ST. GEORGE, Utah (ABC4 Utah) For the first time in five decades, Dixie State University is building new student housing.
Construction crews are on the home stretch before more than 350 students move into Campus View Suites Thursday.
While exterior work is expected to continue into the semester, the interior rooms are almost good to go in the $22 million building.
"It's going to be a big change for us, but it is going to be all positive," Executive Director of Facilities Management Sherry Ruesch said.
In the past, the university relied on off-campus housing for nearly 10,000 students.
There hasn't been a large-scale multi-unit housing development built in St. George in ten years. The rental market is now extremely tight, with less than 1 percent vacancy rate, according to a report from real estate firm NAI Excel.
Campus View Suites is not only full, there is a waiting list.
"It wouldn't have filled as quickly if it wasn't as needed. We'd be to this point and have some open rooms and we don't have any open spaces," Ruesch said.
The high demand put a rush on construction, finishing in an estimated ten months.
"This is probably one of the fastest projects they've ever built," Project Manager Matt Noyce said.
Extremely low vacancy rates in St. George has pushed up rent. The price for a two-bedroom, two-bath unit has risen nearly $150 since 2010, with the average of around $850, according to NAI Excel.
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