Oct. 21, 2016

Contact: Nona L. Matthews
805-756-6274; nnickels@calpoly.edu

Cal Poly Opens New Residential Community for Entrepreneurial Students in Downtown San Luis Obispo

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. — Cal Poly has opened the Cal Poly Lofts, a new residential community in downtown San Luis Obispo for students who have an entrepreneurial perspective and are engaged in Learn by Doing programs focused on fostering creativity and innovation.

This is the university’s first off-campus residential community, created in partnership with local businesses and community leaders.

“The idea and the vision for the Cal Poly Lofts was to bring focused, innovative students together in order to provide opportunities for them to build community and support each other in their creativity,” said Carole Schaffer, associate director of university housing. “Innovative ideas can spring to mind at any time; this community allows students to discuss, explore and build on their ideas, in the moment.”

The lofts, which opened this fall, include apartments and communal spaces for 36 business-minded students from all of the university’s six colleges. Adjacent to the lofts are new office spaces where the new Cal Poly Alumni Welcome Center will open by the end of the year.

“I am thrilled to have the opportunity to live with so many incredible student entrepreneurs,” said Matt Maxwell, senior business administration major and founder of BoltAbout.com. “The Cal Poly Lofts provide an environment that is conducive to collaborating with a diverse group of students from all colleges. My company is at a vital growing point, so I am excited to be surrounded by go-getters like myself who are focused on building great businesses.”

Cal Poly President Jeffrey D. Armstrong called the lofts a perfect representation of Cal Poly.

“The lofts are an illustration of the comprehensive polytechnic Learn by Doing education, focused on real-world, can-do experiences for our students,” Armstrong said. “We now have creative, entrepreneurial students living in the heart of San Luis Obispo, creating new opportunities for hands-on learning and earning, side by side with San Luis Obispo’s business community.”

The lofts project was created in partnership with the Cal Poly Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE) and is just steps away from the SLO HotHouse startup incubator, making it easy for students to access that facility as well as other community resources.

“With this partnership, we are continuing to strengthen the entrepreneurial efforts and activities in the county,” said CIE Executive Director Tod Nelson. “We will offer programs that develop entrepreneurial skills and support innovation ideas, which will ultimately lead to new business opportunities and job growth for both students and community members.”

The Cal Poly Lofts are located in the newly renovated Blackstone-Sauer building on Monterey and Chorro streets, across from the Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa. All three levels of this local landmark were renovated and redesigned to include unique floor plans and space for a central courtyard. The fully furnished one- and two-bedroom apartments feature exposed brick walls, large windows, and generous views of the city.

For more on the Cal Poly Lofts, visit www.housing.calpoly.edu/lofts.

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