Howard University and Corvias Deliver a $35.5m Renovation to an Iconic On-Campus Landmark

​​Today, Howard University and its private sector partner, Corvias Campus Living announced the completion of the initial phase of a comprehensive renovation of the Howard Plaza Towers.  In celebrating the grand reopening of the West Tower, the University welcomes back to campus upperclassmen and graduate coed students to the completely modernized building comprising 327 units and a host of up-to-date amenities.

This milestone was completed as part of the University’s innovative strategy to leverage assets in order to improve campus infrastructure and enhance the overall student experience. The modernization plans of the East and West Howard Plaza Tower resident halls, located at Barry Place and Sherman Avenue NW, were revealed in January 2017 when the University and Howard Dormitory Holdings 1, LLC, a wholly-owned and title-holding company of Howard University, announced its 40-year partnership with Corvias.

The modernization of the West Tower, with its expanded amenities, will certainly enhance the collegiate experience for our students. As we welcome one of our largest classes in recent history, the timing of this completion is particularly impactful.

Dr. Wayne A. I. Frederick, Howard University President

Howard University’s President, Dr. Wayne A. I. Frederick and Corvias Executive, Chris Wilson, were joined by local officials, University students, faculty, staff, and supporters, for an official first look at the newly renovated residence hall.

 “The opening of this incredible facility marks a very special day at Howard University,” said President Frederick. “The modernization of the West Tower, with its expanded amenities, will certainly enhance the collegiate experience for our students. As we welcome one of our largest classes in recent history, the timing of this completion is particularly impactful.”

Originally built in 1988, the 10-story high-rise development, which adjoins the East Towers, is home to more than 820 upperclassmen and graduate coed students. Through the partnership, the West Tower received a wide range of distinctive interior improvements, from an efficient and modern design to the utilization of the latest technology desired by today’s connected student. Enhanced amenities on the plaza level include a modernized fitness center, a new gaming and recreational room, updated mail and parcel space, new management and hall support staff offices, state-of-the-art technology, and expanded community space for academic achievement and socialization. Communal areas include improved study lounges, new living-learning group and program event space, and a grab & go, offering quick meal options for busy residents constantly on the go.

All 327 apartment-style units also received significant modifications and upgrades. The layouts have been redesigned to afford more privacy to students and create more bedrooms. All in-suite kitchens received modernized appliances and cabinetry, while the bathrooms received updated finishes and replacement of the bathtubs with accessible walk-in showers.  New flooring, lighting and contemporary furniture are provided throughout the residence hall.

The building’s controlled access systems were also enhanced to increase safety, reliability, and efficiency for students entering the Tower through both the main entrance and the underground garage level. Additional modifications were also made to the property’s exterior courtyard, including the replacement of concrete pavers, renewed landscaping, new benches and updated light fixtures.

“We [Corvias] are extremely proud to be a part of such a transformative partnership that offers our residential scholars an attractive, high-quality on-campus housing experience,” says John Picerne, Founder of Corvias. This first partnership milestone is a transparent reflection of the unprecedented level of collaboration between both Howard and Corvias, which together, created a more vibrant, physical community where students can comfortably live, learn and socialize during their collegiate years at Howard.”

The total redevelopment cost for the first phase of renovations was approximately $35.5 million, which was funded from the $144 million raised by Corvias from institutional investors for the project. Phase two is also estimated at $35.5 million, putting the total renovation costs for both Towers at roughly $71 million.

Renovations to the East Tower, which will be constructed under the partnership’s second phase of student housing enhancements, is currently underway. The estimated project completion date for the East Tower is August 2018.  Once completed, the iconic twin structures will collectively house approximately 1,730 students and staff in 718 units. Corvias will continue to maintain and manage the operations of these facilities on a day-to-day basis through the life of the 40-year partnership.

Media inquiries contact:

Brittany Bell, Howard University, 

Kelly Douglas, Corvias, 

About Howard University

Founded in 1867, Howard University is a private research university that is comprised of 13 schools and colleges. Students pursue studies in more than 120 areas leading to undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. The University operates with a commitment to Excellence in Truth and Service and has produced four Rhodes Scholars, nine Truman Scholars, two Marshall Scholars, one Schwarzman Scholar, over 60 Fulbright Scholars and 22 Pickering Fellows. Howard also produces more on-campus

African-American Ph.D. recipients than any other university in the United States.  For more information on Howard University, call 202-238-2330, or visit 

About Corvias

As a privately-owned company headquartered in East Greenwich, RI, Corvias partners with higher education and government institutions nationwide to solve their most essential systemic problems and create long-term, sustainable value through our unique approach to partnership. Corvias pursues the kinds of partnerships that materially and sustainably improve the quality of life for the people who call our communities home, purposefully choosing to partner with organizations who share our values and whose mission is to serve as the foundational blocks, or pillars, of our nation. To learn more, please visit: 


Source: Howard University