Howard University and Corvias Renovate and Open East Tower Residence Hall Ahead of Schedule

May 8, 2018

Washington, D.C. (May 8, 2018) — Today, Howard University and its private sector partner, Corvias, announced the completion of the University’s iconic residence hall, the East Tower, three and a half months earlier than anticipated. The completion of the East Tower was the second phase of a two-part, comprehensive renovation to revamp two University residence halls, the Howard Plaza Towers East and West. The 431 residential units in the newly renovated space now offers a variety of room types and layouts,ranging from shared efficiencies to four bedrooms, and will house approximately 1,163 students. The East Tower also features a host of up-to-date amenities, including a renovated on-site mail facility, and modernized community room. 

This milestone was completed as part of the University’s innovative strategy to leverage assets in order to improve campus infrastructure and enhance the overall student experience. The modernization plans of the East and West Howard Plaza Tower residence halls, located at Barry Place and Sherman Avenue NW, were revealed in January 2017 when the University and Howard Dormitory Holdings 1, LLC, a wholly owned and title-holding company of Howard University, announced its 40-year partnership with Corvias. Renovations to the West Tower were completed and units were opened to students in August 2017 at 830 occupancy.

“The completed renovation of the Howard University East and West Towers is the latest offering in our commitment to provide our students with housing accommodations that are conveniently located close to campus and feature the latest technology and amenities,” says President Dr. Wayne A. I. Frederick. “The enhancements to the East Tower were a high-priority to complete and we’re delighted to move forward and open this residence for student use ahead of schedule. These new facilities are designed to create a living-learning environment geared toward nurturing the best and brightest scholars in America.”

Originally built in 1988, the 10-story high-rise development, which is adjacent to the West Tower, is home to more than 900 undergrad and graduate coed students. Through the partnership, the East Tower received a wide range of distinctive interior improvements, from an efficient and modern design, to the utilization of the latest technology desired by today’s connected student.

All 431 suite-styled units also received significant modifications and upgrades. The layouts have been redesigned to afford more privacy to students and create more bedrooms. All in-suite kitchens received modernized appliances and cabinetry, while the bathrooms received updated finishes and replacement of the bathtubs with accessible walk-in showers. New flooring, lighting and contemporary furniture are also provided throughout the residence hall.

The building’s controlled access systems were also enhanced to increase safety, reliability, and efficiency for students entering the Tower. Additional modifications were also made to the property’s exterior courtyard, including the replacement of concrete pavers, renewed landscaping, new benches and updated light fixtures.

“At Corvias, we are extremely proud to be a part of such a transformative partnership that offers our residential scholars an attractive, high-quality on-campus housing experience,” says John Picerne, Founder of Corvias. “Completing this second project milestone three and half months early is a great example of the advantages of our innovative public-private partnership model. This unprecedented level of collaboration between both Howard and Corvias, created a more vibrant, physical community where students can comfortably live, learn and socialize during their collegiate years at Howard.”

The total renovation costs for both Towers were roughly $71 million, which was funded from the $144 million raised by Corvias from institutional investors for the project. The total dollars spent on subcontractors was roughly $53 million, with 58.8 percent going to both Small Business Enterprises and Local Business Enterprises, 7.6 percent to Minority/Disadvantaged Business Enterprises, and 5.9 percent to Woman Business Enterprises.

In the Fall of 2018, these iconic twin structures will collectively house approximately 2,175 students and staff in 758 units. Corvias will continue to maintain and manage the operations of these facilities on a day-to-day basis through the life of the 40-year partnership.

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Media inquiries contacts:

Alonda Thomas, Howard University,

Carmel Jones, Corvias,


About Howard University

Founded in 1867, Howard University is a private, research university that is comprised of 13 schools and colleges. Students pursue studies in more than 120 areas leading to undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. The University operates with a commitment to Excellence in Truth and Service and has produced four Rhodes Scholars,11 Truman Scholars, two Marshall Scholars, one Schwarzman Scholar, over 70 Fulbright Scholars and 22 Pickering Fellows. Howard also produces more on-campus African-American Ph.D. recipients than any other university in the United States. For more information on Howard University, visit

About Corvias

As a privately-owned company headquartered in East Greenwich, RI, Corvias partners with higher education and government institutions nationwide to solve their most essential systemic problems and create long-term, sustainable value through our unique approach to partnership. Corvias pursues the kinds of partnerships that materially and sustainably improve the quality of life for the people who call our communities home,purposefully choosing to partner with organizations who share our values and whose mission is to serve as the foundational blocks, or pillars, of our nation. To learn more,please visit: