Construction crews are expected to break ground this summer on a 147-unit student housing complex and a 15,000-square-foot alumni center at Southern University. The project, touted by school officials as an economic development project for north Baton Rouge, utilizes a 5-acre tract of land overlooking the Mississippi River that was donated to the Southern University Alumni Federation by Eco Services Operations Corp. and Solvay USA Inc. As a part of the original donation, the two companies restricted the use of the land to include only the new alumni and conference center, but both have since lifted the covenant to allow for student housing. The project addresses the need for updated, market-rate student housing for both the main campus and the university’s law center, which currently doesn’t offer on-campus apartments for its law students. Currently, there are three apartment complexes, with 444 combined units, sharing the same zip code as Southern University, according to the 2018 Trends in Real Estate compiled by the Greater Baton Rouge Association of Realtors. The SU Alumni Federation will develop, own and operate both the student housing and alumni center projects.