Innovative housing development embeds students in community

Groundbreaking celebration reflects community contributions to new Concordia University student housing.

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Groundbreaking celebration reflects community contributions to new Concordia University student housing

A new mixed-use development broke ground in Northeast Portland today, providing housing within the local community for Concordia University’s growing student population.

Located 15 blocks from campus, at Northeast 16th Avenue and Killingsworth Street, near the Alberta Arts district, the four-story development will include ground-level retail and 34-units, primarily for Concordia’s graduate-level students or married students, seeking studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom apartments.

Concordia will be the master tenant on the 34 units, managing the 12-month student leases, including consecutive rental agreements, and aligned with students’ needs.

Initiated by Andrew Clark of Hugh Development in 2008, and developed by Urban Development Partners (UD+P) since 2013, the project team also includes: architects from Works Partnership Architecture, recipient of the 2013 AIA NW&P Region Emerging Firm award, Colas Construction, a local, minority-owned business, and Metro, the regional government agency.

Metro’s Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) program provides limited amounts of public funding to attract private investment to develop mixed-use, higher density housing and retail projects located near transit. The TOD program contributed $250,000 to the project to leverage $5.9 million in private investment.

“Metro’s contribution allowed us to create a high-quality, higher density residential building that includes attractive pedestrian-oriented retail,” said Eric Cress, co-founder of UD+P. “We were able to leverage Metro’s support to bring more private investment dollars and make the project a reality.”

Concordia’s approach to this student housing development is part of a growing national trend for urban university housing that is embedded within the community, not tucked away on campus, and fits Concordia’s commitment to service leadership and its mission to prepare leaders for the transformation of society.

“This is an exciting time to be able to rally around a shared vision of helping the University extend its reach into the community by providing much needed housing for their student population, while developing a property that will transform a neighborhood and energize the community,” said co-developer Andrew Clarke of Hugh Development.

“These apartments expand Concordia’s housing options, accommodating 10 percent more students on- or near-campus, and providing excellent housing at affordable prices, now in a unique setting,” said Maura Page, associate director of residence life and housing at Concordia University. “It’s especially rewarding to work with community partners who are making a significant investment in the community and who have a track record of responsible development.”

“This project is an example of how a local landmark, like a university, can become even more integrated with the character of the neighborhood by offering a place where students and community members can interact in day-to-day life. We were pleased to be part of such an experienced, professional team and excited about future possibilities as this building comes to life,” said Avi Ben-Zaken, co-founder at UD+P.

“A small boost can make a huge difference,” said Metro Councilor Carlotta Collette. “I’m proud of Metro’s investment in this project, which will make it easier for residents to walk and take transit where they need to go, whether it’s class at Concordia or destinations around the region. It shows how public-private partnerships and Metro’s Transit-Oriented Development Program can help build great communities.”

Concordia’s more than 7,400 students live both near and afar—some living on-campus, some in campus apartments, some commute to campus, and many attend Concordia’s online graduate degree programs.


Concordia University is a private, Lutheran, liberal arts university located in northeast Portland, Ore. with a mission of preparing leaders for the transformation of society. Founded in 1905, Concordia University is Oregon’s fastest growing university, now serving more than 7,500 students on its campuses and online, through its College of Education, College of Health & Human Services, College of Theology, Arts, & Sciences, School of Management, and Concordia University School of Law in Boise, Idaho. For more about Concordia University, visit and