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NKU selects American Campus Communities, Fairmount Properties for 12-acre mixed-use project at gateway to campus and additional on-campus housing



University Marketing + Communications 

HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ky. – Northern Kentucky University has selected a team to design and construct a high-quality mixed-use development at the gateway to NKU’s Highland Heights campus and to design and build more on-campus student housing.

In March, the University issued a request for proposals regarding the future of the 12-acre site located at Nunn Drive and US 27. NKU sought a partner to construct a high-quality mixed use development on that site and to design and construct 500 new residence hall beds, as well as a commitment to grow the University’s student housing capacity from 2,000 to 3,000 beds over the next 10 years. The RFP also sought a partner who could renew, restore, renovate, or replace the University’s existing residence halls. 

Four firms submitted proposals during the six-month process. The University selected Austin, Texas-based American Campus Communities and its partner, Cleveland, Ohio-based Fairmount Properties. 

“We were impressed with each of the proposals received, but it became clear that ACC and Fairmount offer the necessary experience, as well as a unique set of qualifications to help us achieve our vision for the future of our campus,” said NKU President Geoffrey S. Mearns. “We look forward to partnering with them to create a distinctive and inviting gateway to our University while enhancing the campus experience for our more than 14,000 students.” 

American Campus Communities is the nation's largest developer, owner, and manager of high-quality student housing communities. Its portfolio includes more than 130,000 student housing beds and more than 700,000 square feet of retail space in developments across the nation, such as Fairview House at Butler University and University Pointe at the University of Louisville. 

Fairmount Properties is a specialist in mixed-use developments on and adjacent to university campuses, and its portfolio includes more than 2.5 million square feet of mixed-use projects. Since 2012, it has led the investment of more than $600 million in campus edge developments. 

The eight-person project selection committee included members of University leadership, including from Student Affairs, and leaders from Campbell County and Highland Heights.

Over the coming weeks, NKU and ACC/Fairmount will begin negotiations on an agreement to define the scope and features of the project, develop financing plans, and set a timeline for development.