By Lori Connor
Private sector developers are trying to partner with Ryerson to build another residence, but the school isn’t taking the bait.
Over five private developers have approached the university, said President Sheldon Levy, who admitted a joint venture is Ryerson’s only hope for another housing facility.
“If it was possible, we would be doing it,” said Levy.
“Because we can’t make the business case, we have been looking at the private sector.”
Although there’s a demand for more housing, no proposals have gone past the discussion phase.
Right now, there are 840 beds on campus. But up to 2,000 additional beds are called for in Levy’s Master Plan, a long-term vision for the university that requires the expansion of housing for Ryerson students.
“It is very challenging for a university to absorb the cost of additional residence building,” said Heather Lane Vetere, who oversees housing as vice-provost students.
There are two reasons why Ryerson is financially unable to support a residence itself, according to Levy. The school, unlike a corporation, is unable to charge a high price for rent and cannot guarantee 12 solid months of rent from students.
Despite interest from both the university and the private sector, discussions are yet to progress as far as a draft agreement.
Ryerson turned down Horizon Legacy Infrastructure Corp, a development group. They approached the university about partnering on Campus Common, a private student residence at Church and Gerrard Streets.