Regents: $11.3 million Darton dorm project in works

ALBANY, Ga. -- Officials with the Board of Regents for the University System of Georgia have confirmed that a partnership between the Regents and Darton College will yield an $11.3 million student housing project on campus.

Marty Nance, the executive director of real estate ventures for the Regents, said Tuesday that the project has been bid out and they hope to float bonds for the project by the end of the month.

Thursday, the Albany-Dougherty Payroll Development authority will vote on whether to serve as the agent for the bond project.

Nance said the Regents and Darton both realize the college needs

additional student housing.

"Darton has a new master plan and development of new student housing is part of that plan and something the college has been pushing very hard for," Nance said. "We recognize the growth and the potential for growth and see the need for the project."

Calls seeking comment from Darton officials Tuesday afternoon were not returned before press time.

Plans are for the 250-bed facility to be constructed across the street from the college's new Darton Commons I student housing project on property owned by the university system.

In its November meeting, the Board of Regents voted to accept a lease agreement with Darton for the 210-bed Darton Commons I project which will, beginning June 30, allow the university system to pay Darton Capital I, L.L.C, $800,000 rent per year on a year-to-year basis, for up to 31 years with rent not to increase more than three percent each year, according to documents obtained online by the Herald Tuesday.

The same lease will allow $525,000 rent payments to the LLC for up to 32 years on a year-to-year basis.

The bid for the project has been awarded to Valdosta-based Juneau Construction, who recently completed construction of the University of Georgia's first 100-year sustainable "Green" dorm project and is currently building student housing and a university center at Albany State University.