Financing and Building State Street Village

By John Collins
Vice President for Business and Administration

The State Street Village (SSV) student residence emerged as part of IIT’s effort to provide state-of-the-art housing for students while improving the appearance of Main Campus along the State Street corridor.

Before SSV was built, undergraduates only had one option for living arrangements in McCormick Student Village, where two students occupied a room and there was one shared bathroom per hall. This meant that there were more than 30 students using the same bathroom! Although this was typical of student housing 40 years ago, President Lew Collens recognized the need to expand and improve student-housing options. He stressed the importance of this and was committed to supporting an innovative approach to accomplishing the new project.

SSV gave students two additional options—suite-style setups, each with two double-bed rooms connected by a common bathroom, and apartment setups, where each unit has its own bathroom, living room area, and kitchen. The building also has a fantastic rooftop deck attached to a communal lounge. The deck offers a panoramic view of downtown Chicago. This was a dramatic expression of the university’s commitment to provide state-of-the-art housing for students.

Lew strongly encouraged and supported an innovative strategy for financing the project. We formed a new 501c(3) not-for-profit organization called State Street Corporation, an independent corporation, with the sole mission to support housing at IIT. The corporation issued bonds that were supported by revenue from State Street Village.

Four years after opening, SSV, along with The McCormick Tribune Campus Center (MTCC), continues to bring national recognition to IIT. Standing side-by-side, the buildings are dramatic and compatible.

Having the award-winning architect Helmut Jahn design SSV has further elevated IIT’s position as a leading campus of architectural significance—a position the university originally achieved through the work of Mies van der Rohe.

In addition to creating 367 additional beds for freshmen and upperclassmen, SSV has provided incoming freshmen more housing options, thereby appealing to the new crop of prospective students. Partially as a result of both SSV and MTCC, enrollment at IIT, and in the College of Architecture in particular, continues to increase.