Lehigh University’s new SouthSide Commons marks the beginning of an expansion plan to accommodate over a thousand new students

Project Highlights

  • The Path to Prominence plans to accommodate 1,000 more undergraduates, 500–800 graduate students, and as many as 100 new faculty members.
  • Amenities include a fitness center, study rooms, bike storage, recreational spaces, pet-friendly living, and in-unit laundry.

Lehigh University

Student Housing and Dining Development Advisory

As Lehigh University embarks on its 10-year Path to Prominence, the university plans to deliver state-of-the-art campus facilities to attract new enrollment and increase institutional capacity. One of the key projects is SouthSide Commons, the first privatized on-campus residential community.

One of the main tenets of the Path to Prominence is Expansion, and the university committed to investing into the broadening of Lehigh’s academic footprint while fostering a creative and collaborative environment. With a need to understand how living options could support this expansion, B&D led Lehigh through an active project definition phase, working with the leadership team to define and verify the student housing program. After confirming the feasibility of a 426-bed apartment-style housing concept, B&D participated in the solicitation and evaluation of development teams, maximizing the university’s interests in the partnership.

The $48M SouthSide Commons is the largest residential facility on campus and offers apartments targeting upper-level undergraduates and transfer, international, and graduate students. The residence hall will strengthen the connection between the campus and surrounding South Bethlehem.


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“We were so pleased with the project and B&D’s overall approach, we engaged them on a similar project focused on graduate student housing and dining master planning.”

Mark Ironside, Executive Director, University Business Services & President, LU Properties, LLC, Lehigh University

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