria including: the unique need the project solved for the university; why the P3 structure was advantageous for the school, its residents, and the developer; building architecture; the design fit within the existing campus fabric; and the project’s performance relative to budget and schedule.

Woodlawn Residential and Dining Commons provides 1,300 UChicago students and staff with an on-campus home in an engaging, enriching community, offering 19,500 sq. ft. of state-of-the-art academic and social amenities and a 25,000 sq. ft., 670-seat dining commons. The community includes resident communities made up of 11 Houses designed for freshmen-to-senior students to build academic and social networks. The innovative residence hall is a new center for campus life located at the campus’ southern edge and adjacent to Chicago’s historic Woodlawn neighborhood between Woodlawn and University Avenues along 61st Street. Woodlawn Residential and Dining Commons was completed in June 2020 and opened for the 2020-2021 academic year.

Woodlawn Commons was developed by Capstone in a P3 collaboration with the University of Chicago and was financed with 100% equity through Capstone’s P3+ financing program with Harrison Street.

According to Jeff Jones, Capstone principal, “We have enjoyed building a successful, long-term partnership with the University of Chicago, and appreciate the confidence the University showed in selecting Capstone as its development and operating partner for this first P3 housing community on its campus.  Our collaboration has been exceptional, and mutually rewarding.  This beautiful residential community, with excellent academic and social amenities, delivered ahead of schedule and under budget, and privately funded, is a credit to every member of the University and Capstone teams.  We are thrilled to have partnered with Harrison Street to positively impact the quality of campus and student life at the University of Chicago for decades to come.

Christopher Merrill, Harrison Street’s Co-Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, said, “We are honored to receive the recognition from Student Housing Business for this important project, which has had a demonstrable and highly positive impact on the University of Chicago community despite the uncertainty over the past academic year.  P3s are an important area of focus for Harrison Street and a critical source of financing for higher education institutions facing tighter budgets as a result of the pandemic.  We are proud to be a partner of choice to these institutions to ensure they have access to resources that keep them on the cutting edge and to continue our highly successful partnership with Capstone, a best-in-class developer, over the long term.”

The Project was designed by Elkus Manfredi Architects; constructed by Turner Construction; and the project is managed by COCM.

This is Capstone’s and Harrison Street’s third project to be recognized as the Best Public-Private Partnership Development, having previously received the award in 2020 for Vi Hilbert Hall at Seattle University and in 2016 for Cornish Commons at Cornish College of the Arts. Capstone also received its fourth Best Public-Private Partnership Development award in 2019 for its New Residence Hall and Dining Commons at University of Massachusetts Boston.

About Capstone Development Partners

Capstone Development Partners, LLC is a leading student housing developer in the on-campus and university-affiliated student housing market. The company has offices in Birmingham, Alabama and Denver, Colorado. Its principals, Jeff Jones and Bruce McKee, have 50 years combined experience as leaders in the higher education student housing sector specializing in the development and management of on-campus student housing through Public-Private Partnerships. Since 1997, the principals of Capstone have partnered with 70 public and private colleges and universities and delivered more than 46,000 beds of student housing nationwide.

About Harrison Street

Harrison Street is one of the leading investment management firms exclusively focused on alternative real assets. Since inception in 2005, the firm has created a series of differentiated investment solutions focused on demographic-driven, needs-based assets. The firm has invested across senior housing, student housing, healthcare delivery, life sciences and storage real estate as well as social and utility infrastructure. Headquartered in Chicago with offices in London and Toronto, the firm has more than 195-employees and approximately $36 billion in assets under management. Clients of the firm include a global institutional investor base domiciled in North America, Europe, Middle East, Asia and Latin America. Harrison Street has been awarded Best Places to Work by Pensions & Investments for the last seven consecutive years and was named 2020 Global Alternatives Investor of the Year by PERE.


Nicole Ivanovich
Director of Marketing
Capstone Development Partners
(205) 949-5052