Skip to main content
UHF staff
  • rendering of RISE building

Courtesy Hunt Companies

The University of Hawaiʻi Residences for Innovative Student Entrepreneurs (RISE) project has reached a major construction milestone with the topping off of the two six-story buildings across from the UH Mānoa campus, putting the project on track to welcome its first student residents in August for the fall 2023 semester.

Developer Hunt Companies and general contractor Moss said the project will be complete by the end of July, in time for students to begin moving in starting on August 11. Construction on RISE at the corner of University Avenue and Metcalf Street, on the site of the former Atherton YMCA, began in January 2022. It is the first new student housing at the UH Mānoa campus since 2008.

“It’s a momentous event for the project. We’re topping off, which allows the project to continue forward and be open at the end of July,” said Mike Lam, senior vice president of Hunt Companies Hawaiʻi. “It’s a very innovative project where we’re wrapping a historic 1930s building with two residential wings that will provide student housing directly across the street from the university.”

Leasing is underway for RISE’s 219 furnished, air-conditioned single and double dorm-style rooms, which have capacity for 374 students from any UH campus who are interested in innovation and entrepreneurship. Each floor will have a community kitchen, and there will be a café on the ground floor of the building.

Courtesy AHL

RISE will also have classroom, meeting, co-working and maker spaces for programs run by the Pacific Asian Center for Entrepreneurship (PACE) at the Shidler College of Business.

Additionally, applications are still open via the link on the PACE website through Scholar’s App for more than $500,000 in available scholarships for students who choose to live at RISE, including up to $6,000 for the PACE Leaders program.

“What students are going to be able to do is live here, work with like-minded individuals, learn how to think entrepreneurially and get an entrepreneurial mindset which is so important for success in the 21st century,” said Susan Yamada, chair of the PACE board. “If you want to start a business, we’re also here to help you mitigate risk in your business plan and help you start businesses, all in a very cool, brand-new dorm.”

The PACE Leaders program is open to students in all majors at all 10 UH System campuses. PACE Leaders will have the opportunity to shape and design programs offered by PACE and gain hands-on experience to develop their leadership skills and grow a community of innovative and entrepreneurial-minded students throughout the UH System.

RISE is fully funded with private, non-taxpayer money through the university’s first public-private partnership, or P3. UH, UH Foundation and Hunt Companies partnered on the P3 to design, build and finance the facility. B.HOM Student Living is handling the leasing and management for RISE, which is the university’s first externally managed student housing complex.

“We started talking about how the University of Hawaiʻi Foundation could transform the historic Atherton Building into something really special as far back as 2017, when we bought the property, and to be where we are today is just remarkable,” said John Han, vice president for administration and chief financial officer at UH Foundation. “I can already visualize the students moving in and the vibrant student community that we’ll see very soon in August.”


If you would like to learn how you can support UH students and programs like this, please contact us at 808 376-7800 or send us a message.

# # #

The University of Hawai‘i Foundation, a nonprofit organization, raises private funds to support the University of Hawai‘i System. The mission of the University of Hawai‘i Foundation is to unite donors’ passions with the University of Hawai‘i’s aspirations by raising philanthropic support and managing private investments to benefit UH, the people of Hawai‘i and our future generations.