Dorm construction underway

By Lezlie Wolff - Staff Reporter

Imagine grabbing a double scoop ice cream cone for breakfast as you walk from campus housing to class. You will be able to do that beginning Fall Quarter 2018.

The Highline Place student housing property, at 23625  Pacific Highway South, is adjacent to Baskin-Robbins and connects to the northeast corner of Highline's East parking lot. 

Highline Place "will be a sort of catalyst for future development in that area of Des Moines," said architect Imad Bahbah of IHB Architects in Kent, who designed the buildings.

"It will be the first transit-oriented development project in Des Moines' history because it's centered around the new Light Rail hub that's just one block away," he said.

Bahbah said it took extensive coordination with college executives and staff in order to come up with the housing plan.

Building No. 1 "is all student housing," he said. That project is on schedule to open for students in late August 2018.

There will be 160 beds for students in a mix of two and four bedroom apartments. 

"They are individual bedrooms, by the way, with doors," Bahbah said.

There are 44 units on four levels of living space above retail shops on the ground floor, Bahbah said.

The apartments each have a kitchen and living space, he said.

"The laundry facilities are in the middle of the building on each floor," he said.

The housing units also have amenities such as "a community room/game room for the students as well as a rooftop gathering area with barbecue," he said. 

There also will be secure underground parking. 

"Once the construction is completed, we [Highline] will be managing the apartments for student housing," said Highline Vice President of Administration Michael Pham.

"It will be open to all Highline students, including international students," he said.

The college will be looking to hire a Student Residence Manager in the next couple of months, Pham said.  

How students apply for rooms is "to be determined once we have the appropriate staff on board," Pham said.

They did a traffic study that alleviated traffic disruptions, Bahbah said. 

Updating all the turn lanes, improvements on Pacific Highway and 236 Street, two lanes of traffic going in and out of the college, are examples of traffic preparedness, Bahbah said.

Building No. 2 on the same site will have "239 units of market-rate apartments and will have fantastic views of the Sound; lots of amenities including roof top gathering and barbecue just like the other one but larger. 

Powell Homes is advertising a one bedroom, one bathroom apartment for $1,250 per month. 

"There'll be a common courtyard in between the two building for activities and passive use," Bahbah said.

"The schedule for that building is to start construction summer 2018 and be completed by December of 2019," Bahbah said.

These apartments will be open to anyone, he said. It will also have retail space. 

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