California State University, Northridge (CSUN) has received approval from the CSU Board of Trustees for the construction of a 149-room, on-campus Hilton Garden Inn hotel, developed in partnership with Corvias, LLC, which will serve campus visitors and the surrounding community, while also providing long-term academic and economic support for the university. Through the public-private partnership, Corvias and its partners will assume all costs to design, build, finance, operate and maintain the hotel.
“The development of an on-campus hotel has been a long-term goal for CSUN, and we are excited to see the project moving forward,” CSUN President Dianne F. Harrison said. “As a public-private partnership, the hotel will provide valuable financial support for the university — at no cost to the state of California and no cost to our students. For too long, we have not had adequate hotel facilities near campus to serve our nearly 40,000 students, the scholarly activities of our talented faculty, vibrant Division I athletics programs, world-class Younes and Soraya Nazarian Performing Arts Center, and our surrounding community.
“The hotel also benefits our students in CSUN’s Department of Recreation and Tourism Management (RTM) by providing invaluable internships and real-world learning opportunities throughout the development and operation of the hotel,” Harrison continued. “This experiential learning is essential for students pursuing hospitality careers.”
The University Corporation (TUC), a separate 501(C)3 CSUN auxiliary, is managing the hotel development with Corvias. The CSU Board of Trustees and TUC Board approved the project last week.
“Corvias has a long track record of successful higher education projects, and there are multiple safeguards within our agreement to ensure high standards for operations, facility maintenance, and support of the academic program throughout the 65-year ground lease term,” TUC Executive Director Rick Evans said.
Corvias will lead the design-build team of Steinberg Hart (architect) and Gilbane (general contractor), both of which bring extensive hospitality and higher education experience. The design and build team (Steinberg-Hart and Gilbane) have been involved in more than 700 higher education projects nationally, including more than 75 for CSU institutions. They have also designed and constructed more than 70 hospitality projects. Evolution Hospitality will operate the hotel and has a proven track record in the hospitality industry, currently managing 41 hotels totaling 8,543 rooms in California alone.
The hotel will be located on 3.3 acres of land at the southeast corner of the campus at Matador Way and Nordhoff Street. The project will be built directly adjacent to CSUN’s orange grove and pond, which will be preserved along with the mature trees along Nordhoff Street. A requirement of the project will be that the hotel obtain a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold certification.
The land currently is occupied by CSUN’s Orange Grove Bistro, which was built in 1973 and is not able to meet the current needs of the campus. A new campus restaurant and conference center is concurrently being developed at the university’s Campus Bookstore Complex. The hotel site is adjacent to the campus academic core, and was carefully chosen to complement future development identified in CSUN’s existing Campus Master Plan, including academic and student support facilities, faculty/staff housing, and 1800 beds of additional student housing near existing student housing facilities.
The 82,000-square-foot hotel will have 149 rooms and 1,000 square feet of meeting space. The hotel will include 128 parking spaces, all of which will be adjacent to the hotel. Construction is anticipated to begin in June 2020, with the hotel opening expected in September 2021.