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Rendering of plans for the North Torrey Pines Living and Learning Neighborhood

University of California San Diego breaks ground on $627 million expansion

The North Torrey Pines Living and Learning Neighborhood will consist of student housing, academic towers and retail space.

The University of California San Diego has broken ground on the largest complex in campus history, a $627 million neighborhood that includes housing for 2,000 students, academic towers, parking and retail space.

The San Diego Union-Tribune reports that the North Torrey Pines Living and Learning Neighborhood is part of a $1.6 billion expansion that will enable the campus in La Jolla, Calif., to add at least 3,300 students by 2021, pushing enrollment to 40,000. 

Over the next few years, UC San Diego is scheduled to add: the Design and Innovation Center, the Franklin Antonio Engineering building, the Nuevo East and Nuevo West graduate housing complex, and Triton Pavilion, a large student center.

The university says the Living and Learning Neighborhood will cover more than 10 acres. The 1.6 million-square-foot project is expected to be completed in fall 2020.

The expansion's emphasis on adding affordable campus housing, student services and retail space is meant to make the campus more livable and lively. 

Construction of the North Torrey Pines Neighborhood will strive to meet campus sustainability goals; the project is aiming for a LEED Platinum rating. Landscape design will be consistent with sustainability goals as well, emphasizing drought tolerance.

This new neighborhood will become the home of Sixth College, one of the six individual colleges across campus. Over a 26-month period, the university will add separate classroom and office buildings for the social sciences and the arts and humanities, housing for 2,000 students, 1,200 underground parking spaces, a craft center, retail space, a dining hall and a market.

The Living and Learning Neighborhood also is meant to address student demand for more affordable housing.

Many students have been priced out of the rental market in La Jolla. A studio apartment costs about $1,700 a month. A one-bedroom apartment costs about $2,100 and a two-bedroom costs about $2,700.

The rent in the new campus housing will be at far below market value, the university says.

Nearly 15,500 UC San Diego students now live in campus housing. The Living and Learning Neighborhood, and Nuevo East and West will add about 4,200 beds.

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