In 2018, University of Southern Maine (USM) President Glenn Cummings formed the President’s P3 (Public-Private Partnership) Committee. The committee was composed of USM and University of Maine System (UMS) team members who were tasked with developing a plan to transform the current Bedford Street Parking Lot and Woodbury Student Center areas into a residential quad with a campus green flanked by a student center and a residence hall. The latter will be the first residential life experience in the history of the Portland campus, and the former will provide a significant upgrade in student experience and a key campus hub for students. 

Throughout 2019, an Evaluation Team composed of USM and University of Maine System personnel worked with Brailsford & Dunleavy to evaluate the market-demand for student housing on our Portland campus and to complete a procurement process to select a project developer. Following the Request for Quote (RFQ) and Request for Proposal (RFP) processes, the Evaluation Team selected Capstone Development Partners of Birmingham, Alabama to develop the project. Capstone is a leading developer of higher education student housing with more than 30 years of experience working in public-private partnerships with client institutions throughout the nation, having partnered with 70 universities to develop 46,000 beds totaling $3 Billion.

Since their selection in 2019, the Capstone development team has partnered with USM and UMS to refine development plans for the project. As presented to the City of Portland Planning Board, the project will include a three-story, 42,000 square foot Career & Student Success Center, a 580-bed, 218,000 square foot residence hall, and a one-acre residential quad that will serve as a natural entry-point to USM’s Portland campus. The latter will replace the current Bedford Street surface parking lot with a campus green.